Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Charlton Athletic 2 v Oxford United 2

This goes down as yet another cup disappointment against lower league opposition. Another round of the F A Cup is one thing but another tie in the same round is something else. Good luck to those who make the trip up the M40.

I think Roland Duchatelet was there today (he's smaller than he looks on the internet!) and was one of a hardy bunch of suited and booted dignitaries who trod gingerly across the muddy turf before kick-off for a souvenir photo. Just what he made of the opening 45 minutes is anyone's guess. "Just what have I bought here" was probably one thing he asked himself and then he may have comforted himself with the knowledge that the squad players at his other clubs who would rocket in value in this side. We were woeful first half and deservedly went behind. Yet another deflected goal had Ben Hamer wrong-footed for the first and then laid-back Jordan Cousins set Oxford up for their second. Having said that, Oxford looked like a League Two outfit and the comeback was always going to be on provided we could start it.

After the half-time booing, the side returned ready for a scrap and pulled a goal back quickly as Michael Morrison met a straightforward corner at the near post and despatched his header without ceremony. I thought we would get the second soon after but the errors returned and we were again largely dysfunctional. The pitch didn't help but couldn't really be blamed.

The equaliser, when it eventually came was probably too late to enable us to keep our composure for a winner, but it was a peach nevertheless. Danny Green, on as  sub for Jordan Cook, nut-megged his man and cut in before picking Yann Kermorgant out behind the penalty spot and Kermorgant lashed home on the volley. We might have finished it at the death but a far post header from Calum Harriott, another sub, was cleared off the line. 

The highlight of the evening was seeing a near first-choice eleven start the game. Someone has clearly got the message from the supporters that reserve teams deserve reserve gates and that if the club's not prepared to take cup competitions seriously, then neither will we. Solly and Alnwick were rested (presumably) but other than that it was a fullish side with Wilson at right-back and Jordan Cook getting a game in front of him. Morrison, Wood and Wiggins squared off the defence. Jackson and Cousins played in central midfield and Bradley Pritchard was started on the other side. Kermorgant and Church were up front.

We are well capable of winning at Oxford but we can't afford to field a weakened side. I do wonder whether Powell will resist the temptation to rest half of them away from home, especially with another long journey to Huddersfield being the only reward/punishment.

Not sure of the gate but I am guessing around the 5000 mark with only 6-700 Oxford making another trip to SE7 after their League Cup drubbing.

7 comments:

Pete said...

we didn't notice that Stephens was missing too.

Kings Hill Addick said...

Thanks Dave, a good summery of a game that, had the team be announced in advance, I would have attended.

A little worrying that we couldn't dispatch them with the team we put out but, as you say, we avoided an embarrassing defeat.

Geoff said...

The last time I saw CP shake hands with a sub about to go on was with Waggy at the end of last season. Should one make an assumption about Danny Green, or possibly about (Marco van)Stephens?
And the last time I saw DG beat a defender was in the pre-season at Aldershot (?2011). Also a League Two side.
Official attendance 5,500-odd. At £10 a nob that doesn't say much for our fans' enthusiasm, does it?

Geoff said...

The last time I noticed CP shaking hands with the sub about to go on was with Waggy in the last game of last season. Do we assume something about Danny Green's future? And that of (Marco van)Stephens?

DG previously beat a defender at a match at which I was present at Aldershot, pre-season 2011. They were also League Two at the time.

V close on the attendance, Dave. Official figure 5,566. At £10 a nob doesn't say much for the enthusiasm of the Addickted.

Dave said...

Geoff - the club can't complain about the gate given the weakened sides we have chosen to field against weaker opposition over the last few years. The Barnsley On-Off fiasco probably made the minds up if another 500.

Richard said...

Dave

Just a small point, with there being a small crowd and watching the game from a different position in the west stand to my usual lower north I thought that the Oxford players were much more vocal than ours in their support for each other. I think that this was highlighted when Jordan Cousins was tackled for their second goal.

Dave said...

Richard - interesting observation. I can't really comment as I was one of the overflow in the Upper tier. I sit at the top of the East too and invariably look for seats at the back given a choice at the odd away match.