Sunday, 3 May 2015

Charlton Athletic 0 v AFC Bournemouth 3

Party time for the visiting supporters who knew that they would see their side promoted at the Valley come what may. All they had to do was avoid a double-digit defeat. It was obvious from the opening two minutes that there was absolutely no chance of that happening. Charlton failed to give the visitors a guard of honour at the start but we more than made up for it by making it very clear that we weren't going to hold them up for long.

Bournemouth swarmed all over us from the whistle as they found an alarming amount of space in every gap they ran into. They controlled possession and found each other with quick neat passes, always giving the man in possession two options. It was no surprise when they took the lead on ten minutes after slick passing and movement that ended with the excellent Ritchie driving a curling shot across the goal which beat Henderson's dive by inches and bumped in off the far post. That was effectively game over but we parted like the Red Sea minutes later to allow the other main tormentor-in-chief, ex-Addict Harry After to  wrap things up. He was clearly in seventh heaven as he made his point to the Charlton fans in the stands. 

Bournemouth settled down after that but continued to threaten and another goal was always on the cards. We managed a tame shot at Boruc before half-time but it was an embarrassing last effort at home. Bournemouth are a better side and had more to play for but there is no excuse in my book for handing them the match so early on. We did manage to respond for twenty minutes after the half-time dressing down but were short of a goal with Vetokele misfiring again and finally limping off. Tony Watt took sole responsibility for trying to get us a goal but he too limped off after we had used our last subs.

All that was left was for the Cherries to add a third which put me in panic as my bet was suddenly in danger of an unlikely Sheffield Wednesday leveller at Watford. We left for the Lib before the finish and, sure enough, the Massive equalised as we made our way down Harvey Gardens. I had a tense pint or two in the Lib waiting to see the table and finding that Wednesday would finish 13th on goals scored having matched us on 60 points and -6 goal difference. Old Charlton mate "Leeds" Paul was rumoured to be down for the customary last game which was why we opted for the Liberal Club but he wasn't there. I reckoned our performance had pissed him off but we bumped into him a couple of hours later as we headed home. He had thought I'd be in the Oak so had headed there straight after the match - good to see you Paul.

So, I was left reflecting on the season and it was really no more than a 5/10. After a promising early start we bored the pants off our opponents and we became depressing to watch. Injuries took a toll and we were very clearly short of quality in several key positions. Bob Peeters asked for help but got the sack instead and we got Guy Luzon. Guy was handed the players Bob wanted and after they found their feet we found a rich vein of form which proved we had the beating of most sides in this division. Having pulled clear of relegation and with no chance of catching the play-offs we took our feet off the gas and the results peetered out as we gave poor value for money at the tail-end. Compare yesterday's surrender to Sheffield Wednesday who fought Watford for a draw and denied them the Championship title. Why couldn't we do that?

I am pleased to see the end of this season and am also looking forward to a break from Charlton. I will follow the various twists and turns of player changes, which I expect to start early next week with the announcement of a long list of those who have either played their last game for us or whose efforts to made the grade with us will have failed. Beyond that I expect to see us cash in on several assets to "break-even" and who comes in will be telling in terms of ambitions for next season. The degree of first-team change may also determine a reinforcement of Roland's strategy for Charlton Athletic. We need good continuity if we are ever to build a side capable of replicating Bournemouth's achievements this season. 

10 comments:

Redface said...

Thought Bournemouth were excellant, high on confidence and playing with nothing to lose (unlike Watford). Parts of yesterdays game reminded me of the Prem - when you cant get close to the oppo. We were poor but they were good.
Thank you for the blogs this season. Always well considered and enjoyable.

Dave said...

Redface - yes, I suppose it did although effort levels were considerably down on the Premiership days. Thanks for the kind words on the blog.

Martin Cowan said...

Glad you were able to collect your winnings Dave - probably seemed an unlikely prospect while we on that non-winning streak.

I'd hope to see us keep JBG, Gomez, Igor, and Watt, and build on this for next season. Church can go.

Dave said...

Thanks Martin - it should cover my footballing costs next season....

devlinpowell said...

Thanks Dave for your excellent blog which I have enjoyed reading. I manged 4 Home and 3 away this season 1 draw 2 wins 4 defeats which kinda sums the season up. I think we have a team to build on but as you say it depends on who stays and even if Luzon is here next term. Enjoy the break and the winnings

AC said...

Enjoy the close season. This is an excellent blog. I enjoy reading from afar (India). Look forward to following next season and hope there are more reasons to be positive!

Dave said...

You and me both AC. Thanks for reading.

ChicagoAddick said...

Great to see you yesterday Dave. Have a great summer.

Dave said...

You too CA - hopefully see you early on next season when the eternal optimism is at it's height.

Geoff said...

At least we had something to sweat over, Dave - as a regular reader, your bet! I think you owe JBG and Watty a drink for the goals column.

And I hope you have the chance to write about those two next season. If Joe has to go, I hope it's to Arsenal where he will have a chance of playing.

Carry on blogging......