Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I See History Made

The Charlton terrace at Saltergate before most of the Addickted arrived, photo credit Brian Cole

I saw club history made at Chesterfield last night when Charlton advanced to the quarter finals of the league cup for the first time. But they did it only by the skin of their teeth, thanks to two saves by Scotty Carson in the penalty shoot out. It had been 1-1 at half time, 2-2 at full time, the Addicks had gone ahead early in extra time, but then conceded a late goal to make it 3-3, before winning 4-3 on penalties.

It was unusual experience to park up near the ground with no difficulty. Before the match we were treated by a pom pom and dancing display by the 'Spirex' - at least I think that is what they were called.

The Spireites won a corner in the first minute and it was a surreal experience to see the ball put in the net by Larkin for the home side. Carson came out dangerously and exposed his goal but fortunately the home side was unable to take advantage. Marcus Bent jumped well for the ball. Diawara provided good defensive work. The Spireites were being given too much space and a shot went just over the bar.

Charlton put in a free kick, but no one was able to connect. The Herminator was hurt, but recovered. A cross came across the open goal but was missed. Then Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink burst through to make it 1-1. Diawara conceded a corner and Carson fumbled but the Spireit corner was wasted. Diawara put in a great tackle.

We were playing the ball up in the air too much, being dispossessed of the ball too easily and one had the sense that the home side wanted it just that little bit more.

Half time: Spireites 1, Addicks 1

Once again the Spirites won a corner at the beginning of the half and once again they were able to score from a near post header, this time the delivery being by their star striker Caleb Folan.

There was handbags at six paces and Fortune and Folan got booked. A Charlton free kick led to a Charlton corner and then a second go. Luke Young won the Addicks a corner. Reid made an excellent run but put in a poor shot when he could have passed the ball. A tame effort by Kishishev went over.

Iain Dowie decided that the time had come to make some changes and Marcus Bent and Hughes were withdrawn to be replaced by Darren Ambrose and Darren Bent. Carson had to make a save from distance. Charlton won a corner and in the subsequent play Darren Bent put in a shot along the ground that scythed through a mass of the players to put the ball in the net in front of the Addickted on the terrace. They went ballistic and one was escorted out of the ground.

Kishishev was replaced by Faye. A Fortune error put Carson in danger, but he was able to make the save. Darren Bent won the Addicks a corner, followed by a second. Thomas turned provider for Hasselbaink, but giant keeper Roche made a good save with his foot. A Charlton corner led to an effort by Reid.

Chesterfield withdrew Folan and brought on Wayne Allison. In the three minutes added on, Luke Young was called on for good defensive work.

Full time: Spirites 2, Addicks 2

The start of extra time saw the withdrawal of the speedy winger Paul Hall, whom I have seen play in the past for Portsmouth and Rushden, and his replacement by Adam Smith, the Spireites showing real enterprise in resurrecting a long dead Scottish economist to boost their squad.

The nerves of the Addickted were settled early on when Hasselbaink made it 3-2. The keeper subsequently had to save from the striker. The Spireites won a succession of corners, two of which were down to Fortune.

A Spireites corner was caught by Carson. Ambrose made a good run down the wing, but then spoilt things with a poor ball. Reid put in a shot which was inches wide. The Spireites withdrew Colin Larkin and brought on Gareth Davies.

Faye received a yellow card for delaying a free kick. A huge gap appeared in the Charlton defence and substitute Allison was able to make it 3-3.

After extra time: Spirites 3, Addicks 3

The penalties were taken in front of the Kop. The Spirites went ahead, but Darren Bent equalised with ease. Hasselbaink's shot was saved, but Carson saved the next penalty and Reid made it 2-2. A Spireite success, another Carson save and a strike by Ambrose made it 3-3 leaving it to the Herminator to win the match for the Addicks.

Iain Dowie went to applaud the crowd, but someone on the terrace had something derogatory to say to him and it was suggested that the Addicks supremo invited him to continue the conversation outside.

All credit to Chesterfield for their spirited performance, they gave us a lot of trouble, but in the end we were able to win the day.

Match analysis

Senior match analyst Hooch the Pooch has awarded the Silver Bone to Scott Carson for two penalty saves that kept Charlton in the competition. Fortune made a couple of serious errors and generally did not seem to be up to the standard required. Diawara was a real star and was presented a special commemorative silver biscuit by Hooch the Pooch. He seemed to appreciate the 'He comes from Senegal, he really hates Millwall' song. Young made some good runs down the wing and some good defensive contributions. Hreidarsson was full of passion, riled the home crowd in the 'Kop' and scored the winning penalty. Kishishev had a poor night and was eventually substituted. Thomas seemed somewhat subdued in the earlier part of the game, but really came into his own in the second half. Hughes showed one or two of the flashes of quality he sometimes displays against lower league opposition, but they were few and far between. Reid was once again the playmaker, making some great runs on goal and scoring his penalty with aplomb. Marcus Bent's performance was insipid and he was rightly substituted. Hasselbaink scored two goals and you can't ask for more than that, but one sometimes wishes for a greater turn of speed. Faye helped to change the game in favour of the Addicks when he came on. The Spireites blamed Darren Bent for changing the game when he came on and there was no doubting his quality. Ambrose had a couple of excellent runs, but I am not sure that his performance justified the arguments of his advocates.

Hiss of the Match This awarded by Juneau the Soccer Cat to fussy, self-satisfied drainpipe of a referee Old Mother Riley.

Crowd rating: We had a few humourists among us, one of whom brought a smile from Darren Bent when he was a sub by shouting 'Darren, we know the pies in the service station on the way up were no good.' The lino on our side was an offisde enthusiast and was advised not to bend over when he came up our end. The 800 or so Addickted made all the noise they could. 8/10.


Post a Comment

<< Home