Monday, 2 January 2012

Charlton Athletic 2 v Brentford 0

The Reds returned to winning ways today in front of what I thought was a disappointingly small crowd of c 17,500. Granted times are tough and we were beaten at Orient on Saturday, but I expected more. The 15 minute delay to kick-off due to an "electrical" problem in the North Stand may have sent a few hundred packing at the last knockings but it was never going to be the gate we deserved.

I am pleased to say that I was able to watch the match with fellow blogger, Chicago Addick, for the first time. Pity we didn't have better viewing fare but we both settled for the three points as, I am sure, everyone else did. It was a poor game in which neither side showed much ambition, although Brentford looked more energetic for the most part without any forward threat to reward their ambition. I thought Marcus Bean had a very good game and was surprised to see him subbed second half. Jonathan Douglas looked every inch the passer I have previously admired although he looked frustrated with the options available to him now he's not in his old Swindon side.

That we took a first half lead after half-an-hour was something of a surprise and the nature of the goal was fitting. It was a bit of a comedy goal with a bouncing ball evading one mis-timed jump after another only for Michael Morrison to seize his chance and nod a bobbling ball over the flapping Lee.

We looked much sharper after the break although there was still no pattern to our play. We looked dangerous when we got forward but it was all too random and unconvincing. Brentford continued to try to get forward but there was no penetration and it was no surprise when  Uwe Rosler made his first substitutions. They made little difference although I thought we should have responded with ours quicker than we did. Leon Clarke and Scott Wagstaff came on (BWP and Jackson) but neither made any impression. Leon 's first few touches resulted in a free-kick on the edge of our box, a goal-kick and a couple of throw-ins.  I will give him the benefit of the doubt, but in keeping with the rest of the match it was a poor showing.

That we scored a second was itself a surprise but it was late on and I think the Bees had thrown in the towel. A long Hamer punt arrived at Green's feet in far too much room and he had plenty of time to adjust his feet, step inside a half-hearted challenge and roll the ball home. Two-nil and goodbye Brentford. It's these games and these results that will get us promoted.

Our lead has increased to five points as the Blades were blunted at Carlisle and following our Cup challenge at Fulham, we have two league fixtures against both Sheffield sides which should answer any remaining questions about our promotion credentials. Personally, I don't need any reassurance.

Fulham, here we come!

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