Sunday, 6 April 2014

Charlton Athletic 0 v Reading 1

After the euphoria of our 1-0 win at Elland Road in the week it was back to earth with a predictable bump yesterday. Play-off favourites, Reading, just about deserved their single goal win from what was the best and possibly only attacking move of the match.

Having said that, it wasn't a poor spectacle but it was all huff and no puff. Charlton shaded the first half and it was hard to tell these sides were at opposite ends of the table. After the break, however, Reading stepped up field and control shifted to them as they went in search of a winner. It was a Charlton substitution that precipitated the goal. Johnnie Jackson was replaced around the hour mark and David Petrucci made his debut. He looked to be carrying a bit of weight for a 22 year professional footballer and he lost possession on the edge of the Reading box that lead to their breakaway which Danny Williams finished in style. I don't wish to rush to judge Petrucci but he was clearly not fit enough to be playing in a Championship match yesterday and I suspect we won't see him for a couple of weeks at least.

Our big problem, once again, was our inability to create any real openings, let alone score a goal. Our goals for record is beginning to look like binary code for "we can't score" - 1,1,0,0,1,0,1,0,0,0,1,1,1,0. If you need more convincing, we have only managed to score more than a single goal in 5 of the 38 league matches played so far this season. That is relegation form.

What made it more uncomfortable yesterday was news that Millwall, Yeovil and Birmingham all won. The gap we had has been cut and Yeovil on Tuesday now assumes more importance than ever. Tuesday is not one of our games in hand and there is a full programme. Millwall go to Wigan and Barnsley entertain Burnley. It would be another great evening if we can score a goal and keep a clean sheet. I thought Dorian Dervite was outstanding yesterday amongst another solid defensive display.

Jose Riga has to be bolder in our remaining games and be prepared to throw Wilson forward in an effort to create more. Perhaps he plays full back for an hour and is then switched as we go for it? Simon Church got a full 90 minutes yesterday against his former club but he hardly touched the ball. I don't understand why Obika isn't getting more game time. 

Poyet and Cousins both had good games yesterday and I thought Cousins handled Danny Williams very well for an hour although he tired after that. I couldn't see why Jackson was taken off - maybe a knock - but we won a free-kick in good range shortly after he left the field which seemed to highlight the folly of removing him if it was just tactical. This was especially surprising given Calum Harriott did nothing once again. He must have been surprised still to be on the field at the final whistle when three others had been subbed.

I won't be able to make the Yeovil game this week nor Brighton on Saturday, so Barnsley at home a week on Tuesday is looking like it could be the most important game of the season.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Binary code, brilliant, made me laugh out loud.

I have become more and more concerned over the last few months, with the upcoming game against Barnsley, i just have a gut feeling that we may lose that one, if they take the lead then with our unprolific attack, we are in trouble, in fact, i prefer us playing away than at The Valley.

Yeovil will also come knowing that they have to get a win.

Half a crown thruppeny bit time indeed.

PH