Sunday, 25 January 2009

Cup aftermath

Well no need to bother with listening in to the fifth round draw. We slipped out very predictably at Bramall Lane yesterday. Conceding the inevitable first during the opening period it was game over after 25 minutes. I have seen the goal on the box this morning and it has to be a fluke. Danny Webber is claiming he had spotted Rob Elliott coming for crosses early so was deliberate in going for goal. Elliott says it took a deflection from Yassin's closing challenge. Either way, it was lucky and yet another gifted lead we have been surrendering during the last three months. United scored again in the first half but it was ruled out for a close off-side call or we could have been in for another hiding. As it was, Lee Hendrie returned from loan to settle the contest early in the second half from yet another set piece free kick. Elliot claims this shot took a heavy deflection but you couldn't see it from the replay, although he looked at fault to me, so perhaps another angle would prove him right. 

Chris Dickson netted his second ever Charlton goal to give the small number of travelling fans some hope but it sounded like a draw would have been pushing our luck and the nearest we came was a fifty-fifty looking penalty appeal when Lloyd Sam went down in the box during the closing stages. It looked a bit desperate to me, so no real surprise it wasn't given. Therry Racon also came on as a second half sub and he should see more action against Palace on Tuesday.

Parky saw an obvious improvement from the Wednesday debacle. He made same comment about our players needing to be more competitive and praised transfer-listed Dickson saying that he might be good enough to start a game if he continues in this vein. You have to laugh, Andy Gray and Deon Burton have been talking it in turns not to score and Dickson is encouraged to believe he might get a start. 

No doubt all change again for the Eagles with Murty and Spring almost guaranteed their loan places back. Tom Soares might be saved the embarrassment of vilification from his former fans which he has told us he fears and Mark Hudson is suffering from a knock which might also give him a breathe-easy out card. The sort of form we are in, it might be a good idea to drop the pair of them for this game anyway just to give their fans one less thing to harp on about.

Palace have sold their allocation and their supporters will be eagerly anticipating some long overdue payback. Tempers on the internet have been rising for a couple of weeks and the match could be volatile. A sweet derby victory to further dent Palace play-off hopes would at least give us the opportunity to save some face and quieten the gloaters. A Palace victory on the other hand could light the touchpaper and things could get ugly. This is the sort of game where any fatal playing errors will receive enormous focus and could result in over-the-top condemnation. Any defeat will see Plucky come under intense abuse and the local constabulary might be well employed for a change in keeping rival fans apart after the match.

What is sure, is that it promises to be an evening of drama in a season during which we have become accustomed to routine performances, predictably poor results and increasing apathy. In fact, it could be the last decent atmosphere of the season.


Anonymous said...

I just hope the players & Parky realise this is a local derby and do justice to it. It is interesting that Warnock is already talking the game up and the derby nature of it.

Win, lose or draw if the players give 100% most Charlton fans will forgive most things...if however they turn in yet another limp performance of apparent disinterest then they deserve any abuse that comes their way.

Suze said...

But it won't be just the players suffering abuse if we lose, and I'm sure we all agree the fans don't deserve it.