Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Bristol City 2 v Charlton Athletic 1

A disciplined and more adventurous-than-normal first half saw Charlton take another one-nil lead into the break, only to throw it all away within eight minutes of the second half.  With two-thirds of the season now gone, the focus needs to move to building the side around those who will be retained for League One. 

Rob Elliot started again in goal and sounded in control throughout the first half catching or punching everything that came his way. Murty, Holland, Ward and Basey held the back line for the first half and were supported by Bailey, Spring, Racon and Soares in midfield. Chris Dickson got a second start, this time alongside Kandol. They settled well enough before taking the game to City mid-way through the first half. Racon and Dickson both shot over from distance before Tom Soares met a Bailey cross six yards out and headed into the top corner. Dickson had another shot tipped around the post before Racon and Spring were booked for fouls in quick succession as Charlton slowed the play to retain their lead at half-time.

Four minutes into the second period and Dele Adebola copied Soares' goal with a header from a Fontaine cross. Before too many comments had appeared on the Charlton Life thread, it was two-one as Adebola smashed home another cross from eight yards out and Elliot was left screaming abuse at his defence. Soares had another header from a Basey corner saved by Basso and Dickson, Bailey and Ward all got efforts in as Charlton tried to fight-back but once again we simply didn't carry enough threat. Ambrose was introduced for Murty, Sam for Racon and Moutaouakil for Soares before the end but City went closest to scoring again in the last ten minutes.

Cardiff is looking like another possible Sheffield United home-humiliation on Saturday. I wish we could fast-forward to the point where our players have absolutely nothing to lose and can play relaxed football - it can't be far off. We remain on target for relegation during March, so we might expect half-a-dozen results before the end of the season and the side shaped to more closely fit the start of next season.

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