Friday, March 24, 2006

Charlton fight to play another day

Charlton's name will go into the semi-final draw for the FA Cup today, but alongside Middlesbrough after a 0-0 draw at The Valley. It was a pulsating, end-to-end match. I haven't read what the moaners have to say yet, but it would difficult to question the fighting spirit of the Charlton team, even if their skill sometimes let them down. Particularly in the first half, the Addicks had a number of chances to score, but the ball did not find the back of the net, although it should be noted that Boro's shooting was often very wayward.

Our journey to The Valley was marred by some sort of incident at Waterloo East which meant that a number of Charlton bound trains were cancelled. The train we were on was so crowded that it was difficult to shut the doors and several minutes were spent at each stop.

There was an early moment of danger when Boro were presented with a free header, but they were unable to make use of it. Luke Young was obliged to concede a corner to Boro. Boro looked dangerous on the break and won a corner that way.

Great work by Matt Holland allowed him to put in a shot from distance which was not far wide of the post. Darren Bent put in a good cross but it was gathered by Schwarzer in the Boro goal. Thomas fed Bent and the move resulted in the first corner for the Addicks.

Kishishev put in a good cross. Darren Bent was brought down on the edge of the D and the free kick was well struck by the Herminator but saved on the line by Schwarzer. A Boro free kick was punched out by Myhre leading to one of Boro's wild shots. Thomas and Bent continued to combine well. Kishishev had a chance in front of goal, but he blasted the ball over. Thomas won Charlton another corner.

Hughes fed Bartlett well, but the ball went just wide with Schwarzer requiring treatment. A Boro free kick was conceded in a dangerous position by Chris Powell.

Half time: Addicks 0, Boro 0

Hreidarsson was called on for good defensive work early in the half. A Boro free kick went over. Darren Bent burst forward but had no support. A good Charlton build up was wasted when Holland send the ball off. Kishishev was taken off and Rommedahl replaced him.

A free kick for a handball against Boro on the edge of the area was wasted. Rommedahl put in a shot that was just over the bar. Bartlett was taken off and replaced by Bothroyd. Schwarzer had to make a save from Hughes. The game continued to be played at a high pace and there were fewer early leavers than usual. However, it was increasingly evident that neither side was going to score even though Boro won two corners in the four minutes of added time.

Match analyst Monty Martin awarded the Silver Bone to Chris Powell. The former England international put in a performance that was both spirited and skilled, acknowledged by the crowd chanting his name during a break in play. Myhre kept another clean sheet, although he was rarely tested. Young forged forward well and nearly created a goal similar to that he scored against Liverpool. Perry was once again Mr Dependable in the heart of the defence. Hreidarrson provided his trademark defensive headers and was not far off scoring twice. Kishishev battled away with verve and determination, but sometimes his skill level let him down, not least in front of goal. Holland played above his usual level and also came close to scoring. Hughes played a sublime pass one minute and a dreadful one the next. Thomas was considered for the Silver Bone, showing great skill on the wing and often evading the Boro defence. Bartlett was competent and persistent, without ever really shining.
Bent got caught by the offside trap more than once and was not able to use his best chance. Rommedahl added his pace when he came on and put in a shot that was not far over the bar. In contrast Bothroyd did not really add all that much, lacking the pace to seize opportunities.

Juneau the Soccer Cat has awarded the Hiss of the Match to charm merchant Downing for mouthing off at both the lino and the referee for no reason at all.

Crowd rating The crowd responded to the occasion and really got behind the team. 8/10.


Blogger Kappacino Kid said...

Driving home from the match last night5 - Lives match reporter stated that this was a dull 0-0 draw, so I was gratified to read this report. Tony Christie's much derieded appearance (pre match) proved to be a hit with the crowd and wasthere to start the atmosphere which reminded me of the 1st year Prem atmosphere, so maybe some of the diehards were able to get tickets. Every player was a hero last night and we have all seen a good few games since Christmas where we have played a lot worse and come out winners, including a game against Boro. we are by no means out of this tie, with boro playing twice a week between now and my wedding aniversary (12th April - never been a lucky day for me!!!!). we now have to repeat the atmosphere and the team tenacity on Sunday - remember folks clocks change and the kick off is 2 not 3, get those two wrong and we will be passing you as we leave the ground.

10:07 AM  

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