Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Charlton Athletic 3 Derby County 2

We're By Far The Greatest Team, the World Has Ever Seen!

We're not! In my opinion that would be Brazil in 1970 or Spain in the last 6 years or so (before this years World Cup anyway). But, make no mistake, the owner and the manager have built something special here that we can all get excited about, evidenced by last nights win over one of the top sides in the division. The second such victory in 4 days.

I got to the ground earlier last night than I have ever got to The Valley before, thanks to a work meeting having been called off, and a diet meaning no pre match pub for me. So an hour before the game I'm in my seat. Luckily, on the way in I purchased a copy (from the man himself) of Rick Everitts "Battle For The Valley" which has just been updated and re-released, so plenty of reading material before the 7.45pm kick off.

Team news was that the side remained largely unchanged from Saturday except Pope in goal as predicted, but more unexpectedly, Gomez made his debut in place of Solly, who's knees I assume can't manage two games in a week.

We looked lively from the off, kicking towards the away fans (about 1200 of them, fair play for a midweek game) Our neat passing play was evident and effective, with Derby chasing shadows for much of the opening 5 minutes, a shot from Gudmundsson being the only effort though, and even that only confirmed my suspicions that for all of his great wingplay, we have another spongefoot on our hands .Derby got into the game after that but were undone on 10 when a neat pass out left to Cousins was followed by the now customary cut inside, a slide rule pass to Tucudean on or about the penalty spot, who turned sharply and angled the ball perfectly into the bottom left corner. To note Tucudean was lucky not to have been booked for a cynical shirt pull/grab early in the half when it was completely unnecessary. That sort of petulance could cost. Also slightly worrying was Popes tendency to take on the striker after a back pass and having to rush his clearances a couple of times. He is young, he will learn.
Following the goal Derby gained the ascendency without too much threat to Popes goal, a couple of weak or wayward shots being all they had to show. Buyens tried from range but blasted way high. A period of stalemate ensued with both sides reluctant to surrender possession, but Derby broke back following a couple of shots when Ward fired top right to level.
A couple of injuries meant 4 minutes of added time in the first half and it was during this extra period that Tucudean found himself dinking this way and that and bearing down on goal, when an outstretched foot toppled him and the ref pointed to the spot. Surprisingly no card of any colour for the defender Keogh, but my old fashioned senses say that the penalty was punishment enough. Buyens duly stepped up and lashed the pen high and far left into the goal and the Addicks went into the break 2-1 to the good.
Worryingly, Tucudean didn't appear for the second half having been replaced by Moussa, winning goalscorer from Saturdays game.
The second half continued in much the same vein as the previous 45 with both sides passing to feet effectively, if I'm honest I think Derby were shading it and an equaliser would not have been a surprise. However, this Charlton team are made of stern stuff and Derby goalscoring chances were few, with Pope dealing effectively with those that came his way, or the defence tidying up nicely when required. We also had a couple of chances, Vetokele had another one on one which was well saved, Moussa was also set free but tripped embarrassingly, we also had a couple of chances when the ball just would not get out from under first Vetokeles feet then Moussa once again (I think).
With about 10 minutes left, a long cross from the left  flew over everyones head and was collected near the Covered End byline by Jackson who turned and crossed superbly for Wilson to flick on to an unmarked Vetokele who duly dispatched his header into the back of the net.  Job done, game over you'd think, but this being Charlton, things are never that simple and a firm but seemingly innocuous shot from Ward, with 5 minutes to go will haunt Pope for some time, as the ball went through his legs and into the net. Wards second then and squeaky bum time for the Addicks for the remaining 5, plus 4 minutes extra time. Understandably Derby pressed to try and get an equaliser, but I can't recall too much trouble for the defence or Pope, and in the end we held out for another impressive victory.
We find ourselves 4th in the table at the moment and it wouldn't surprise me if we remain in a similar lofty position for some time yet, given how well we are playing.
Atmosphere wise, the crowd was pretty small but Derby created decent noise, and the North Stand and east Stand a block responded well. Strange to hear "Since I was Young" being sung by the DCFC support, was it their song in the first place? Perhaps someone can enlighten me?
All in all a great evening, spoiled only by the fact that I got flashed on the M25 doing 90 mph on the way home, so can expect a nick, and having busted a gut to get back to West Sussex at a reasonable hour, the A24 was shut 10 miles from home, meaning a 10 mile detour, hey ho!
A couple of shout outs. Before the game I saw a group of junior footballers from Seattle in their club tracksuits, hope they enjoyed the "soccer" game and were well entertained. Also regards to Chicago Addick who was there tonight with his son. I hope that when he gets to read this he has a had a safe and pleasant journey home. see you next time CA.
Not sure what sort of report you'll get Saturday as I'm not going to Huddersfield and may not get a chance to listen to the game Maybe I'll just cut and paste the official sites report! (Am I allowed to do that? - No? Oh well, sue me Charlton, I've just been nicked for speeding, probably, I'm a proper wrong un!)


Marco. said...

We stole SIWY from Motherwell. Derby started singing it after their visit to the Valley.
Though I'm sure they will say they thought of it all by themselves.....!

Pete said...


Pete here, Dave's on holiday. I thought it wasn't us who originated the song, but wasn't sure who did, so thanks.

Anonymous said...

Diet! No pub! home to West Sussex!
I thought the bloody site had been hacked .......................
Pete! not Dave......ah! now i see.


ChicagoAddick said...

Thanks Pete. Home safe and sound - see you next time.