Saturday, 22 March 2014

Keep the faith!

That was the plaintive plea of Big Dave Lockwood over the tannoy as disconsolate Charlton supporters left The Valley after today's 0-3 home defeat by Burnley. The Clarets looked like a side destined for promotion. There was, I thought, some improvement in Charlton's play, particularly in the first half. There was less hit and hope and more passing along the ground to someone in a red shirt. But ultimately Charlton were outclassed.

I have read some comments from fans since first writing this which said that Burnley were very ordinary and we made them look good. There was a sense in which the Clarets never had to get out of second gear, but I thought they had more in reserve and a lot of their play was impressive.

We held our own for the first half hour or so, but then Burnley scored with a bullet header after a good cross from the left. They then put the Addicks under the cosh for the remainder of the half with Ben Hamer making two excellent saves. José Riga made the first of three substitutions at half time, taken off Green and replacing him with Astrid, and I would commend the new coach for trying to change things around. We seemed to lose our shape somewhat in the second half and then Burnley were awarded a penalty which they scored to make it 0-2. I thought that the penalty award was rather generous in the sense that I have seen us not given penalties in similar circumstances. We kept on trying, but no avail and the third goal come out of nowhere in time added on.

The one crumb of comfort is that with Millwall losing and Yeovil drawing, we are still out of the relegation zone, but we have some very tough matches ahead.

I rather liked the following chant from the Burnley fans in the train to London Bridge: 'We speak with an accent exceedingly rare. Our side of Burnley will always be there. In our Lancashire home.

Ivy the Terrible has awarded the Silver Bone to Diego Poyet who was a class act despite being the target of some cynical fouling which should have been penalised by the referee who seemed reluctant to give a card for anything. Either they are card happy or the opposite.

Player ratings

Hamer did make two good saves and it would have been difficult to save the first goal or the penalty, let alone the own goal. However, I think he was indecisive at times, seeming uncertain what to do with the ball when he had it and wasting time as a result. Morrison was solid, although one might want to look at his positioning for the first goal. Dervite was singled out for attention by José Riga in the programme, praising him for having two feet like all Frenchman, but all saying that he was too introverted. Whether as a result, Dervitte did seem more confident to me and got forward well at times, bringing the ball out of defence. Wiggins had a rather disappointing game by his standards, he seemed to be sluggish and often dwelt on the ball too much. Wilson was a mobile presence on the right flank, although some of his passes forward could have been better. Green was, as always, inconsistent, at his best rather good, but not at his best often enough. He needs to beat his man before crossing the ball. I thought that Riga was right to substitute him at half time. Jackson seemed to be out of his depth against Burnley and crowned it all with an own goal, although that was an unfortunate ricochet. Cousins was energetic. I did ask Steve from Petts Woods whether he was involved enough, but he pointed out that while Poyet was providing the pleasing passes, Cousins was doing the hard graft. Both of us were still uncertain what his best position is. Church has a good work rate, but is not clinical enough in front of goal. Another striker might have scored when he burst through on 25 minutes to find himself one on one with the keeper, but his effort was tame. Obika was tireless, but not that effective. He burst through well at one point, but should have passed to Green who was better placed. Ajdarevic made a difference when he came on, testing the keeper will a well taken free kick. Reza may be getting us a virtual following in the Middle East, but he doesn't offer much on the pitch. The arrival of Sordell and his white boots did little to raise morale late in the game, but he did get stuck in and showed some skill.

José Riga was offering plenty of instructions to his players. He is featured in the Football League Paper this morning and I will post about later.

Rescue Cat Reg has given the Hiss of the Match to the bald East Stand lino. Bald officials always seem to under perform and this one must have broken his bottle of hair restorer in the dressing room because his mind was not on the job at hand. Someone advised him to stick his flag where the sun doesn't shine, but he preferred to hold it limply by his side and either not raise it all or belatedly.


Anonymous said...

In our Lancashire homes,
We speak with an accent exceedingly rare,
The LONGside at Burnley will always be there,
In our Lancashire homes.

Wyn Grant said...

Thanks for the correct version, difficult to hear it properly on a noisy train.