Sunday, January 01, 2006

Year's end brings hope

2005 was not the best of years for the Addickted, but the end of the year brought renewed hope. After a spirited performance against Arsenal, Charlton defeated West Ham 2-0 at The Valley yesterday to gain a valuable three points that put some distance between them and the cluster of teams beneath thm.

Charlton were under pressure for the first twenty minutes of the game, but they held out, and once they went ahead on 21 minutes through Shaun Bartlett they were more composed and in charge of the game. Darren Bent's superb 62nd minute goal put the game beyond any real doubt, apart from among the more nervous Addickted.

What remains to be seen is whether they can follow through against Everton tomorrow and handle a tricky cup match against Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday. As someone said in the pub afterwards, Charlton are a secure mid-table club trying to move to the next level of top ten club with a chance of Europe and they are not finding the transition easy.

Match analysis

The Association of Canine Match Analysts made their contribution by bringing in Homer the Cherry Hound as match analyst and the lucky labrador chose Radostin Kishishev to win the Silver Bone to accompany his Player of the Month award voted for by the fans. Kishishev had one of his best games for a long time, not only breaking up attacks but making some good passes. In part this may have been because he was relieved of the responsibility to feed Murphy.
The fans sang 'There's only one Thomas Myhre' and he responded by urging them on. He made an excellent save from Shaun Newton to prevent the score going to 1-1.Chris Powell had a good game at left back, providing a pin point cross for the second goal.Luke Young foraged forward well and made some excellent tackles in defence. Hreidarsson seemed comfortable enough in central defence and had a number of attempts on goal from set pieces. Fortune was caught out a couple of times, but also provided some good defensive work. Holland was involved and generally quite effective, without being brilliant. Roomedahl was at his best in the first half, making some great runs forward, but faded somewhat in the second half. He had a number of attempts on goal but lacked sufficient accuracy.
Hughes was again one of the least strong players on the pitch, but he made some neat passing moves and released Powell to set up the second goal. Bartlett has a great work rate and helped in defence as well as in attack. Arguably, he could have added to his tally, but his goal was superb. Bent once again showed that he could seize goal scoring opportunities and was more than ready to get stuck in. Which is more than could be said of Lisbie when he came on as a substitute. Although he did make an effort, with his best effort just wide, his lazy trait was also apparent.

Hiss of the Match Guest Hiss of the Match analyst Arthur Hands was puzzled by the whiff of methane drifting across the pitch at the beginning of the match, but was told that referee Graham Poll from Planet Tring required methane assisted breathing. However, the methane-oxygen mix must have been right as, apart from denying a clear corner after a finger tip save by Carroll from Rommedahl, he generally had a good game. The ginger moggie therefore gave the hiss to the RMT Union for creating uncertainity about travel arrangements.

Crowd rating Got in great voice in the second half, but still need to more vocal when the team is doing less well. 6/10.


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