Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Leeds United 0 v Charlton Athletic 1

Well, well, well. Another night game and another Charlton victory. Three in as many weeks and we again have a 3 point cushion over third-bottom Barnsley and five over Millwall who appear to have thrown in the towel. Not long for "Scrubs" I fear.

I had to make do with following the game via Charlton Life but it was as good as trying to follow it on CAFC Player. Leeds are in turmoil at the moment and sounded very much like we took full advantage. We limited their chances although Ben Hamer was called on to keep us level before Reza Goochannjhad struck mid-way through the second-half with a superb curling finish which nestled in the far side netting. 

After that it was a case of seeing it out although we should have had a penalty when substitute Jonathan Obika was bundle over in the box. Nothing given and we then had to endure an added time penalty for dirty Leeds to add insult to injury. They had been taken swipes at Poyet all night and had suffered a spate of late bookings but the ref still saw fit to hand them a lifeline. As if fired by the injustice of it all, Ben Hamer jigged right and left on his line as McCormack ran in to score and showed him the left side of the goal just as he flung himself low and wide, getting a hand down to the shot and brilliantly pushing it out for a corner.

Jose Riga has to take a lot of credit for this result. He has managed to keep the squad focused and battling. No mean feat on the heels of a manager the players obviously cared a huge amount for and whom they did not want to see go. Reza Goochannejhad has looked a little lost since coming into the Championship but he clearly has an eye for goal and if he can find a way to stay on his feet and pose stronger defenders problems like he did this evening, then he certainly has the ability to find the net. His goal this evening showed superb technique and no lack of confidence.

The boys will be buzzing for Saturday and a rare opportunity this season to record back-to-back wins and just what we need to nail the Millwall coffin shut and to put Barnsley under bigger pressure. Tonight's win also brings Birmingham into reach and puts them in real danger. 

Finally a word got the 251 who made the long journey this evening. A handful short of probably the same crowd who were at Forest the other week too. Some will scoff at the small numbers but I prefer to think of the quality of the individuals concerned and there we win hands down. Charlton forever!

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