Sunday, February 12, 2006

Bent double not enough

Erith Addick Paul May reports from the Blue Camp

With Chris Perry hit by an illness and Jonathan Fortune still injured, Talal El Karkouri returned to the Charlton side facing the Massives at the City of Manchester Stadium. El Karkouri had to make an early clearance from defence. Sinclair put in a dangerous cross and the Addicks defence looked a little taken by surprise. The corner was unproductive for the home side. Neither side really sparkled in the opening phase on this miserable wet afternoon in Manchester.

The two Bents combined well, but the attack fizzled out. Charlton conceded another corner off Hreidarrson after Barton hit a ball over the top. However, his corner went out for a goal kick. Sinclair threatened danger down the right, evading Young, and the move ended with a corner off Kishishev, but this led to nothing.

Darren Bent got caught offside. Kishishev put in a decent cross, but it was cleared away. The Addicks started to put a couple of attacks together, but Kish put the ball well over the bar. Thomas got away from Sinclair well and launched an attack using triangular passes, but one went astray for a City throw in.

Spector dealt effectively with a City attack, but they got the ball again and the Addicks were under some pressure, leading to a corner conceded by Hughes. The ball came back in again, and with all the Charlton players back in the box, Dunn scored with a right footed volley that went through three Addicks to score his first goal of the season and make it 1-0 to City.

Thomas put in a shot but it was saved by James. Young put in a good tackle and Charlton broke away, but Kish's cross was intercepted. Myhre dealt effectively with a cross. Kish gave the ball away, but Myhre was able to recover the situation. Smertin fed Marcus Bent and with James caught out of position the shot went just wide.

A hand ball by Vassell was ignored and instead City got a free kick for a challenge by Thomas. In the subsequent play, Myhre had to dive to his right and concede a corner, even though the ball might have gone out for a goal kick. Darren Bent surged forward and was fouled, leading to a Charlton free kick. A shot by Marcus Bent was just wide of goal, but James was well placed anyway.

The Addicks won a free kick for a foul on Smertin, but Barton headed it away. Richards put in an effort that was well wide. The Massives had a free kick 25 yards from goal but Barton kicked it into Row Z. There was a minute of stoppage time, although there had been no stoppages, so I suppose every half has to be at least 46 minutes. No one could really complain about the score on the balance of play, although City were not that marvellous. The body language of the Charlton players was not inspiring as they walked off. But it's difficult to get back from being 1-0 down away in the Premiership.

Half time: Massives 1, Addicks 0

Trevor Sinclair was taken off, presumably because of an injury and Samaras came on to replace him. Hughes started a Charlton attack, but Richards got the ball off Darren Bent as he forged forward. Young and Smertin combined well and the Hughes and Marcus Bent. Smertin put in a shot which Dunn cleared away. Then El Karkouri put in a cross and Darren Bent scored his 16th goal of the season, a wonderful shot. Will he still be with us after this season?

The Charlton lead lasted only a few minutes. Barton put in a cross and Samaras made it 2-1 with a powerful header which bounced on the goal line on its way past Myhre. It was the first goal by the expensive signing for the Massives.

Referee Dean played advantage for a Hughes handball. A City attack was dealt with by the Herminator. A free kick from 25 yards had to be tipped over the bar by Myhre. The corner was headed away by Marcus Bent, but the ball was played back in.

Samaras went down theatrically from an El Karkouri challenge and won a free kick for City. An attempt by Vassell came off Luke Young. Charlton were having difficulty clearing their lines and Barton made it 3-1 with a shot from distance into the top corner, leaving Myhre with no chance.

Samaras made a late challenge on Spector, but no action was taken. A free kick by El Karkouri went well over the City crossbar. Luke Young found some space on the right, Kishishev put in a quality cross and Marcus Bent headed the ball into the net to make it 3-2.

Vassell was taken off and replaced by Sibierski. City won a free kick 25 yards out.
It came off the wall and Thomas broke forward, but should perhaps have tried a direct approach rather than going out to the wing. Samaras was in a good position but the Greek shot well wide.

Hughes made a dangerous pass back. Curbs went for a triple attacking substitution. Ambrose replaced Thomas, Bothroyd replaced Hughes and Smertin was replaced by Euell. Bothroyd went up front with Darren Bent and Marcus Bent went on the right. Hreidarsson put in an attempt which flashed past the post.

Myhre had to put a header over after a City free kick, giving City a corner which was poor but Euell's clearance went behind for a second. This was well defended, but City somehow managed to win a third through a deflection. Bothroyd was kept up field to provide an outlet, contrary to usual practice.

Cole signalled to the bench that he could not continue and as he hobbled off Ireland replaced him. Barton had an opportunity but failed to control the ball. A foul on Samaras led to a free kick for City 25 yards out, but the ball was cleared upfield.

City won a corner as the clock ticked away with five minutes of normal time left. Euell put an awkward ball forward which Dunn had to clear at the expense of a Charlton throw in.

City fans were anxious as Charlton increased the pressure. The Addicks won a corner.
James got a fist to the ball. Eventually there was an offside decision in favour of City.

James had to make a brilliant save to deny a superb goal bound shot from El Karkouri.
Three minutes of time were added on, but City won a corner, enabling them to employ delaying tactics. The Massives started to whistle frantically as Charlton won a throw in. City managed to hang on.

After a somewhat insipid first half, the Addicks played much better in the second. Curbs tried to go for the equaliser with his triple substitution, but it was not to be. No points, but no disgrace.


Blogger Danny Pugsley said...

A less than massive performance but three points nonetheless, which would have been far more comfortable but for conceding a sloppy second goal.
A less than massive Charlton presence at the massive stadium also.

10:22 PM  
Blogger colin from welling said...

"No points, but no disgrace"

Do me a favour, we were woeful in the first half, worse than, not as bad as City - no cutting edge going forward and defensively we looked like we we'd never played together.

Sure, a much improved second half performance which yielded two quality goals was a big positive but the scoreline of 3-2 means the game was lost in the first half and Curbs needs to drive this point home to the players.

Also, Samaras' goal aside, their two goals were avoidable had the defence been awake. I'm fed up conceding goals in the way we did with Dunne's goal, we need to wake up.

10:56 AM  

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