Saturday, November 04, 2006

Massive Victory

Even if it did not move them off the bottom of he table, thanks to the suprise victory of the Blades over the Barcodes, Charlton's 1-0 victory over Manchester City at The Valley this afternoon was a massive one. It was the fourth clean sheet in a row and although Charlton still lacked sufficient firepower, Darren Bent's well-taken goal was enough to secure victory.

The Addicks had to absorb a lot of pressure from the Massives in the second half and sometimes defended too deep, but they held the line, even if it sometimes meant clearong off the line! City's corners were particularly threatening in contrast to those of Charlton that were typically tame.

There was a lot of parking warden activity in roads near the grounds a couple of hours before the match and many spaces that were normally filled were empty, but they had disappeared nearer the time of the match and no tickets seem to have been issued. Raucous City fans made us leave the pub earlier than usual and we understand that they later received a visit from the Manchester police.

In the first minute of the game Andy Reid shot just wide after good work by Rommedahl. A good move started by Luke Young ended in an unproductive Charlton corner. Carson spilled a City corner and there was danger in front of goal which led to a second City corner which resulted in a Charlton throw in. Rommedahl burst through and won Charlton a corner.

Rommedahl turned provider for Reid who drew a save. Reid put a good ball in, but Darren Bent just failed to connect. A City corner led to a Richards header, but Thomas cleared off the line. On 28 minutes Thomas put in a great ball to Bent who put his diving header beyond Weaver at the far post to make it 1-0.

Bent turned provider for Reid, but his effort went over. El Karkouri delivered a great tackle to deny the maruading Dickov, but this led to three City corners in succession. Darren Bent seemed to receive an elbow and required treatment. As half time approached, Samaras put in a fierce shot but Carson flung himself at the ball to make a brilliant save.

Half time: Addicks 1, Massives 0

The injured Rommedahl was withdrawn at the start of the half and replaced by Bryan Hughes. Carson had to dive at the feet of Beasley to make a save. Beasley injured himself and was replaced by Vassell. Reid positioned himself well to put in a good drive which required Weaver to excel himself. The ball went to Bent, but his effort was also dealt with by the popular keeper.

City made a double substitution on 63 minutes with Trabelsi replacing Dickov and Corradi coming on for Samaras. El Karkouri received a yellow for a foul. A City free kick led to a corner. Hreidarsson provided good defensive work, blunting a City attack at the expense of a throw in.

A City corner was caught by Carson. Diawara displayed his defensive abilities. After a good move started by Reid, Bent put in a shot that was just wide of the post. Popular Millwall reject Thatcher received a yellow card for a foul on Faye. Carson had to make another great save, this time from Corradi. Trabelsi put in a dangerous shot from distance that came off the post, enabling Carson to make the save.

A City corer went straight into the side netting to derisive jeers. Reid received a standing ovation when he was replaced on 87 minutes by Hasselbaink. Luke Young was called on to provide good defensive work. A City free kick was saved. The four minutes of time added on seemed like an eternity, but Bent turned provider for Hasselbaink, but his header drifted wide. Then the whistle blew and the Addickted were able to celebrate.

Match analysis

Hooch the Pooch awarded the Silver Bone to Scott Carson (9) for some brilliant saves that kept Charlton in the match. Other scores that will appear in The Observer tomorrow are: Young, 6 did what he had to do well, but not prominent.El Karkouri, 7 he made some really good interventions. Diawara, 8 authoritative, not afriad to do the simple thing, the best central defender we have had since Rufus. Hreidarsson, 6 not that involved, be interesting to see what happens when Gibbs, Traore and Sorondo are available. Faye, 6 showed some nice touches and generally did his job well, but not a dominant influence. Rommedahl, 7 gave Charlton an ability to penetrate the Massives defence in the first half. Thomas, 6 had a considerable influence in the first half, but faded in the second and possibly should have been substituted. Reid, 8 a real playmaker and a threat on goal himself. Holland, 6 Kappachino Kid thought that he had an outstanding game, I thought that he simply maintained the improved standard he has show in recent matches. Bent, 7 goal was excellent, but was often isolated on his own up front. Hughes, 5 apart from one clearing header, contributed very little, but could come into his own at Chesterfield. Hasselbaink had a short cameo during which he failed to take a scoring opportunity, but I am not going to write him off yet.

Hiss of the Match This was awarded by Juneau the Soccer Cat to lippy Dickov for his constant harangues of the unusually competent officials.

Crowd rating: In the second half the crowd had great fun with City keeper Nicky Weaver including chants of 'Who's the self abuser in the green' and 'Rent boy'. Apparently we have been voted the quietest crowd in the Premiership and we were subdued in the first half. 7/10.


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