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By: David Hatch

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Wednesday, 30-Jan-2008 02:40 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Rising optimism

CAFC 1 Stoke 0, 29/01/2008
With only ten minutes or so to go the match was still goalless and what seemed like a reasonable penalty claim by Charlton was turned down. At that point it seemed that Charlton's consistent pressure would go unrewarded, but then Lloyd Sam bundled the ball over the line to general jubilation. If we carry on like this we might even claw our way into an automatic promotion place.

The entertainment tonight was pretty well continuous, with the home crowd constantly a-buzz with excitement. The villain of the night was the referee, who did his reputation no good at all when he enraged the locals by awarding a goal kick instead of a Charlton corner. Still it goes to show that the officials can't spot everything.

To his credit the ref did spot some first half timewasting by the visiting goalie, and he added a full three minutes of addition time at the end of the first half, even though there had been no goals, substitutions or injuries.

Again, recruiting visiting supporters for the matchday photo was straightforward. Word seems to have spread in the Championship about our initiative, which is now in its sixth season, and so there's not much explaining to do when approaching visitors, thank heavens!

Stoke's supporters must have had very real hopes of an away point for all of the match, which must have made their long midweek journey to The Valley seem fairly worthwhile!


Saturday, 12-Jan-2008 23:43 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Interesting times

CAFC 4 Blackpool 1, 12/01/2008
We really don't know what to expect from our team any more, but at least match days are more 'interesting' than they were as we fell away in the Premiership.

In the event, we were two up after only ten minutes, only to lose a goal in the 12th minute to the best strike of the game to open everything up again. Blackpool steadied their ship with a change in formation, but couldn't avoid going in at half time 3-1 down. As the match progressed Charlton steadily improved and the crowd began to relax, taking the opportunity to chant in praise of Kelly Youga. Good though he was it seemed to go a little to his head with a bit of Jerome Thomas-style showboating, which I'd hope Pardew will discourage.

My man of the match was Luke Varney, who never stopped running and who caused all sorts of problems for the visitors. But Matt Holland deserves recognition for some excellent captaincy.

Blackpool also deserve credit for never giving up. They kept their heads when the tide was running against them and remained disciplined throughout. You have to feel sorry for Paul Rachubka, their goalie - he made a string of great saves but was still beaten four times.

The match was played in good spirit and there was an excellent turnout by Blackppol supporters. I'd hope that they'll stay up this season, as it'd be nice to welcome them to the Rose of Denmark again next season.

That's right - in spite of this win I can't see us going up this season


Sunday, 6-Jan-2008 13:03 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Ex-employees thrive

CAFC 1 Colchester 2, 01/01/2008
My apologies to the Colchester fans for the late appearance of the Members of the Opposition photo, but I've only just back from a New Year's holiday in a sunnier part of the world than London SE7

I've missed a few games this season, but due to our rotten away form I don't think I've yet missed a win, unlike last season when I unfortunately missed our thrashing of West Ham.

Of course, there will have been very few Addicks who won't have expected Lisbie to score - something he was remarkably incapable if doing for us apart from on one single, untypical afternoon against Liverpool long ago. But then again, I'm still just a bit niggled that Curbs, who consistently fell short in matches between us and ManU, has now presided over three West Ham defeats of Ferguson's team - grrrrr!

Still, at least there's no shortage of excitement this season, which is something it was hard to say about Curbs' last year at the helm.


Sunday, 23-Dec-2007 03:09 Email | Share | | Bookmark

CAFC 1 Hull 1, 22/12/2007
A pleasingly large group of exuberant Hull fans volunteered themselves for the matchday photo, and I'm sure that a couple of hours later they will have thought themselves unlucky not to have taken all three points.

An agreeably boisterous pre-match session in the Rose of Denmark was followed by a scrappy, bad-tempered match at The Valley that seemed out of tune with the approaching festive season.

An unfortunate pattern of recent games continued, in which the referee was initially content to either ignore or tolerate foul play, leading to score-settling amongst the players that eventually led to him nearly losing control of the game. And once he started waving cards he could hardly stop.

It's becoming increasingly clear that automatic promotion is beyond our grasp and that, even if we are promoted, we'll drop straight back as we did in 1999. But my guess is that we'll miss out on promotion and won't be able to take advantage of those free season tickets for next season


Sunday, 9-Dec-2007 02:31 Email | Share | | Bookmark
'Two up and we're playing at home!'

CAFC 3 Ipswich 1, 8/12/2007
Three of us had our daughters with us on Saturday, which changed the pre-match atmosphere a little. Mine was resolutely determined not to go to the game and stuck to her decision in spite of the cold, wet weather

These days it's very hard to predict how a Charlton game will go, but as a general rule very few of us opt for a home defeat when laying our £1 pre-match bet. I went for 2-0 and after half an hour I was starting to hope that there would be no more goals. That lasted less than ten minutes

We were doing so well that the North Stand started chanting, ''Two up and we're playing at home!', due to us having lost four of our previous five home games. However, in the second half Ipswich got themselves sorted out and played much better, scoring with 20 minutes to go.

It was an absolutely bitter day, but the match gave us plenty to distract us. And when the visiting supporters chanted 'We're going to win 4-3' in the second half there was a ripple of appreciative and sympathetic applause in the home areas - we've sung that song a few times ourselves!


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