Saturday 2 April 2016

No moonwalk for Blues

A Blues fan complained on the train back to London Bridge, 'I thought we would moonwalk it when we went 1-0 up. It's humiliating and embarrassing to be beaten by a team that is probably going to be relegated.'

Unfortunately the win still leaves the Addicks six (effectively seven) points from safety. But as the Bloke Beside Me said, 'You have to play the teams you've got.'

I decided to come via Marleybone today to avoid the main contingent from the Millwall of the Midlands, but some Blues chose that route. On the way back, there were police on the train and a further contingent waited on the platform at Leamington in case it kicked off between local Addicks and Blues.

The start of the match was delayed as hundreds of small stress balls were thrown on the pitch by protesting fans. The match started quietly with the Addicks playing rather cautiously. We feared a Blues goal, although we thought that might galvanise Charlton.

The visitors took the lead when Paul Caddis' cross took a deflection and reached Jon Toral who turned it home, leaving Pope with no chance. Charlton equalised six minutes later through Johann Berg Gudmundsson whose shot bounced off Paul Robinson and in.

The Blues tried to get back in the lead in the early phase of the second half, Charlton having brought on Lookman at the break. The referee ignored increasing pushing and fouling by the Blues, but missed no chance to award them free kicks. He also managed to give Gudmundsson a yellow card for dissent while giving nothing for fouls by the visitors. Fabrini was a persistent offender until he was taken off.

Charlton stood firm and showed great commitment, increasingly threatening. Gudmundsson was not far off target with a free kick and Lookman drew a good save from the keeper. Teixeira once again showed his value at set pieces, rising to meet Lookman's corner in the 94th minute to make it 2-1.

Player ratings

Pope was not to blame for the goal and otherwise was in command of his area. With Henderson on the bench, he seems to have secured the Number 1 spot for now. Apart from his goal, Teixeira provided some cultured passes forward, particularly in the first half. Diarra showed once again that he was a quality player and soon became a target for the Blues. Fox was error prone. Fanni put in two excellent tackles to avert imminent danger.

Suk Young was confident, but not that impressive, and withdrawn at half time. Motta had some excellent moments and also some poor ones, for example an excellent display in winning the ball and seeing off the opposition, followed by a poor pass. Cousins battled away to good effect. Gudmundsson seem to have benefitted from the international break.

Harriott was energetic, but he gets muscled off the ball too easily. Vetokele put himself about and it is good to see him back.

Lookman used his pace to good effect. Jackson didn't make a great difference when he came on. Makienok had a cameo in the hope that his height would be useful.

The SLP report from Louis Mendez is here: Charlton

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