Saturday, 15 September 2012

Charlton Athletic 0 v Crystal Palace 1

The Addicks failed to match the Eagles' passion last night and there can be few complaints about the result. 

Backed a raucous Jimmy Seed, Palace took the game to us from the off and we struggled to gain the momentum. The loss of Rhoys Wiggins early on didn't help although Lawrie Wilson had a fine game at right-back as Chris Solly switched to left. Morrison was probably our man of the match but Leon Cort also looked assured.

It was in the middle again where we were second best. Dale Stephens was even slower than normal and after an early booking for a frustrated tackle, he did manage to settle into the game but there was little prompting from him and Hollands. Johnnie Jackson's contribution was limited to a free-kick and Pritchard is not a wide player. 

Palace, by contract, had Zaha and Bolasie prowling on the flanks and providing a constant challenge for our full-backs. We survived a couple of scares in the first half but by and large the defence held firm. A Charlton goal against the run of play looked for a second that it might change the course of the game but an eagle-eyed linesman managed to see an offside in front of the Palace fans that I couldn't.

After the break Palace struck and it was Dikgacoi who picked up the knock-down from a corner and with an embarrassing amount of time and space inside our box and lashed home. Powell eventually made a predictable change with ex-Palace old boy Ricardo Fuller coming on as we switched to 4-3-3. It was Jackson who made way as went 4-3-3 and he can have few complaints although he made a few in throwing down the Captain's armband and booting a water bottle in the dugout as he took his seat. Alex Ferguson would have been encouraged.

The initial change didn't alter the game even if Fuller looked more of a handful for Palace than Kermorgant or BWP. The third change saw Danny Green finally gave us some much needed width and a glimpse of what might have been, although it was Pritchard who made way. All of a sudden we were creating and Palace were forced to defend in depth. Too late, unfortunately, and we missed several chances before the final whistle.

It's too early to panic and it was only Palace at the end of the day. However, we need a bigger and bolder change in midfield or we look like competing in most matches but not winning.


Anonymous said...

Good summary. Palace were the better team yesterday and with more clinical finishing we could have been 2 or 3 down after about 70 minutes or so. Good to see us give it a proper go in the last 20.

Very disappointed with our performance. The fact that it was against Palace is precisely why it's a worry.

We shouldn't take our Championship status for granted. On the basis of the last 3 matches you'd have to say that we're one of the weaker teams.

Sir Chris' substitutions are puzzling. It would have been better to put Green on before trying Fuller.

Tony said...

On that showing, Charlton need to grow some. Agree with the midfield comments.
They will get proper stuffed walking out at the (new) Den with that attitude.
I take it you got back in time.

Geoff said...

The need for a bit of muscle and some guile in midfield is so obvious it is painful, even after this number of games, that no move has apparently been made to provide it by loan signings. Jacko has been good for us, very good, but you can't operate on 1.5 legs in the Championship. Hollands, another hero of the last two seasons now looks like one of Cantona's "water carriers" and Stephens, well...............

Having said that, horrible that the denizens of Scumhurst Park shd get away with a win for which the lino who ruled our goal illegal apologised to Sir CP