Charlton shared the points in a 1-1 draw with Fulham at The Valley last night. I thought it was quite an exciting game, although I was surprised when I read the stats that we only had 42 per cent of the possession.
The Fulham defence looked shaky when we attacked with pace. Our slow builds ups were less threatening. However, our defence also looked under pressure at times. We tended to give unmarked players on the wings too much space and opportunity to develop an attack, notably the right back Hoogland.
Hendo was captain and for some reason he decided to change ends, allowing the Cottagers to attack the Jimmy Seed and their fans.
McCormack gave Fulham the perfect start after just eight minutes when he nodded his 14th goal of the season over Stephen Henderson following a flick-on from strike partner Smith. This led to chants of 'We're winning away' from the Cottagers.
However, the lead lasted just 10 minutes before Morgan Fox whipped in a low cross for Gudmundsson to hammer the ball into the roof of the net at the far post, despite Fulham's claim that team-mate Frederic Bulot had been in an offside position. I must say that from where we were sitting it did look offside. However, it makes a nice change to get a favourable decision from a linesman in a match against Fulham.
Gudmundsson then missed a great chance when he shot wide from a Igor Vetokele cross before the break when it looked as if he had a tap in. What went wrong I don't know. Chris Eagles was denied by Fulham goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli in the second half.
But Fulham could have earned only their fifth away win with Smith seeing an effort cleared off the line by Joe Gomez before wasting a fantastic late chance from a free kick by the 'D' when he blasted the ball over.
Inevitably Scott Parker's appearance attracted some controversy. Initially, he was booed by the Covered End every time he touched the ball, although as the Bloke Behind Me remarked, in one of his more sensible comments, this only encouraged him to get stuck in (to the extent that he picked up a yellow card). In the second half, he was involved in an exchange of views with Charlton supporters in the corner of the Lower North. Leaving the pitch at the end of the game, he was serenaded with chants of 'One greedy bastard.'
Parker's departure to Chelsea did undermine our chances in our best season in the Premiership, but he was one of the best talents to come out of the Charlton academy and perhaps it is time to move on after eleven years.
Curbs was at the game in his capacity as Fulham's technical advisor and I saw a tweeted picture of him with Keith Peacock.
Henderson supplied one superb save, turning the ball round the post, and some other excellent ones. Talal Ben Haim got a possibly avoidable yellow card, but on the whole did his job well enough. Gomez continues to impress, he is an excellent player for his age, active in attack and defence. Johnson had one or two wobbly moments, seems to think he is better than he actually is, I wouldn't favour a new contract. Fox was solid and is improving, I don't think he deserves the abuse he gets from some fans but once they have made up their minds someone is useless, that is that.
Diarra justified his new contract with a professional performance. Cousins probably played the ball more than any other player on the pitch, apart from Parker. Gudmundsson took his goal well, but then had a miss. The Bloke Beside Me had Bulot as his player of the match and we were both disappointed when he was substituted. He shows real pace down the wings.
Vetokele didn't contribute a lot and was eventually substituted. Watt displayed his penetrating power and trickery, but sometimes he needs to be a little less selfish and lay the ball off.
Eagles got involved when he came on. Church really didn't make much of a difference.