Saturday, 22 August 2015

Charlton Athletic 2 v Hull City 1

Guy Luzon's men won at the Valley for the second successive time to assert their fine, if unexpected start to the season. The victory was fully deserved but not without some added time drama.

Hull were clearly here for the point. Their lack of first-half ambition was embarrassing. I can't remember us having such a complete run of it for many a season. The fact that we didn't capitalise was reflective of our lack of cutting edge, but we held the ball well and outplayed the visitors. 

Solly, Watt and Reza were all missing as expected and Luzon chose to bring Cousins in at right-back and play a five man midfield with Kashi, Ba, Bergdych, Ceballos and Gudmundson. Kashi was again the standout player making space for the ball and finding other red shirts whenever in possession. Ba tied up all around him and it was left to the other three to probe the Tigers defence. 

Simon Makienok was struggling with pace and touch but after the break and attacking the Covered End, he took his chance five minutes after the re-start. He attacked the near post and met Gudmundson's cross perfectly to head across McGregor for the opener. His relief was palpable and he paid long homage to Thor before the match restarted.

After that it looked like a straightforward 1-0 home win. Hull struggled to raise their game and we really should have gone for the jugular. As it was, it took Hull substitutions to inject some urgency and with seconds of ordinary time on the clock Hull finally got forward and stretched us. Hayden picked the ball up in space 20 yards out and drove a fierce shot which cannoned off the post. It was picked up in play and with players sliding and back-pedalling, it went back to him a couple of yards closer and in even more space but this time his shot beat everyone but Pope. Nicky blocked the shot but couldn't manage to hold it and as it squirmed free, Hernandez swept it in. That was gutting but moments later we were informed of 8 (eight) minutes of added time.

The momentum was with Hull and they were winning the 50-50's. As they piled forward, a back post ball was headed home and I thought that was it. One of the Hull visitors behind me tapped me on the shoulder to tell me it was offside and we breathed again. Before the dust could settle we were back in their half and with men breaking right and left, Makienok beat their keeper to a challenge and the ball broke inside for a rampaging Johan Berg Gudmundsson who was able to run on and head the bouncing ball into an unguarded net. 

A deserved win and great to see a Valley crowd leaving in high spirits once again. The three points pushed us into third and cements a fine start in spite of injuries. If we can avoid defeat at Wolves next week we have a great opportunity to record our third home win in-a-row against struggling Rotherham. 

2 comments:

Thanetaddick said...

Always nice to leave a ground with victory under the belt, but wins like this really make you remember why you really love to go to the football!

Thanetaddick said...

Always nice to leave a ground with victory under the belt, but wins like this really make you remember why you really love to go to the football!