Monday, November 06, 2006

Still Ill?

Charlton Athletic 1 Manchester City 0

I bet Stuart Pearce woke up sick yesterday morning, and he wasn't alone! The reasons may have been different for his disposition and mine, but the feeling probably similar.

Charlton beat the Massives, thanks to a glorious Darren Bent header, but rode their luck with City hitting the post on two occasions, and seeing the ball cleared off the line twice aswell. Thomas and Young did the line duties following corners, which Charlton failed to handle well all day, and Richards was the man who hit the post in the first half. Seven minutes from the end, Trabelsi also hit the post; as time seemed to stand still, his cross/shot from the corner of the penalty area bypassed everyone who watched the ball bobble along to the post before seeing it bounce out into the middle of the six yard box. The danger obviously wasn't over, but nobody reacted, until Scott Carson stuck his hand out and knocked the ball to ground before diving on it.

The excitement still wasn't over, and City managed to miss a few more good chances before ref Chris Foy finally put us all out of our misery and blew the whistle for full time.

The game started at a fair rate, with both teams showing good attacking intent. Andy Reid maybe could have done better in the first twenty seconds when he used his favoured left foot to shoot after bursting through, when his swinger may have proved more effective in getting the ball on target. Dennis Rommedahl was busy and involved, and not afraid to take on Thatcher with is pace.

It looked a good game, but the tenseness obviously got to someone in the row across the aisle to my right as they threw up. Whether it was one of the boys who quickly disembarked to less smellier climes, or the guilty looking chap whose shoes were rather messy I don't know, but it distracted a few people. Luckily, someone called the cleaners and they set about mopping it up so we could all concentrate on the game once more.

Just as they finished their job, Jerome Thomas curled a cross into the box and Darren Bent swept between the two City central defenders and headed the ball past Weaver for the only goal of the game. I don't blame Dazza for heading for the East stand; the sick smell from the West was probably still evident!

Half time came and Rommedahl unfortunately didn't appear for the second half, having been injured just as half time approached. The balance of the team, with Bryan Hughes now playing wide right, was affected, and Charlton were a less potent force.

Most of the side continued to play well however - special praise should go to Luke Young, who is now back near his very best; Souleymane Diawara who is simply class; Talal El Karkouri who is at the top of his game; and Andy Reid, who is doing well but can do better! Reid seems to love playing just behind Dazza in the 4-5-1 formation, and is ripping off shots at every opportunity. I do wish he would sometimes play the early ball through to Benty (as Murphy used to do), but he seems to want his own time, and the run is usually wasted. It can only be a matter of time before one of his shots finally beats an opposition keeper and goes in.

But the obvious star performer was Scott Carson - Scotty made a few very good saves again and kept Charlton in the match. I don't want to think about the option of Liverpool recalling him in January, but our season may depend on that not happening. I would be sick if it did, but not as sick as the bug that confined me to the bathroom yesterday. Psycho may have woken up with an ill feeling after his 12th defeat in 14 away games, but he wasn't reching as much as me!

The win does not move Charlton off the foot of the table though, as four other teams near the bottom also won. It does contract the league though, and a few more good results would leave all of the SE7 faithful in a much happier and healthier mood.

Roll on the league cup and another chance to make history by getting to the fifth round for the first time!

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