Monday, August 28, 2006

Bent Two much for Bolton

Charlton Athletic 2 Bolton Wanderers 0

Football is amazing isn't it? Just when we think that this Charlton team has no guts, passion, tactics, flair, desire, skill, and honesty, the team sets out to prove us all (and me, especially) wrong in a big, big way.

So what went on? Elbows abounded in our usual bogey team game versus Bolton - BBC proved that the ex-Chesterfield forward Kevin Davies thrice stuck his arm in Charlton defender faces, but it was Hermann Hreidersson who saw red midway through the first half. Not long after fellow defender Talal El Karkouri had his nose bloodied by Davies, Pedro45's one to watch in this match jumped high to win a ball forward. He used his arms expansively in gaining height, and in doing so, Davies, who came from behind Hermann (and who would probably have been penalised for a foul otherwise), was caught in the face by the Icelanders retreating arm. Ref Mike Dean, who is not a favourite at The Valley, and who had booked Hermann in the away win at Middlesboro early last season, and sent off Mark Fish in the first home game of 2003/4, immediately brought out the red card. Hermann's angst was obvious, as he showed his version of using his arms to gain height and power, but off he went.

The crowd often needs a catalyst such as this to get going, and the atmosphere at The Valley suddenly improved. Dowie delayed a substition, and Charlton settled back into a game that they had been competing in well. Kishishev was eventually brought on for Ambrose (he must dread seeing fellow players sent off as he is almost guaranteed to be the one sacrificed...) to provide more bite in the midfield, as Amady Faye moved to centre back.

Faye had been pretty anonymous in the first half hour, but the switch of position showed him at his best; he was imperious during the rest of the game, and only once caught when Diouf got free midway through the second half which led to the days second big talking point.

Faye was adjudged to have brought Diouf down as he arrived in the penalty area - he did give a tug of the shirt as he tried to catch the Bolton forward - and Dean awarded the penalty. Why only a yellow card was shown is beyond me - only Carson stood between Diouf and goal; no other Charlton defender was close. Was Dean trying to make up for an earlier mistake?

From Charlton's perspective, the penalty again galvanised the crowd, as Carson made a good save low to his right. The team also rose to this, and shortly afterwards, Darren Bent made the most of a sly shirt tug by El Haim to fall and win Charlton their own penalty decision. Again, just the yellow card was shown, appearing that Dean does like to even things out over a game...!

Darren Bent didn't miss though, and Charlton had the lead against the odds, as the ball was struck calmly into the back of the Bolton net.

The evening up of the contest now just meant that ten versus eleven needed attention, and with Davies this time swinging his leading arm in Faye's direction, and with Faye making the most of it, the red card once more came out of the Wirral ref's pocket without hesitation.

At ten a side, Charlton looked the better team, and Bolton knew that they had little chance in a game that they had ought to have won comfortably. Hasselbaink's flick found the superb Bent in the area, and Dazza flicked the ball past Jaaskelainen to make it two-nil - and game over - five minutes from time.

Bent could have had a third goal to his name, having messed up a great chance in the first half; Ambrose found space and his shot was saved, with the ball falling to the ummarked Bent twelve yards out. His shot though, hit the one man on the line, and although Ambrose put the rebound in, he was offside from the moment Bent's shot was deflected to him.

Carson had an excellent game, and the fans are now seeing why he is rated so highly. He still has the odd ball-juggling moment when catching, but his shot stopping is excellent. Even the two sliced clearances with his left foot fell nicely for a waiting Traore on the wing! He will be needed over coming weeks.

Young was also excellent, and is showing true England class at a time when he is almost first choice.

El Karkouri had a torrid first half, but got better as the game progressed and his head cleared following the Davies elbow that caused his nose bleed. He still hasn't had a decent shot this season though, and must now be low on the free-kick taker list! Why he started the second half in a Traore shirt is also open to interpretation! (But not as bad as Harry Gregory wearing Paul Went's shorts in the second half of a game back in 1969!!!)

Hermann was the one to watch in this match, for 27 minutes at least. He was involved throughout his time on the pitch, but now will have a month on the sidelines as a result of his three game ban - unless Dowie appeals, which is unlikely.

Traore was impressive in possession, but did seem a little behind play at times. He got forward well and is starting to link well with team-mates.

Faye was superb in defence when the team was down to ten. He may even need to stay in that position what with injuries to Sorondo, and Fortune, and suspension to Hreidersson over the next few weeks.

Andy Reid was obviously short of match practice. His fitness is OK, but could improve, and some of his passing was "off", but he never shirked responsibility, and kept going for the whole 90 minutes. He will get better, and could be the missing link we have been desperate for since Parker left.

Bryan Hughes, on the other hand, was not doing a good job, until the sending off anyway. Slow, without vision, he just lumped it forward whenever he had the ball. With ten men though, he did cover a lot of ground and try to get involved but he is the weak link in the midfield now.

Hasselbaink tried hard again, but has had little service of note due to a lack of wide men, exascerbated by Hermann's sending off and the retraction of Ambrose. He does command respect though, and probably only needs a goal to kick-start his season.

Darren Bent was superb again; he is so deadly nowadays, and it was a real shock to see him fluff his first half chance. The main problem with Dazza is getting past Thursdays transfer deadline without someone making a stupid offer for him!

The subs that were used had varying success. Kishishev was excellent, being the good guy that we know he can be - all bustle and hustle, winning ball and giving a simple pass. He covered an enormous distance during the time he was on the pitch. Marcus Bent and Matt Holland had little time to show anything, and they may now be sacrificed if replacements can be found (Marvin Williams/Elliott?).

So the doom and gloom brigade have had to eat their words. Charlton moved off the bottom of the table thanks to this win - their first over Bolton for years. The crowd felt involved, and created a good atmosphere; shame it was a lot less than capacity.

Now the important thing is to keep hold of our main players before the close of the transfer window, and seek out the missing links that will hold the season together - Dowie had two in mind, and hopefully they will be on board by Thursday.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Enter your email address below to subscribe to Charlton Athletic Online!

powered by Bloglet
Sports Business Directory - BTS Local
Custom Search