Saturday, February 18, 2006

Addicks through to quarter finals

Charlton won through to the quarter finals of the FA Cup with a 3-1 win over Brentford at The Valley today. It was a clinical, efficient, risk free performance, boosted by a goal after 3 minutes from Darren Bent. When the Bees got their consolation goal after 83 minutes they looked dangerous for a while and hit the post. But in general, the difference in class told and Brentford actually looked less of a threat than Orient. What did Martin Allen mean when after the game he said that they had tried to frustrate Charlton by allowing them possession?

In some ways it was a case of Roland Rat being caught in his own trap. The man who brought Roland Rat to British television, Greg Dyke, is now non-executive chairman of Brentford and had been giving it large in the run up to the game. One almost felt that the Brentford fans and team had started to believe their own propaganda. Indeed, they were so worked up that it all went off after an argument between a Bee and a steward in the East Stand and several Brentford fans were carried struggling to the exit. (In all there were 21 ejections and two arrests for public order offences). However, the Bees can now focus on their hopes of promotion to the Championship, while Charlton have kept their season alive for a little longer.

Charlton needed to take command with an early goal. On three minutes Kishishev flicked a high ball with the back of his heel, the Brentford defence seemed to be motionless and Bent was able to evade the battling Sodje and the much vaunted Turner (a good League 1 or possibly lower Championship player in my view and not much more). Controlling the ball well, he put it decisively past former Hucknall Town ace Stuart Nelson. That for me exemplified the difference in class between League One and the Premiership. It killed any headlines about there being no difference despite the two league gap - if there was no difference everyone would be saving themselves some money and watching League One.

Of course, Brentford might pose a danger from set pieces and the Bees were awarded a dubious free kick by Old Mother Riley after a Charlton player went for the ball. Smertin had a good run through the heart of the Bees defence. Bothroyd picked up a yellow card for a foul. Owusu advanced on goal, but put his header well wide. Jerome Thomas got a yellow card for over vigorous tackling.

The Herminator missed a good chance and gave the ball away by taking a free kick too quickly. Then two minutes before half time Bees captain Ricky Newman blatantly fouled Bryan Hughes in the D. Kish did a little flick to his left, allowing Bothroyd to drill in his shot through the wall. In the time added on, the irrepressible Hughes won Charlton a corner which was tipped over by the keeper, but there was no time to take the second corner.

Half time: Addicks 2, Bees 0

Brentford took off Tillen and brought on Brooker after the break. A Charlton free kick by Thomas was intercepted by the alert Perry who found space to put in a testing header which the keeper initially spilled but then managed to hold.

Brentford had a break, but Myhre made the save without too many problems. Luke Young advanced on goal and put in a shot that was just over. He gets in good shooting positions quite often and perhaps should take extra shooting practice at Sparrows Lane. Brentford took off the hapless Newman and brought on Isaiah Rankin.

Bent won the Addicks a corner through Bent and after it was played back in danger man Pery just failed to connect. Bothroyd, always at the risk of a second booking, was taken off and replaced by Bartlett. Immediately he played a good ball through to Hughes who showed no hesitation in driving it through Nelson's legs.

After this Charlton did tend to coast a little, while Martin Allen continued to jump up and down and rant and rave, assisted by the fan who had won a day out in the dugout. I am always doubtful how much effect this sort of conduct has. Either the players don't notice at all or, if they do, it distracts them.

Luke Young put in another shot on goal. After Brentford made their last substitution, Ambrose was replaced by Kishishev. A free kick was awarded against Chris Powell and Myhre had to tip the effort from Tabb over the bar. Brentford continued to show a 'never say die' attitude and their reward came when Smertin failed to clear a long throw, former Gooner Rankin turned well and put in a low shot past Myhre. Brentford then managed to get a shot off the post from a corner, but the Addicks held on for a comfortable victory.

As one Charlton fan with a young family pointed out in a call to 606, it's a shame that the next round is going to be midweek.

Saturday saw the launch of a new fanzine Valley View. At the moment it's probably closer to Valley Floyd Road than Goodbye Horse or Voice of the Valley in terms of quality of content and presentation, but congratulations to the editor on starting a fanzine again - it's very hard work. It will be interesting to see how it develops.

Match analysis

This was a strong team performance and our third string match analyst Monty Martin was hard pressed to select the winner of the Silver Bone. He used the option to call a friend and top dog Hooch the Pooch thought three players were in it: Kish, Jerome Thomas and Bryan Hughes. For a disciplined and skilled performance throughout and a very well taken goal, Monty awarded the Silver Bone to Bryan Hughes. Myhre had little to do, but was not able to keep a clean sheet. Chris Powell showed once again that his ability to anticipate play more than compensates for any lack of pace. Luke Young had a good game that included two decent attempts on goal. Perry showed his professionalism again and was also hungry for a goal. Hreidarsson used his head effectively to clear any danger. Kishishev battled away and made only one major error. Smertin was a prime example of the difference in class between the two sides. Thomas was a dangerous lurking presence on the wing, forging forward well. Bothroyd did one of his trademark kicks along the ground to net the second goal. Bent took his goal well and managed to create space for himself to threaten Brentford. Bartlett gave an assist that led to the third goal the moment he came on, but was not much in evidence after that. Ambrose was a real threat when he came on and made some excellent surging runs forward. Holland had a cameo role.

Hiss of the Match This was given by Juneau the Soccer Cat to the Brentford fan who ran on the pitch before the game started, thus denying himself the chance of seeing the ball kicked.

Crowd rating: Much was made by the Brentford fans of the lack of sound from Charlton, but at least we do not (usually) sing 'the greatest team the world has ever seen.' I thought we were quite vocal. 7/10.


Blogger Kappacino Kid said...

Brentford fans were receiving a lot of plaudits today for their support of the team, however there has been little mention of the behyaviour of the fans, the like of which has not been seen at the valley for many years. I cannot remmeber seeing so many ejections, nor fans running down from the back of the stand to get at the stewards, I am sure this was not the reaction of the majority of brentford fans, ,but as ever the minority ruin it for the majority.

9:23 PM  

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