Saturday 2 January 2016

Charlton fight for point

Charlton secured a hard fought point against Notts Forest at The valley this afternoon, but the draw was overshadowed by a very well supported fan protest, particularly after the game. It was estimated that there were four times as many people there as at earlier protests. 'You're not fit to run a club' was one of the chants.

Fans also responded during the game to chants of 'Stand up if you want them out.' There were also chants of 'We want a manager' and Karel Fraeye was booed when he left the pitch.

For much of the first half it was a case of two mediocre teams cancelling each other out. The returning Callum Harriott did put in a good shot on goal and from a corner Makienok should have scored. However, Forest started to wake up to the limitations of Charlton and began to dominate the play in the concluding ten minutes. They got their reward when Charlton failed to clear a corner and Osborn scored on 44 minutes.

Gudmundsson was brought on after half time for the hapless Ba and Charlton stared to look more energised, although there were some dangerous moments at the start of the half. Good work by Harriott, who in my view was man of the match, set up Makienok to score the equaliser.

However, as anticipated, referee Trevor Kettle made his mark on the game by giving a harsh second yellow to Holmes-Dennis, who had come on as a substitute, and sending him off. Loan player Rhys Williams was brought on in place of Vaz Te to shore up the defence and Charlton fought hard for a point. Indeed, they had chances in the closing minutes to go ahead.

Leaving the ground, I heard one fan say 'A glimmer of hope?' and another 'We're going to be relegated, it's inevitable.' The Addicks are one point off safety, so all is not lost.

By the time I got to Coventry I just missed a Charlton caller who had been on 606.

There was a long interview with Chris Powell on the Football League Show. The Charlton legend expressed sympathy with the supporters and said that he could not understand where the club was heading or what the owner's intentions were. There had been four managers since he left, there was no director of football or chief scout. Good people left, including, he implied, on the non-playing side. The clip can be seen here: Chris Powell

He was shown footage of protesting supporters chanting his name outside the West Stand and was asked if he would go back if he was asked. He replied, 'Possibly,' but made it clear that everything would have to be right.

There was also a good discussion on Sky's Sunday Supplement. They described us as the poster boy of how a club should be run but now the poster boy of how a club shouldn't be run. They criticised how fans were called customers.

There is a good round up of audio interviews from yesterday's protests here: Audio interviews

Player ratings

Henderson could not have saved the goal. Otherwise, he looked confident. Sarr was woeful, unfortunately Bauer is out for six weeks. Lennon put in a decent shift. Solly showed some real skill, I wish other players would pass to him more when he is unmarked and in a good position. Fox always makes me nervous and often with good reason, although he did get forward well at times.

It was good to see Cousins back and in form again, probably affected before by illness. Ba was useless. Jackson made a limited contribution and was eventually substituted. Harriott was a revelation. Clearly his loan spell has done him good, particularly in terms of attitude. His problem in the past has not been a lack of talent, but inconsistency. Before we get too excited, we should remember that he is in the shop window.

Vaz Te didn't really impose himself. Makienok was described as having a 'torrid time' by the Football League Paper. With his top knot gone, he did manage to head the ball a few times. He had three chances to score, and made use of one of them, although he was denied for one by a good save. However, Steve from Petts Wood said 'I still don't like him' after he scored.

Gudmundsson made a real difference and came close to scoring shortly after coming on. Holmes-Dennis should have been more cautious on one yellow with Kettle steaming away and getting closer to his target of ten red cards this season. The signing of Williams has been greeted with a chorus of derision by many supporters, but he looked quite useful to me. He is a big lad.

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