Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Charlton Athletic 4 v Colchester United 0

I doff my cap to Bob Peeters this evening and say a big thank you. I am too tired to look through the records but this was one of the most enjoyable League Cup wins I can remember for quite some time and Bob proved me wrong by playing a strong side with a strong bench which he used to the full. 

Peeters appears to be a man who really gets it. I think he understands what is important at football clubs like a fan and not necessarily as a player. He knows we don't want to spend a Summer evening watch a reserve side struggle to beat a weaker league team, even if the admission price has been reduced. He also knows that Cup runs can have positive league benefits and that winning breeds confidence. He probably also knows that fans pay closer attention to these things than they may be given credit for. This evening he was rewarded for being bold with his team selection and for seeing it through the supporters eyes.

The ground may have been restricted to the lower North, lower West and Jimmy Seed this evening but it was unusually full for a league cup first rounder and the attendance of 5752 was a vote of confidence for the ground improvements and the team rebuilding. It was great to see the side lining up and to realise that Henderson was being given another important early opportunity in goal when a cop-out might have been to play Pope. Good too to see Morrison paired with Bikey at centre-half. This was what most wanted to see after Saturday. Joe Gomez was entrusted with his debut at right-back and Morgan Fox was flawless on the left.

Cousins was back in centre-mid, again reflecting the supporters views from Saturday and Yoni Buyens was given the berth alongside to further test our best options. Lawrie Wilson was started out right and Callum Harriott on the left. Moussa and Tucudean were the front paring although they played like a one and one for most of the match. If that wasn't positive enough, we had a strong bench including Vetokele, Gudmundssen and Simon Church, all of whom came on with good game time.

Colchester started brightly and their optimism and determination looked for twenty minutes or so like it might give them some reward. However, Okuanghoe handled in the six yard area to deflect a Charlton effort that was goal-bound and he saw red. Buyens scored from the spot and after that Colchester gradually retreated into their shells as Charlton took control of the match. 

Early in the second-half the lively Lawrie Wilson was played in on the overlap and fired across Lewington to make things safe. He repeated the move five minutes later and it was time for some show-boatring from the Addicks who really impressed after that. Peeters didn't let up and actually brought Vetokele on for Moussa who had a debut he will want to forget - trying too much and his first touch was poor for the most part. Gudmundsson came on for Buyens with 25 to go and we tightened our grip on the game and might have added a couple to the scoreline. Simon Church also got on after 72 minutes and it was he who added the finishing touch to a spilled ball from another raking Gudmunsson shot minutes before the final whistle.

All in all a comfortable evening for long suffering Addicks and for once the vast majority left the stadium talking of returning, not refusing to return. One Swallow doesn't a Summer make, but this was two good performances from two and there is clearly more to come from this side. Confidence will be high going into the next two home games and come what may, Peeters needs a big pat on the back for the way he has approached both matches so far. As the players left the field he called the first ones to disappear down the tunnel back onto the field of play and to either lap up the applause or to applaud the fans. Either way it was the right thing to do and as I said at the top, he really seems to get it. I will take the next round much more seriously knowing Bob Peeters is likely to.

Only negatives for me were Mousa's first touch as I have said and the general lack of contribution fro Callum Harriott who was almost absent first-half. I won't read too much into these performances and look forward to improvements next time out.


ChicagoAddick said...

Who was captain?

Dave said...

Not sure CA - assume Morrison?

Geoff said...

Morro appeared to have the armband. Interesting exchange in the first half when Joe G was nearly caught out, and Peeters seemed to say to Morro that he should have been covering. Morro's comment was loud and clear for the Lower West, "I can't be everywhere!" Nothing wrong in standing up to the coach, but now we will have to see if the coach reacts like a van Gaal.

Very good evening which you captured well, Dave. Gomez - what a gem, and Gudmundsson looking a lot better than Saturday. However, League One team down to ten men, I must stay sane.