Saturday, 24 March 2012

Huddersfield Town 1 v Charlton Athletic 0

A desperately narrow defeat today at the Galpharm to a Huddersfield side who were aided by a referee who appeared to favour them with the majority of decisions. The fact that we conceded an early penalty and had Daryl Russell sent from the field thirty minutes didn't help but we did everything but score. With Sheffield Wednesday squeezing past the O's in East London, it's a case of one step backwards, so we need to do the same next Saturday when they come through the tunnel next week.

The match commentator on Radio Kent may be a tad biased but he was very vocal on several occasions about poor decisions that went against us. Scott Wagstaff was clattered during the first half and the Charlton bench were all on their feet in protest only to see Antony Kay escape without a card and the referree then angered the visitors by restarting the match with a drop-ball.

Paul Hayes started the match in place of Yann the Man who had apparently gone down with a bug. N'Guessan started again and Leon Cort held his place in defence. Town started strongly and Hamer pulled off a classy one-handed reflex save to deny a powerful close range header. Huddersfield weren't to be denied though, and Chris Solly conceded a penalty minutes later as Town piled on the pressure. Mr Rhodes netted from the spot to break the League One scoring record but after that we more than held our own. 

We were having a right go in the second-half and threatening to score when Daryl Russell's temper got the better of him and he kicked out at the combative Kay after another heavy tackle. Russell walked and Kay was booked - if he had been booked as deserved for clattering Wagstaff in the first half, then it would have been ten against ten. No matter, we still took the game to the home side who clung on for the last 30 minutes as we missed several great chances to equalise.

Fact are, we are 8 points clear of the Owls with 7 to play and 9 clear of the Blades and they have 8 to play. Huddersfield have a distant shout of catching us but they would need to make up 11 points in 8 games. The rest are out of it. We have no big sides left to play and even allowing for nerves and a few losses, I am confident we will collect at least half the points left on offer, enough to ensure automatic promotion and collect the title.

Bring on L'Orient!


Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,
I'm a big fan of your blog and admire the way you have previously criticised bad behaviour by fans; the kind of behaviour that people expect of Millwall supporters rather than Charlton supporters.
I dunno if you know about the behaviour of some of our supporters today, especially a group of teenagers on the Valley Express coach to Huddersfield this evening. I have gone to lots of football matches and never witnessed anything like this. Coming out of the town on the coach these kids were no better than feral savages. They were swearing and shouting and using abusive signs and language directed towards anyone in the streets and not just football supporters. They were shouting words like paedophile at parents who had children with them. They were using homophobic language towards groups of men or pairs of men on their own. At one point they even made a racist comment regarding someone who had a beard like Osama Bin Laden. That though was tame compared to the rest. I don’t want to be forced to listen to swear words for fifteen minutes and to be associated with the tirade of abuse coming from these teenagers at the back of the bus.
It was disgusting and made me embarrassed to be a Charlton supporter. There were parents and families on that bus as well and not one of them said anything to these teenagers despite their evident but silent disgust. I wanted to speak up but I am not a local so was unsure how it would be interpreted. One thing is for sure – the Huddersfield fan forums have interpreted the actions of Charlton supporters very badly. The talking point of this game should be the awful refereeing decisions that we all witnessed on Saturday but after the journey back on the Valley Express I found myself not caring about football much any more. In fact I left my house this morning thinking of buying a season ticket for next year. Right now I don’t feel like going anywhere near a football match again. This is not representative of the place I live in and the team I have come to support but if this is what happens at away games on a regular basis our reputation must be awful.
Sorry for the rant but I feel very strongly about this and I have also highlighted this on other sites because I believe that right thinking Charlton fans will be disgusted by this and that message needs to go out to the kind of fans who think it's okay and natural to abuse opposing supporters. It was pure bullying of not only the Huddersfield supporters but the people on the coach who were caught between a rock and a hard place. If footage of this behaviour went out on something like YouTube our reputation would be ruined. We're supposed to be a family and a community club. My father in law is a Millwall fan. I'm not from London and always tease him about the moral superiority of Charlton fans. From what I saw today I think I've lost the high ground.
Why can't fans concentrate on an analysis of their own team rather than abuse of the opposition? There was certainly plenty to talk about on the field today, not least the bad refereeing decisions, Ben Hamer's one dimensional goal kicking despite a good performance otherwise, and the clear need to sign another central midfielder when we finally make it back to the Championship. Probably we won't be back in Huddersfield next season but wherever we go we need to show ourselves to be the community club that we claim to be. That's the club I have come to love and it's a shame a 0.0001% minority can leave me feeling so demoralised at the end of a great season when another three or four wins should see us take the title unless Sheffield United go on an amazing run between now and May.

Dave said...

Tough one. Boys will be boys. Perhaps the thing to do would have been to tell the steward on the coach. I'm sure a word from them would have been enough. I have to say that this is the sort of thing kids have been doing for as long as I remember. I often see the away fans leaving the Valley after he game and the boys at the back of the bus are invariably doing the same. Not sure I was any better if I am honest.

sm said...

Anon 24 March

Quite why you think parents with kids should say something to the yobs while you remained silent I do not understand, these things are always someone elses responsibility - but nevertheless you can still contact the Club directly to help them identify the yobs so that they can be dealt with.