Saturday, 9 February 2013

Charlton Athletic 1 v Birmingham City 1

Aaaarrrrggghhh! When we opened up at Birmingham at the beginning of the season we were denied a deserved victory in added time when Zigic appeared to equalise. Well we did it again today as Wade Elliott managed to deflect a shot from in front of Hamer for a point the Blues were very fortunate to earn.

We started with a 4-4-2 which was needed if we were to win another home game properly without relying on hanging onto a lead. Yann Kermorgant and Ricardo provided the spearhead although it was Fuller who saw most of the action. Scott Wagstaff had another busy match and, again, I am pleased to say his focus was all on football and not acting. Lawrie Wilson started on the right but had a far quieter match and it was no surprise when he was the first called off after 70 minutes. 

Jackson and Stephens held the centre-mid and Evina, Cort, Morrison and Solly were never really put under any serious or sustained pressure. Marlon King prowled the line and put in a number of speculative efforts. Hall and Redmond both looked more creative when on the ball but Birmingham looked content for a nil-nil.

I have been scoffing all week about the fuss being made about the state of our pitch. The centre of both six yard boxes have been re-turfed in recent weeks but I haven't noticed any problems with it. That was until today. I can't believe what a muddy mess it was in patches and the passage of the ball was visibly slowed throughout the game although it didn't really affect what was a reasonable match.

Charlton should have been in the lead by half-time but our efforts from a number of players went wide or were kept out by Jack Butland. After the break we upped the ante with Fuller doing everything but score. As the match wore on I feared a Birmingham goal against the run of play but it didn't come. Danny Green, a target of Birmingham's during the January window, came on for Wilson and looked like he was keen on reviving their interest with a determined showing. 

We were passing the ball around very well as we buzzed down the flanks but we were in danger of being over elaborate. With three minutes of normal time lift, Fuller, Solly, Green and Jackson all combined on the right wing as we probed for an opening. With Birmingham committing more men to the scene we ran out of options and Chris Solly suddenly flighted a curling cross into the box. As it dropped towards the back post there were two red shirts in space and one of them gave a familiar committed leap and dispatched a thumping header which Butland could do nothing about. Finally in front and with so little time left that surely we had managed our second Saturday home win of the season? 

Chris Powell made a double substitution to slow things down and Dervite came on for Wagstaff as we aimed to shut up shop in the four minutes of added time. Once again we couldn't withstand the late rally of our opponents and we conceded a poor goal in the last minute. 

Much better performance today but still not good enough at home.


Dave said...

To be fair to the Brummies, they brought a decent following for once. I'm guessing they had 1500+ in a 17,269 gate....

Anonymous said...

Powell messed it up today, you can't expect the players to understand why he makes an unnecessary substitution when we are 1-0 up with barely any time left to play. I could understand the Danny Green substitution which brought about our goal, but that should have been it. The pitch was dreadful and an explanation from the club. Would be appreciated

Bazzathebluenose said...

Dave, you make this game sound half decent. It was the poorest in terms of quality I have witnessed all season. The pitch was dreadful as you say which made passing one touch football impossible. I don't think Birmingham were fortunate. 0-0 is all this game deserved and if you think the equaliser was a poor goal; how poor was the opener? apalling defending to leave two Charlton players totally unmarked. A draw was completely fair reflecting a poor game by two below-average teams. Their present positions is where they will in all probability finish up.

Dave said...

Bazza - it was better than many we have played at home this season and I can't believe you haven't seen worse. Think we did enough to have won and if Jack Butland had conceded earlier (he was your MOTM), then we should have gone on to win it. I thought Lee Clarke was Gilding the Lilly when he said he thought you deserved a point. Maybe we all see things through biased eyes. Agree with you that neither of us are going much further than where we are currently.