Monday, April 17, 2006

Deano, Deano, What's the Score?

This was the chant of the Addickted as Charlton went from 1-0 behind at The Valley against Portsmouth to score two goals in the last fifteen minutes and win three points that took them above Everton in the Premiership. So-called journeyman Bryan Hughes scored the first goal, his fifth of the season, making use of an assist from Darren Bent and then new forward Hermann Hreidarsson released Darren Bent to enable him to score his 17th league goal of the season.

Although neither side dominated the first half, Portsmouth had the edge and at one time look threatening with three corners in succession. Holland found himself in a promising position as a result of a good build up but put in a tame shot which did not test Kiely.

Marcus Bent pulled up having clearly injured his leg and had to be taken off and replaced by Bothroyd. While trying to stop Portsmouth winning a corner, Spector went down injured and had to be stretchered off, Sankofa replacing him (or 'Os' as he is known to the Charlton bench).

Portsmouth applied pressure with two corners, one of which had to be cleared off the line. But then D'Allesandro found himself unmarked and, although seemingly carrying some weight, the Argentinian put in a stinging shot that found the back of the net to make it 0-1 to Pompey.

Charlton seemed short of ideas about how to respond, although Sankofa put in a good cross but there was no one there to take advantage of it.

Half time: Addicks 0, Pompey 1

Ambrose was brought on for Thomas at the start of the second half, but Charlton still seemed disjointed. However, Bryan Hughes signalled his intentions with an effort that was not far off.

Charlton won two corners in succession, but then Kish tried to do a dummy that didn't work and Pompey were able to launch a counter attack. Ambrose won the Addicks a free kick, but Deano was able to make the save.

Then just as the Addickted were losing all hope of getting even a point, Hughes scored his goal. At the other end of the pitch, the Herminator was injured.

This led to Curbs losing it with the crowd, as reported by our West Stand correspondent. It was decided to use the Herminator to make a nuisance of himself up front, a role he performed admirably. However, one idiot spectator behind the dugout bellowed out, 'Why's he playing up front?' Curbs turned round and retorted, 'Because he's ****ing injured'. 'Why don't you sub him?', yelled the genius supporter. 'Because then we'd be playing with ten men'.

Chris Powell was unnecessarily fouled off the ball by substitute Azar Karadas, the charm merchant receiving a yellow card. Then, released by the Herminator, Darren Bent burst through to make it 2-1.

Deano had to make a save from Ambrose. Deano's kicking out seem to have miraculously improved, but he did manage to kick one out of play. Portsmouth continued to show an ability to threaten, with one shot going just over the crossbar. Ambrose broke through and should have scored, but Deano made the save.

Portsmouth continued to threaten in the three minutes of time added on, winning a corner. However, Bothroyd put in a shot that was just wide. Some would think Charlton fortunate to get the three points, but we haven't had much luck recently so I'm not complaining.

Match analysis

It was a novel experience for match analyst Hooch the Pooch when he awarded the Silver Bone to the first Uruguyan ever to win it, Gonzalo Sorondo for a faultless defensive performance which included some excellent headers. The Uruguyan, who has expressed a wish to remain at The Valley, described the award as 'a charming ceremony'.

Myhre was caught out by the Portsmouth goal, but it was not easy to defend. Spector was as disappointing as ever until he succumbed to a broken collar bone. Chris Powell was his usual bright and confident self. Hreidarsson played well, but had his most impressive spell when he was moved up to a forward position. Kishishev made one bad error, but generally contributed well. Holland was relatively anonymous. Hughes took his goal well. Thomas was clearly out of sorts for whatever reason before he was taken off at half time. We didn't see much of Marcus Bent before he went off injured, but what we did see was not impressive.
Darren Bent lacked service for much of the game, but seized his chance to score when it came. Bothroyd is basically a bit of a lump who tries to get into the game but not to any great effect. Sankofa did not disappoint his many admirers when he came on and, although understandably a little nervous at first, soon gained in confidence. Ambrose hustled and bustled, but missed a great chance to score.

Juneau the Soccer Cat has awarded the Hiss of the Match to Harry Redknapp who had to be spoken to by the referee and then later restrained as he ran along the touchline out of his technical area.

Crowd rating: Portsmouth have a strong reputation for noisy, mindless chanting but we could have done better to counter them even if the fare served up was disappointing for much of the match. 3/10.


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