Thursday, December 01, 2005

Charlton throw game away

Only at Charlton. 2-0 ahead against Blackburn with fifteen minutes of the game to go, and with a first ever quarter final League Cup place in sight, the Addicks managed to concede three goals in fifteen minutes, the last a couple of minutes from time, to give the visitors victory. Once they were 2-0 ahead, Charlton started to look complacent and failed to press for a third and decisive goal. A baffling substitution of Luke Young by Spector didn't help. And those who have been criticising Andersen should consider the three goals let in by Kiely last night, at least two of which were his fault.

Charlton won an early corner after Murphy released Smertin, but his shot defected off the popular figure of Andy Todd. The corner was punched out by Friedel. Kishishev provided a poor pass. Blackburn won a corner, but Kishishev was able to clear. The Herminator put in a good block at the expense of a Blackburn throw in. Darren Bent turned provider for JJ, but Friedel was able to save his effort. Deano made a good save from Bellamy in a one-on-one.

Pedersen placed himself well and put in a cross to Bellamy, but his goal was disallowed. Kishishev released Bent, drawing a good save from Friedel. A Bent cross led to a Charlton corner but the corner was poor. Kishishev released Powell and his cross led to a Bent header which went over. Smertin was called on to provide some good defensive work. Luke Young then displayed some superb ball control as he defended near the corner flag. A dubious free kick was awarded in a dangerous position for an alleged foul on Bellamy, but it came off the wall.

With Charlton increasingly in control, Murphy and JJ worked the ball forward in an excellent move. JJ put the ball in the path of Ambrose who had no hesitation in putting it past Friedel on 41 minutes to put the Addicks 1-0 ahead. Blackburn tried to get back in the game and JJ defended well. Shortly afterwards, Bellamy had a chance to equalise, but the Covered End was delighted after his effort went over the bar.

Although the first half was marred by endless offside decisions, and Blackburn were certainly in contention, even ultra moaners would have to concede that Charlton had stamped their authority on the game and were deservedly ahead.

Half-time: Addicks 1, Blackburn 0

Charlton started the half in attacking mood and Ambrose showed superb skill in switching the ball from left to right foot before he drew a save from Friedel. A minute later Murphy took charge of a wayward ball, went through a gap between two defenders and fired the ball into the back of the net past Friedel to make it 2-0.

A Blackburn break led to a Kiely save. A foul on JJ produced a yellow card. El Karkouri produced a good defensive header. Bellamy was booked for dissent. On 63 minutes Savage was pulled off to derisive boos and replaced by Thompson. Kishishev put in a great tackle. Murphy put a cross in which went across the front of the goal.

On 70 minutes Luke Young was replaced by Spector which was really the start of the rot for Charlton, although they had been cruising too much. Bent put in a shot which drew a good save from Friedel. Bent burst through and I thought he was shoved off the ball.

On 73 minutes Hughes made what turned out to be a smart substitution, bringing on Kuqi for Emerton. At the Blackburn end, Powell put in a weak and wasteful shot and in the process he injured himself. The Herminator had to cover for him on the left, leaving a gap in the middle. Just two minutes after coming, Kuqi evaded El Karkouri and put the ball past Kiely to make it 2-1.

Blackburn kept up the pressure with two corners in succession. JJ was replaced by Hughes on 80 minutes. Nine minutes from time Thompson took the ball off Kishishev and put in a 30-yard shot which had Kiely well beaten. After El Karkouri was caught in possession, Pedersen passed to Bentley who fired past Kiely to make it 3-2 two minutes before the break.

Bothroyd replaced Powell on 89 minutes and team switched to 4-4-2, but it was too late. Bothroyd put in a shot which went wide, but it was panic stations and to no avail.

On the positive side, Charlton played a lot better than at Villa, but they seem to lack the steel to hang on to a lead. One should also remember that Blackburn won the game as much as Charlton lost it.

Match analysis

The Silver Bone has been locked away in the cupboard. Kiely has come in for relatively little criticism from Charlton fans since the game, but for me this performance showed why he should not be first choice goalkeeper. Young had a decent game, but was inexplicably withdrawn. Powell is fully engaged, but lacks that extra bit of pace you need at this level. El Karkouri seemed to be absent when he was needed more than once and was beaten for two of the goals. Is he yet another player who is at his best in his first season with us? Hreidarsson was once again one of the better players on the pitch. The debate on Kishishev rages on. Some highlight his errors which are often costly, others point out that he has been told to stick to the ball so that he can provide it to Murphy and this sometimes means that he gets caught out - and sometimes he does dwell on the ball too much, we had a case of that last night. But in the first half I thought that he was the best Charlton player. He does get caught in the search for a scapegoat which means that every error is emphasised and every piece of good play ignored. Murphy scored a well taken goal and generally contributed effectively. Smertin showed some nice touches, and drew a save from Friedel, but does not seem to be in the game as much as he was. Ambrose scored the opening goal, but drifted in and out of the game. If one is going to play JJ why not use him in a 4-4-2? As it was, he was largely ineffectual apart from a few good moments. Bent made some attempts on goal, but needs someone playing alongside him. Spector is not the finished article and why should we be serving as a finishing school for the Salford Red Sox? Hughes was largely anonymous, apart from getting himself booked. Bothroyd had a cameo.

Hiss of the Match goes to the whingeing Craig Bellamy.

Crowd rating I was in the Covered End so I heard the crowd at its best, but you can't blame the crowd for the result, although it was difficult to keep the volume up at times. There has been some criticism of fans for booing at the end of the game, but it's understandable in the circumstances. 6/10.


Blogger davidjacobs said...

I agree with all of your remarks post and pre game. Spector is not a left or right back, but a central defender and we have enough of those, especially as Perry seems to be the guy that always gets the chop if there is a mistake. Kiely at fault for one if not two of the goals and Myrhe should be in for Sunday. No need to panic yet, but what is Sorrondo doing around the club, is he worth a bench seat instead of Spector or Hughes? Bothroyd, JJ, Lisbie, all have to go.Why not play Ambrose with Bent and bring Thomas back into a midfield four, thereby making a 4-4-1-1 formation, with Ambrose just behind Bent. Wyn, If they lose the next two home games I think we could be in big trouble. I still think Daniel Cousin may be one answer as he is definitely scoring consistently for Lens, but I am not sure if Lens are out of the UEFA cup yet? Euell may have something to prove too, that is if he wants to prove anything still at the Valley.
Curbs is trying, but I think he may well finally give up and go elsewhere, and I would understand his decision if he did go elsewhere.

10:11 AM  

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