Sunday, 6 October 2013

Charlton Athletic 0 v Blackpool 0

A good day spent with friends yesterday was only slightly tarnished by a 0-0 at the Valley. Chris Powell will be pleased with the clean sheet but the lack of goals worries me more. Three goals in five Valley matches is not good enough. Our failure to score also cost me £237 as my other results came in, including Millwall shipping another bucket-load, this time at Bournemouth.

Unsurprisingly, we sent out the same side that troubled Forest and started brightly enough , controlling the game for the opening twenty minutes. We even won a free-kick in range in the opening minute but you knew Dale Stephens would put it over the bar. Where is Johnnie Jackson when you need him? Stephens was to whistle another shot over the bar from open play during the first half but we didn't create much else.

We may be missing Yann Kermorgant but the game-plan needs to be adapted to make the most of whatever we have upfront. Like on Tuesday evening, we pumped plenty of balls into the opposition penalty area in the hope of a mistake which would get Sordell or Church in. The trouble was that Blackpool's towering back-line didn't make any and simply cleared everything that came over. The front pair did plenty of running, Church in particular chases everything down, but they are the sort of players who need to be played in on goal.

Our defence was as solid as theirs yesterday. Richard Wood again caught the eye as he dealt with everything and with Morrison fighting in the trenches with him and Wiggins and Wilson tucking in, Ricardo Fuller couldn't get the space he needs to play. He was eventually subbed to warm applause and the likeable Fuller returned the applause with enthusiasm. 

Jordan Cousins played another good game in midfield and he looks visibly more confident by the match. He was maybe over-shadowed by Tom Ince but it was a good match-up. Stephens and Gower were both busy without really playing well, which left Harriott who I thought ht was the most disappointing yesterday. He is most effective out wide and hugging the line but he appears to have been told to play a more involved role inside where his first touch lets him down a little and he is less effective linking with the front two. 

Jordan Cousins had our best chance of the match with a driven low shot which Gilks can't have seen a lot of given what was in front of him but he got down brilliantly to keep it out at the foot of his left-hand post. That was late on in the second-half and after that Blackpool had the best chance when Wilson carelessly over-ran the ball in defence to Tom Ince lurking in space in the box but the Seasider fired wide. Ince was involved in everything and would have been man-of-the-match for the neutral. He obviously sees himself as the star and was openly critical of his team-mates when they weren't where he expected them to be or when they did anything he could complain about. He is a decent player but he's not that good that he can afford to behave like that. Hard to imagine where he gets it from.

We have a break now before we go again and we will need to get something at Ewood Park if we are not to slip into the bottom three. We are only a point clear and the three below us will all be at home in a fortnight against moderate opposition.

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