Monday, February 18, 2008

Draws to a Close

Charlton Athletic 2 Watford 2

A combination of a wife returning from holiday; a mother being ill in hospital, and me being inundated with work have delayed a report on this top of the table clash. Sadly, with a 2-goal lead at half-time, Charlton could not hang on as they conceded two goals in 80 mad seconds.

Charlton had taken the lead after 15 minutes when a great move involving Lloyd Sam and Andy Gray led to Darren Ambrose stroking home the initial goal from eight yards. Twenty five minutes later, another flowing move involving Sam and Greg Halford saw the latter’s low cross turned into his own net by ex-Addick Danny Shittu (left). I was quite pleased at that time (modest understatement) as I had forecast that he might score!

Although McAnuff hit the post in injury time, the Addicks had been so dominant that everyone in the near sell-out crowd at half time was convinced that Charlton would be right back in the mix at the top of the table. Sadly, ten minutes later, that dream was in tatters.

First, half time sub O’Toole, only able to play due to his midweek sending off being rescinded, slid in between the centre backs to bring the game alive. It looked offside on the day, though TV replays suggest it wasn’t.

From the kick off, Watford won the ball back and won a corner after McCarthy cleared behind. It was swung in to the edge of the six yard box, and Shittu climbed above Jonathan Fortune to power a header home. The fact that Fortune did not leave the ground, almost certainly due to Shittu’s hands being placed firmly down on both his shoulders seemed irrelevant to the referee and the equalising goal stood. I was quite upset at that time (modest understatement) as I had forecast that he might score!

A complete contrast to the first half, it was now the visitors who dominated the match. Substitutes Jerome Thomas and Lee Cook (for Sam and Ambrose) made little difference, and neither did Chris Iwelumo who came on for Gray.

It is fair to say that this was a disappointing result for Charlton, but not the end of their league hopes; they certainly showed that when they play well, they can beat any team in this division(Watford were top prior to the weekends fixtures). The pain is down to the inconsistency that has pervaded the whole season so far, either from game to game, or within one single match as per this weekend. This is what Alan Pardew need to work on in the lead up to the next three, very, important matches.

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Pedro, trust your mother is on the mend.
not a bad result. could have been worse

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