Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Carlisle Driven off

Charlton Athletic 1
Carlisle United 0

One very happy, lucky manager. Not only did Iain Dowie not get mentioned during the Panorama programme last night, but he watched his Charlton team win a dour game against division one Carlisle by a solitary goal.

Why, oh why, do Charlton always play like this in cup games? Poor passing, no penetration, a slow pace, poor form, all were in evidence for long periods at The Valley.

OK, Darren Bent could have had at least five goals, and maybe should have. A long defelcted shot midway through the first half went just wide with the goalkeeper beaten; one-on-one after beating the offside trap but a poor first touch let him down and the keeper smothered; another chance just blocked, all before half time. In the second period, Bent continued - another one-on-one but he blasted wastefully over, and the goal he got, a tap in after Rommedahl's shot squirmed through the goalies grasp toward the post. He is way too good for this or any defence that plays so high up the pitch...

Bent actually started the game looking jaded and out of form, but he did get better as things progressed.

Others weren't so fortunate; Marcus Bent started well, and finished well, but had a very quiet middle part of the game. Dennis Rommedahl was the key to all things good, setting up numerous chances for others, but some of his passing was incredibly poor. Darren Ambrose was fairly anonymous, although he did hit the bar midway through the first half.

At least Faye and Kishishev controlled the midfield, and the defence looked comfortable all night, apart from when a fine Carlisle effort from 25 yeards hit the top of the bar in the second half.

No apparent injuries and no bookings wil also have pleased Dowie. The ref (S Tanner) was OK too!

All in all, this game didn't really look to have helped Charlton in any way - those off form are still playing poorly (Kish, Ambie); those doing OK had reasonable games (Dazza, El Kak, Lukey). Those in need of a game (Dowie's words...) didn't really get a look in (Holland) or failed to impress (Bent (M)). Nathan Ashton did OK on his senior debut, after a shaky probably nervous start, but he doesn't look to have definite Premiership potential on this first look for many.

At least we are in the hat for the next round (draw on Saturday), where we can expect to get a Premiership club as opposition. Last year it was Chelsea away; what betting this year it's Man Utd away!

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