Saturday, August 26, 2006

Carson and Bent the heroes of the day

Darren Bent and young goalkeeper Scott Carson were the heroes of the day in Charlton's important 2-0 victory over Bolton at The Valley which lifted them off the bottom of the table. Carson saved a Bolton penalty in the second half which if it had gone in would have probably led to the visitors taking the points. Bent went on to score the two goals, one from a penalty and one from open play.

It was a dramatic day at The Valley with Hermann Hreidarsson sent off in the first half, a Charlton goal disallowed and Bolton charm merchant Kevin Davies sent off in the second half. During the long period when it was ten men against eleven the Addicks contained Bolton well and the result must be a confidence booster both for the team and for the fans.

Going into the ground I bought with some reluctance the new square (or officially 'rectangle' programme). It's not a format I like and it seems to have been adopted in part because of a fashion among Premiership clubs. Former programme editor Rick Everitt, normally no shrinking violent in these matters, has refused to comment.

Charlton won a series of corners in the early part of the game, one leading to an effort by Traore that was way over. However, Bolton showed that they could be dangerous with one break leading to a corner for them.

Stelios 'my name is too big for my shirt' then broke through down the right and was 1 on 1 with Carson. However, Stelios hesitated while he lined up his perfect shot and composed a letter to his mother to tell her about it and Bryan Hughes was able to intervene to save the day at the expense of a Bolton corner. However, Hughes then blotted his copybook by making an error in dealing with the corner which then required a panic clearance.

The Herminator and Davies were spoken to by referee Dean in a foretaste of what was to come. At this stage of the game I felt that we were falling back into the error of trying to deliver long balls to Darren Bent.

Charlton forged through and Darren Ambrose delivered the ball into the back of the net, but the joy of the Addickted was short lived as the lino raised his flag for offside. I'm sure I saw an elbow used on El Karkouri, but the referee ignored it. Stelios had by now finished composing the letter to his mother and put in an effort which went just past the post.

Hreidarsson was then sent off for use of the elbow, somewhat ironic given that Davies had earlier used the elbow on him without punishment. Given our current defensive problems, his ban will cause us difficulties. Diouf was given a yellow card for tripping.

A Reid free kick led to a Charlton corner. From the resultant throw in, Hughes put in an effort which was on target and required a save from Jaaskelainen in the Bolton goal. Darren Ambrose was withdrawn in favour of Kishishev, the occasion calling for his battling qualities, although some of the Addickted would have preferred to substitute Hughes.

Half time: Addicks 0, Whites 0

El Karkouri put a Charlton free kick just over. Faye brought down Pedersen in the area and could have been given a red card rather than a yellow, but referee Dean showed restraint. Diouf's penalty was well saved by Carson who then kicked the ball out of danger, a turning point in the match.

Reid was brought down and Stelios was given a yellow card, something else for his letter home. Ben Haim tugged Bent's shirt in the area and Charlton were awarded a penalty and the Israeli a yellow card. Jaaskelainen looked as if someone had burnt down his sauna and Bent calmly stepped up and struck a fierce ball into the back of the net, making it 1-0 on 65 minutes. Stelios was withdrawn to continue his compositional efforts and Ricardo Té was brought on in his place.

Bolton were awarded a free kick to the left of the area in a potentially dangerous position, but the authoritative Traore cleared. Davies used the elbow on Traore, although Allerdyce later tried to claim that he was 'leveraging' himself. Dean showed him the red card and Nolan got shown a yellow card for dissent. Bolton made two more substitutions shortly afterwards.

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink's determination combined with Darren Bent's skill as the striker scored an excellent goal through the keeper's legs. Kish put in a good block. There was still time in the closing minutes of the game for Carson to make an excellent finger tip save.

Apologies to those of you were expecting to read comments from Hooch the Pooch in The Observer this morning, but he came up against a sub-editor who could not cope with all the barking.

Scott Carson received his first ever Silver Bone from match analyst Hooch the Pooch for an excellent performance in goal. Hreidarsson played well before he was sent off. El Karkouri was generally good but occasionally threw caution to the winds in a way that gave rise to concern. Young was solid and made some important interventions. I was impressed with Traore who showed skill and commitment. Ambrose has the ability to run creatively with the ball rather than simply pass it, but was substituted before he could make a real impression. Reid looks like he could be the kind of creative midfield player we had been looking for with a cultured left boot. Faye is not a player you notice a lot, but he did what he had to do, particularly when we were down to ten men. Hughes is not as bad as the moaners suggest and did make one important clearance in front of goal. Hasselbaink set up the Bent goal from open play. Bent does what we ask him to do, score goals, indeed he is the only Charlton goalscorer this year. Kishishev was generally reliable when he came on and did what was asked of him. Holland and Marcus Bent had cameo appearances, although it was good to see Bent chasing the ball.

Hiss of the March: There was no hesitation in the decision of Juneau the Soccer Cat to award it to referee Mike Dean who left little doubt where his sympathies were in the earlier part of the match.

Crowd rating: Nervous and edgy at first, but got behind the team more as the game went on. 7/10.


Blogger beauzo said...

Pretty much in accordance with your summary. Ambrose's replacement was greeted with hostility from my environs of the Upper West but maybe just maybe Mssrs Dowie, Read & Robson have a notion what they're at. For me Faye was unrecognisable from the bollard of Wednesday evening, with the majority of the match played out in front of him he was much more valuable and inclined to involve himself. I'm not convinced he is a centre back but certainly appeared able to concentrate for the hour or so. It was very refreshing to see 2 strikers retained after Herman's dismissal and heres hoping Reid's enthusiasm and efforts remain at such a level should his place in the side become regular. My abiding reservation is that even against 10 Bolton threatened little and showed few ideas' it's a little unfortunate there is now a break.

10:38 AM  

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