Saturday, 5 April 2014

A game of thin margins

Rhoys Wiggins outlined the hoped for scenario for today's game against Reading in the programme: 'If we can keep it tight for 60 or 70 minutes then you can give it a real push in the last 20 and, hopefully, win the game like we did at Forest and Leeds. That's what we're aiming for at the moment.'

Unfortunately, it was Reading who kept it tight and then scored a second half goal to emerge 1-0 victors. As Steve from Petts Wood remarked, 'How often have we seen a goal scored against us on a fast counter attack like that.' Charlton have lost seven games by a margin of 1-0 this season and won six by the same margin. With Barnsley drawing we remain two points ahead of them, although Yeovil and Millwall won. Tuesday's game against Barnsley is a real six pointer, although we seem to be winning on Tuesdays at the moment.

The first half was even between the two sides with neither posing a real threat. Certainly Charlton didn't with Simon Church up front. We were playing some neat, passing football but never looked like scoring. Reading stepped up a gear after the break and looked increasingly like scoring. José Riga tried to change things around by a series of substitutions, but they did not have the desired effect. He set us up for a draw and the strategy didn't work. Possession was 53-47 in favour of Charlton and our pass completion rate has been improving.

Match analysis

Yet again Ivy the Terrible has awarded the Silver Bone to Diego Poyet for his intelligent passes and the way in which he anchored the midfield. Ben Hamer made a good save from Danny Guthrie's free kick on 62 minutes and then had to be alert to deny McCleary after he evaded a challenge from Morrison. He had no chance for the goal. Morrison dealt with Pogrebynak well and picked up a rather harsh yellow card. Dervite brought the ball out from the back well and was generally solid. Wilson was solid defensively and looked at times as if he might create something. Wiggins controlled Drenthe well and picked up a rather harsh yellow card. Harriott put in a couple of good balls when there was no one there to connect with them, but other efforts were woeful. Ajdarevic started well and got past Reading a number of time, although to no eventual effect. As the game wore on, his recent bout of 'flu affected him and he had to be withdrawn, looking very disconsolate. Jackson tried his best and it's a shame he wasn't available after his substitution for what could have been a promising free kick. Cousins was energetic as always. He had a half chance on 21 minutes when he got past Gorkas, but his shot went straight to the keeper. Church couldn't be faulted for his work rate, but he was isolated up front and had problems with the two man mountain centre backs. On the train before the match I heard two Reading fans trying to work out when he had scored for them. Reza has difficulty doing the simple things like making a decent pass. Petrucci looked lightweight and some fans blamed him for an error leading to the goal. Obika came on too late to make a difference.

There were plenty of candidates for the Hiss of the Match, including Reading charm merchant Gunter and Danny Williams for his haircut. However, Rescue Cat Reg has awarded it to referee Andrew Madley who seemed less concerned about the fouls and diving antics of Reading than giving out yellow cards to the home side.


Anonymous said...

The main reason we had no threat up front because Riga played Church who is probably the worst No9 I have ever seen play for Charlton!!! Powell seemed to continue to have blind faith in him and it seems Riga is doing the same. I can only assume he he is Mr fantastic in training thats why he keeps getting selected, as he has never once showed that in a first team game!

Anonymous said...

I agree Church was poor but its wrong to say he keeps getting selected. He wasn't even in the squad for the Leeds game! Bottom line you cannot play Church up top on his own - he can't head a ball or hold a ball out of the air! We looked better when Obika and Rezza came on without really ever looking like scoring.

Sciurus Carolinensis Nemesis said...

Any side containing calamity Harriet is at least a man light. He was reading's best player for the full 90. Why Riga left him on to continue relentlessly giving the ball away is as baffling as it is scary! 2nd half was poor all round bar Hamer and Riga's interventions worsened matters still.

Anonymous said...

Decided at the last minute not to go yesterday. After 52 years supporting Charlton it's now largely become a chore to get myself down to the Valley these days.

So, I stayed at home in Bexley, cut the grass, watched the Grand National and and followed events in SE7 on Charlton Life.

Once Reading had scored I, like everyone else knew the outcome.

Even in the 1960's and 70's when we struggled most of the time, we played football on the grass and always had players who could score. Firmani, Gregory, Tees, Tracey,Len Glover, Daisy Edwards, Roy Matthews to name a few, and plenty who could create, Moore, Campbell, Bailey, little Ritchie Bowman, Paddy Powell.

It was all such fun back then.

Sadly, for me, it's just not fun anymore.

Geoff said...

The thing with Church must be that he keeps running and the coaches think something must come of it eventually. But it doesn't! Pigott is a better option if only because he's tall enough to be able to head a ball.

I'm with SCN on the mysterious retention yesterday of Harriott. He was the obvious candidate for first subbing.

Shame that a first 45 encouraging enough to have even the East Stand clapping and chanting, should be followed by that goal snatch.

The 60s/70s poster above has shamefully excluded Stuart Leary, both goalscorer and creator.

Anonymous said...

The 60/70s poster also forgot Hales & Flanagan. The young lad Peacock wasn't bad either :)

Anonymous said...

And, of course, I could also have mentioned, Sam Lawrie, Mike Kenning, Ron Saunders and Martin Robinson.

I was simply suggesting that back then we always had at least a couple of natural goalscorers, unlike the impotent "strike force" we are lumbered with currently.

Anonymous said...

Seems funny that these guys are employed and accept wages as strikers, but there ain't a whole lot of striking going on....

Martin Cowan

Anonymous said...

Don't usually chip in, but read regularly: next game is Yeovil, according to the fixtures I've been looking at - Barnsley at home on 15th, after a Brighton game.

Brian G said...

I have to admit that there have been few moments of real enjoyment this season, those being the rare moments when we score, seeing Cousins and Poyet perform in the 1st team and watching Hamer at his best.Before Christmas there was also the joy of seeing Kermagant in action when he wasn't injured. I regret that our recent forward play shows just how much we do miss him. Still, onwards and upwards with a good win over Yeovil. Anyway, I know that, whatever happens, I will still be going to watch them next year. It's not an easy habit to kick after so many years but, like so many other Charlton fans, I am fiercely loyal to a club which for some inexplicable reason means so much to me.