Saturday, 20 April 2013

Charlton Athletic 2 v Wolverhampton Wanderers 1

A pretty poor spectacle this, but we held our own and Jonathan Obika came on to win the game in similar fashion to the Leeds game. Wolves didn't do nearly enough to expect to get anything but we rarely troubled them so the big surprise was that this match finished 2-1 instead of 0-0.

We started with an unchanged line-up but lost current talismans Andy Hughes to injury after only ten minutes. It gave Mark Gower a bigger opportunity than of late and he pulled his weight without showing too much. In a strange way it was a cameo of Andy Hughes' recent performances. We were debating the Hughes influence pre-match and we were all, unusually, of the same opinion that Hughes has made the difference without any of us actually understanding why. He certainly hasn't been outstanding in any of the games he's played and it's been hard to comprehend just how he's made the change, but he has.

Our first-half was limited to a shot that only Ricardo Fuller could have managed.  Whilst he no longer has the pace required to terrorise defences, he has superb vision and an ability to get a shot away incredibly early and which often surprises keepers. Today's snapshot surprised the watching fans too and De Vries did very well to beat the shot out. Wolves didn't create much either but they did a lot more pressing so went into the break in good heart.

We improved after the break but were still short on chances although it was good to see us up the pace and force several corners. The breakthrough came on 63 minutes when Dorian Dervite got the final touch to a penalty box pin-ball scramble. I didn't see it cross the line but the players all peeled away satisfied and there was no complaint from the Yam-Yams.

Given their apparent inability to create anything clearcut, I thought that would be it but we contrived to concede an equaliser within minutes. A ball in from the left was headed on hopefully and then headed on hopefully again. Hamer looked to have it well covered but he watched it bounce before moving and it crept in at the back post. He is an able keeper but still has a lot to learn.

After that it was game on for the winner with neither side looking capable of getting it and, frankly, neither really deserved one. Enter Jonathan Obika for the knackered Fuller. 

Obika bristled upfront leading the line but his 90th minute winner came after another scramble in the box as we tried to score from left and right. Wolves were throwing men into the challenges and blocking everything but the ball rebounded to the back of the box, ten yards out and Obika despatched it with aplomb. There were six added minutes but it was hard to see how either side were going to create enough pressure to score another goal and that proved to be the case. 

Cue another happy Valley and a seventh home win for the record. A disappointing Wolves following of c 2000 (disappointing for them, not for us) traipsed home with their tails between their legs. They will keep on fighting to the end they told us but that might not be too long the way things are shaping up. Two games left and it's a real ding-dong down at the bottom. Be grateful for small mercies.


Geoff said...

I also thought Hamer could have done better with that header Dave, but he's showed increasing quality with the crosses since returning and merits his place overall.

Re Hughes, I was late arriving and thought the midfield wasn't working and "where's Hughesy?" Found out today! To explain his effectiveness, I offer your generation Keith "Corporal" Jones and to an older generation Andy Peake. Can anyone tell me what they did that was special? All I can think of is that they kept going and if someone turned up to rescue an apparently helpless situation it was, according to your era, Peake, K Jones or A Hughes.

Dave said...

Geoff - I'll happily take Peakey for my generation but I could go back to Dick Tydeman and Richie Bowman at a push.