Thursday, 26 December 2013

'We're winning at home'

That's what the Covered End Choir sung as Charlton tore up the form book and beat Brighton and Hove Albion 3-2 at The Valley this afternoon in front of a crowd of 17,704 with the Jimmy Seed almost full. The Addicks are now 19th in the table, ahead of Millwall who lost 4-0 at Watford. Manager Steve Lomas has been sacked.

Brighton went ahead in the game after a build up that included a foul ignored by the referee. Charlton equalised before the break through Lawrie Wilson. Brighton applied sustained pressure after the break, but it was Charlton that went ahead through that man Wilson. A excellently executed free kick by Kermorgant then gave the Addicks a two goal margin. This was lost in time added on through a goal that had more than a suspicion of offside.

Thanks are due to Deutsche Bahn (trading as Chiltern Railways) for putting on a Boxing Day service that allowed me to get to the game: South-Eastern please note. I had a smooth journey, a bus arriving just as I got to the stop at North Greenwich (where announcements implored us to use the Dangleway).

We started the game quite brightly, although we often do. A free kick led to a Charlton corner but it was unproductive. A good spell of possession ended when the ball was surrendered by Stewart. Kermorgant was felled. Morrison deserves credit for having a go, but his shot was blocked.

Then Brighton went ahead on 22 minutes after Ulloa pounced on a loose ball and put in a low drive. We thought that Church had been fouled in the build up by being pulled back. A Charlton attack ended with Stewart putting the ball wide. A Stephens free kick sailed over the bar. Wood put in some good defensive work.

Kermorgant provided the assist that enabled Wilson to equalise. Brighton won a corner, but it was unproductive. Kermorgant had a word with Stewart about his contribution to the game. Sallor got a yellow card for manhandling Solly. Wiggins put in a great run. Alnwick claimed a threatening cross well.

Half time: Addicks 1, Seagulls 1

Brighton took charm merchant Saltor off after the break and replaced him by Calderon. Cousins put in some good work. A Charlton corner was caught by the keeper. El-Abd got a yellow card for halting a threatening Charlton attack with a professional foul. The free kick was played to Solly. Wilson pounced on a loose ball to score.

The ball was headed off by a Brighton player, but the referee failed to award a corner. A Brighton corner led to a shot that went over. Charlton actually got two free kicks off the referee, who was perhaps realising that his efforts to prove that he was not a homer were overstepping the mark. Bolton won two corners in succession and the ball had to be cleared off the line by Wood. Charlton won a free kick in a dangerous position and we agreed that this looked like Kermorgant's range and indeed it was as he put the ball in the top corner of the net to make it 3-1.

The Covered End choir started their chant of 'How **** must this lot be if we're winning at home.' A Brighton corner led to a free kick but the move petered out in a throw in. The Seagulls then saw the ball come off both posts in quick succession. Brighton won a couple more corners and we made our defensive double substitution. This attracted some criticism from those who think that the most effective form of defence is all out attack. The Addicks had a penalty call: either it was that or a yellow card for diving. Once again the referee's decision was baffling.

A Brighton corner was claimed by Alnwick. In the four minutes added on Ulloa scored again from a goalmouth scramble, but we had no real difficulty in hanging over for the three points. An intense and entertaining match which gave the Addickted some festive cheer.

Match analysis

Ivy the Terrible had no hesitation in awarding the Silver Bone to Lawrie Wilson for two well taken goals. Just before he scored the first, a bloke a couple of rows in front of me was screaming 'You're useless Wilson. Take him off!' I wouldn't particularly blame Alnwick for the two goals, as I think that he was unsighted. He did make a couple of good saves, but Brighton did not put him under that much pressure. Morrison showed some really good skill and once again I wouldn't blame him for not scoring. Wood once again showed his skill as a defender. The presence of Solly makes a real difference to our side, for one thing it frees up Wilson for a midfield role to which he is well suited. Wiggins had a good game, apart from one piece of poor ball control and made a surging run down the left. Stephens had a bit of an off day. Cousins displayed some good skill and had a solid game. Stewart attracted a lot of criticism in the first half from those around me, most of it justified. He lost control of the ball and then made a foolish tackle which left him limping. He seems reluctant to get stuck in. However, he did improve as the game went on, becoming more of a threat. Kermorgant got very much involved, as was evident from the state of his kit, and his free kick was first rate. Church showed plenty of effort, including one great run, but never really threatened. Dervitte was brought on later on to shore up the defence, as was Evina but neither made a great impact. Pritchard came on in time added on and did get involved.

Rescue Cat Reg did think of giving the Hiss of the Match to referee Mick Russell, but made allowance for the fact that he had not yet been able to use the Specsavers voucher he was given for Christmas. Instead, the award went to south coast clogger Bruno Saltor. He eventually got a yellow card for his fouls and the Brighton bench had the sense to take him off at the break before he got a deserved red card.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What's happening at our club hearing ex Directors now banned from stadium.