The narrative about Charlton is changing after the weakened relegation favourites beat promotion favourites Hull City 2-1 at a sweltering Valley this afternoon to go third in the table. We are now being talked of as 'unknown quantity' or even a 'surprise package'. The glass half empty crowd will say that we rode our luck and at times we did, but there is nothing wrong with that.
For their part, Hull were less good than all the hype about them during the week suggested. Their supporters were also rather quiet by the standards of many who visit The Valley. Perhaps they realise that a quick return to the Premiership is not going to be straightforward.
Interrupted by injuries and with the heat slowing the tempo, the first half was relatively uneventful with neither keeper really being tested. However, Charlton controlled the game well.
After the break a Gudmundsson cross to a well placed Simon Makienok enabled the Dane to head home his first Charlton goal. He raised his arms to the heavens in gratitude (apparently it was for his departed mum). Gudmundsson had a chance to make it 2-0 after a breakaway put him one on one with the keeper, but he was denied. Hull started to find space on their left and eventually the pressure told and they equalised on 89 minutes after a fumble by Nick Pope.
The fear then was it would be 1-2 and for a moment it looked as if it was, but the linesman's flag was raised in time. Eight minutes added on looked as if it might favour Hull, but Gudmundsson got a last gasp winner with a header to make it a Valley of joy. Guy Luzon got sent to the stands for his excessive celebrations. Great to hear the Covered End chanting 'Guy Luzon's red army.'
A special word of commendation of the Bloke Behind Me for wearing his suit to the game in that heat.
A black mark (again) for South-Eastern Railways. One train from London Bridge was cancelled. The next one was in twenty minutes, but left ten minutes later. The excuse given was 'Congestion on the Greenwich and Woolwich line due to the football.' If they ran a proper service, there wouldn't be congestion.
Good to run into a former student who is Addickted after the game, he observed how much better the train services in North London were.
Rick Everitt has a little fun at the expense of those who said that Makienok was the worst player they had ever seen at The Valley (actually quite a lot to choose from) in a new post at the Voice of the Valley website: Rickmansworth
Pope had played well up to his error for the goal. Bauer was magnificent, distributing forward well. Captain Diarra was a rock. Cousins had to be played out of position at right back, but performed well in that role. Fox continues to improve.
Kashi was man of the match for many, covering every blade of grass and using the ball way. Ba was excellent, but eventually had to be withdrawn because of cramp. Ceballos had to be withdrawn after 23 minutes because of injury. Bergdich was not prominent, but competent enough. A bit petty of the ref to book him for leaving the field too slowly. Gudmundsson created one goal and scored another. His retention may turn out to be crucial. Steve from Petts Wood had not seen Makienok before and thought that he look lost and lacking in confidence. His moves were not coming off. The goal should give him a much needed boost.
Ahearne-Grant did his best when he came on, but his attempts were either wild or off target, despite Makienok selflessly setting him up on one occasion. I couldn’t understand why Luzon didn’t immediately Charles-Cook at right back when he came on and push Cousins into central midfield. He eventually did this in extra time and straight away Charles-Cook looked more comfortable, attacking down the right side. Before that, in midfield, he hardly touched the ball and allowed Hull back into the game. Harriott had a chance to impress, but didn't.