Saturday, 21 January 2012

Charlton Athletic 1 v Sheffield United 0

A titanic struggle at the Valley this afternoon was decided after twenty minutes when Danny Hollands won us a free-kick 25 yards out. With perfect symmetry, Johnnie Jackson stepped up to lash it into the top left-hand corner in front of the disbelieving Blades fans. The three points gives us the 7 point lead we imagined in our dreams this week and with a game in hand to come and four relatively lowly sides in the queue, there is every prospect we can build a lead which will bring promotion ever nearer.


Credit to Danny Wilson's side for taking the game to us in the first-half and for forcing much of the play, even if they didn't get to test Hamer properly. He was called to stretch and punch, and on occasions flap, but the defenders in front of them did superbly well to prevent a clear goal-scoring chance. For once, it was Matt Taylor who made the lion-share of the headed clearances and sliding tackles at the back and was my man-of-the-match, although Solly, Morrison and Wiggins hardly put a foot wrong.


Whilst the Blades were forcing the pace, we countered threateningly enough to ensure they kept looking over their shoulder when they went forward and it was enough to see us move more into the game before the break, especially after we had demonstrated just how lucky Johnnie Jackson can be with his left-foot!


After the break, Danny Green had two quick-fire chances but drove both shots at Simonsen in the United goal. Yann Kermorgant was excellent again challenging for everything and looking to flick on for Wright-Phillips. It was another frustrating afternoon for Bradley and he didn't get anything on target or even break the tight Sheffield back-line. It happens.


Bradley Pritchard and Danny Hollands had their hands full in the middle and it was only after the hour and with United beginning to feel the pace that they began to take a grip and we looked like we might over-run them and get the second goal. It was from here on that the Sheffield side began to get more physical and the game become increasingly fractious. 


This referee is no stranger to his cards and we were on three bookings already by the time Darel Russell came on to relieve BWP. Hamer had been booked for time-wasting (becoming habitual), Pritchard for a clumsy tackle and Rhoys Wiggins for bringing his man down when he looked suspiciously close to the last man. Russell, however, was to get a straight red within minutes of entering the fray. He was cut down twice by different players with his first two touches and both offenders were booked. I'm not sure if there was a touch of revenge in his mind minutes later but he flew in two footed and the red card was flashed almost before Russell hit the ground. It sparked a huge melee in the centre of the field and there were infringements here and there as it threatened to boil over. The linesman on the East Stand side raced onto the pitch to speak to the referee and it was clear something was being reported. After Russell had made the touchline, James Beattie was called forward and his five minute cameo was ended with the flourish of another straight red and Yann Kermorgant was also shown a yellow.


It was all rather unpleasant but it served it's purpose in drawing the game towards it's conclusion and bar a couple of late corners, United were beaten. With Wednesday being held at home and MK Dons only managing a draw at Notts County, it's looking like another cracking day for Addicks fans. Huddersfield kick-off shortly against Brentford - could it get any better today?



5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dave you have it spot on about the back four - they were outstanding and if they hadn't played so well we'd have lost. The Blades will consider themselves hard done by.

The ref did his upmost to spoil the game. From the card count you'd have thought it was a bloodbath. Yes it was a tough game; but what do you expect from a table top clash?

Overall I wasn't particularly impressed with our performance. And for sucha big game I would have expected the crowd to up their game, but they didn't until the last few minutes.

But to be top by such a margin is sooo good!

Pembury Addick

Anonymous said...

Great review Dave and no....it couln't get much better than this!!

Confidential

Crowborough Addick said...

Dave, I thought the icing on the cake was the introduction of Haynes. His pace and strength look frightening.

10 days left in the transfer window. I just hope we don't get anyoneone poached away!

Dave said...

CA - I intended to mention Haynes. He looked desperate to contribute when he came on and he tore downfield to earn a free-kick and then raced back to defend. it would be great to get some genuine competition for Yann and BWP. Early days but Clarke has a touch of the Stan Collymore's about him and Danny Haynes reminded me of the Wallace brothers.

Dave said...

CA - I intended to mention Haynes. He looked desperate to contribute when he came on and he tore downfield to earn a free-kick and then raced back to defend. it would be great to get some genuine competition for Yann and BWP. Early days but Clarke has a touch of the Stan Collymore's about him and Danny Haynes reminded me of the Wallace brothers.