Saturday, January 28, 2006

Bothroyd uses get out of gaol card

A 90th minute strike from a free kick by substitute Jay Bothroyd gave Charlton a 2-1 victory over Leyton Orient in the 4th round of the FA Cup at The Valley today. Jon Fortune put Charlton 1-0 ahead with a header in the 7th minute, but Orient were very much on top in the last ten minutes of the half when they hit the underside of the crossbar. The visitors equalised in the 53rd minute and Charlton's attempts on goal seemed weak or off target. However, a triple substitution that brought on Smertin, Thomas and Bothroyd spurred Charlton on and only Orient's keeper, praised on this blog in our preview, kept them in the game until Bothroyd scored the winner.

Fortune had to concede an early corner after errors in midfield let Orient advance on goal. However, all this led to was an Orient throw in and as Ambrose advanced down the right, he was fouled, giving Charlton a free kick. This was converted through an emphatic diving header by Fortune which made the score 1-0.

Perhaps this settled the Addicks too much as the best use was not made of a number of chances. Bent put in a good cross which was made use of by Ambrose, resulting in a Charlton corner taken by Ambrose. The ball was played in again after initially being defended and Bartlett's effort was just wide.

Chris Powell put in a good block, but then Orient won a corner but this ended in a Charlton free kick. Ambrose put in another good cross, but there was no one to connect. Orient progressed down the East Stand side through a series of throw ins and eventually won a corner, but this was cleared.

Bent put in a good cross, but the effort by Hughes was poor. He then blasted a shot over. Charlton won a free kick in a promising position, but Ambrose's effort, presumably meant to be a shot, drifted well wide of the goal. Orient put Charlton under considerable pressure in the closing minutes of the game with one shot hitting the bar and another being blazed across the front of goal.

Half time: Addicks 1, O's 0

Orient continued to play with considerable vigour in the second half while Charlton sometime seemed to be too casual. On 53 minutes Steele burst through and although Myhre got a hand to the ball it trickled across the line to make it 1-1. One Orient supporter managed to get over the barrier and was escorted away by stewards.

Kishishev received a yellow card, making his total six for the season. Presumably he will not be available against the Baggies? On 63 minutes Curbs threw caution to the winds and made an inspired triple substitution. Off came Kishishev, Bartlett and Hughes and on came Thomas, Bothroyd and Smertin.

Thomas was soon in the thick of it and showed his intent with a shot that went just wide. A Charlton free kick went off the wall and Orient were awarded a free kick. Bent was hauled down in the area, but referee Wiley saw no cause for complaint. Thomas put in a great shot which drew a incredible save from the Orient keeper.

Charlton won two corners in succession and then Smertin turned provider for Bent, but once again Orient's keeper came to their rescue. Orient were awarded a free kick after one of their players held the ball between his legs on the ground which is surely not permissible.

Orient continued to look dangerous on the break and Fortune had to make a good interception. However, a foul and a free kick allowed Bothroyd to drive a fierce shot along the ground which took a slight deflection and got under the legs of the Orient keeper to make it 2-1. Bothroyd was booked for his enthusiastic celebrations as he took his shirt off and ran to the Charlton bench.

This year I have seen every round of the FA Cup since the First Round (and some of the qualifying rounds as well). I have already seen Orient play in the 2nd round when they defeated Rushden 1-0. In the first round I saw Colchester beat Leamington 9-1. What an irony if the Addicks were now to draw Colchester.

As match ball sponsors Hermann Hreidarrson joined us in our West Stand box to receive his Man of the Match award and a Silver Bone from cup match analyst Monty Martin from Blewbury, Oxon. The excitable spaniel thought that the Herminator never put a foot (or rather a head) wrong during the game. Myhre unforunately made an error for the Orient goal, but was otherwise solid. Fortune scored the opener as predicted by equine magnate John Window and did his job well in defence. Young perhaps did not get as much forward as usual, but was reliable in defence. Powell forged forward well. Kishishev had one of his less good games, making a number of errors, including somehow putting the ball out of play from the opposite side of the pitch. Hughes did not fit in very well on the left and missed a good chance to score. Holland was competent and competitive and it was a worry to see him limping when he left the ground. Ambrose generally performed well, although he was not always prominent. Bartlett did his best which is no longer quite good enough. Bent made some good runs, but never really got himself in a scoring position. Bothroyd scored the winning goal with a fierce shot and that was enough. Smertin showed real skill, evading the Orient defence, keeping possession of the ball and never moving backwards. Thomas was a bundle of trouble to the Orient defence and created real space for himself.

Juneau the Soccer Cat initially gave the Hiss of the Match to Danny Murphy for looking morose by the dressing rooms when Marcus Bent gave us a cheery greeting. However, this hiss has been rescinded and Juneau has been suspended as I have received reliable information that Danny Murphy has encountered a serious family problem with which we should all feel sympathy and means that he is not in a fit state of mind to play. Indeed, I understand that Richard Murray gave a hint to this effect at the annual general meeting ten days ago.

Crowd rating: No surprise that the Orient supporters were up for it and needed no conducting by season ticket holder Andrew Lloyd Webber. Their having part of the East Stand didn't help, but the Addickted's contribution was really quite feeble for much of the match. 4/10.


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