Saturday, 21 September 2013

Charlton Athletic 0 v Millwall 1

Routine Charlton derby performance this afternoon as we put in another stumbling, error-strewn, limp-wristed performance against a Millwall side which, mercifully, looked short on confidence and quality themselves or it could have much worse. They deserved their 1-0 win nevertheless.

No point me running through the lowlights of the match as most of you will have seen it. I say most because the Charlton turnout was the poorest I remember so many of you will be thankful to Sky that you didn't have waste more than 90 minutes on it. It looked like only season ticket holders had bothered, and maybe not all of those.

Ben Hamer can't be faulted for the goal which was deflected beyond him but his overall performance wasn't comforting to watch. He parried a shot out on the second-half that I am confident he could have stopped. It was the same "save" that cost us two points at Watford. I thought Morrison, Dervite and Wood looked pretty solid in front of Hamer but the 3-5-2 formation saw us playing a long of balls from the centre three and for the most part they had nothing to aim at. As a consequence we over-passed the ball at the back and invariably had to rely on a long hoof having been pressured by the opposition. 

The midfield simply didn't function as a unit today. Stephens, Jackson and Pritchard had no shape and Bailey had a field day in the first half. Pritchard was caught in possession repeatedly but only because he made himself available for long passes when there was no other pass on for the ball carrier. Pritchard was responsible for the goal and his body language said it all as McDonald's speculative effort was deflected wide of Hamer.

Wiggins saw a lot of the ball down the left in the opening thirty minutes but he was not supported and again often had to pass back to Dervite or Wood. Wilson started brightly too but had a similar problem.

Upfront we were woeful and it was the sort of performance from young Joe Pigott that can seriously affect your career. Everything he did went wrong. He was easily knocked over, let alone knocked off the ball and when he did get it, he fumbled, over-ran it and ran it out of play. He should have come off much earlier but I think Powell was hoping he might finally get a few things right and ride it out. He didn't. Forward options were limited without Yann Kermorgant. Marvin Sordell ("he looks like a fish") did look busy when he came on, as did Cameron Stewart and Callum Harriott but they don't lead the line or carry the direct threat. 

I recall two chances for us in 90 minutes. Simon Church was played into the box but snatched at his shot early when he should have taken the ball closer before firing. Cameron Stewart also had a smart effort saved by Forde but that was about it.

Nothing much more to say other than I am angry at the moment that we have been let down by our players once again in a derby. It really was a poor footballing display and there wasn't much to beat.


Dave said...

I was invited up to The Crown in Blackheath after the match by a crowd of old Millwall mates. On the spur of the moment I decided to go and face the music. They had all decided that the bar offered more enjoyment than the match fairly early on, so were all hanging when I got there. The verdict, predictably enough was that we were as hopeless as they knew we would be, it was another regulation three points and that they can't see an improvement big enough that will save us from the drop. I told the, of course, that they can't judge us just by our derby showings and that "we will be alright," although it is looking like our home form will relegate us this season because we don't look capable of repeating last season's away form. You can almost forget the game at the New Den now.

Geoff said...

Watching on TV gave the option of golf, cricket and cycling when the boredom/frustration became too great. Not just the players who have no spirit, Sir CP looks pretty hangdog too. Without Kermit we have no forward line and not having a midfield (for over a season)means the defence has actually done quite well. Cold comfort.

Anonymous said...

And the midfield being the crux of the matter. Many teams want a creative midfield so therefore I can't see us having one for many a season yet, as this type of player is in very short supply. Ho hum, onwards and ever sideways/backwards but rarely, oh so rarely forward.

devlinpowell said...

Di Canio Gone with 5 points on the board?? I don't think we will go the same way as SCP has had no £"s to spend, but the home form must change. This league is so tight look what the difference was last year between relegation and play off places, is minimal !. We are so off the standard that we we will go down on current form no problem at all. Something has to give. My next match is the Nottingham (3rd of the season for me) We must see some change by then..... Or we go into free fall ..