Saturday, 8 August 2015

Charlton Athletic 2 v QPR 0

Oh joyous day, calloo-callay! Apologies to Lewis Carroll but what a fantastic start to the season. Beating ex-Premier League opposition at home was as much as anyone could ask for. It wasn't spell-binding but it was efficient and there is certainly hope.

On a cracking day, we all seemed to arrive earlier than normal and I am pleased to report that there was no delay at the turnstiles although I was 20 minutes early. The screen flashed "not valid" or something equivalent but the turnstile still opened. The steward said "it wouldn't have opened if not valid" so I will reserve judgement. 

The only disappointment was the omission of Tony Watt from the starting line-up. Karl Ahearn-Grant started but struggled for the opening 45 to make a real impression.

QPR started fastest and for twenty minutes it looked like we would do well to manage a draw. The Hoops were busy but they struggled to make any headroom. Solly, Diarra, Bauer and Fox were resolute and Kashi did all the scampering in front of the back four. We came back into it after that and by half-time were very much on level terms. There were precious few chances but Nicky Pope made a solid flying save to keep out a long range effort before the break.

After half-time and kicking towards the Covered End we stepped it up and with Tony Watt replacing KAG, we looked more threatening. It was about the hour mark when Makienok left a beautiful dummy for Watt roaring in from the left and the Scotsman picked up the ball, jockeyed inside his marker before beating Green at his near post.  The goal lifted the game and effectively killed Rangers off. Charlie Austin was a surprise starter for me but largely anonymous and he didn't look particularly interested. It took an hour before I recognised Konchesky was playing which typified the lack of impression made by any R's player.

Morgan Fox stepped inside to fire a crisp second and it was game over. Two thirds of the QPR fans had left before the end and Chris Ramsey must be a worried man.

Bauer and Diarra were solid and Kashi the man-of-the-match in front of them. Ba was competitive in midfield and Cousins and Gudmundson active out wide. Gudmundson was denied a late third by a fine two-handed clawing save from Green up to his top right from a superbly struck free-kick. Makienok needs to do a lot more and didn't really look any threat in the air although he made a couple of good defensive interventions in the last twenty minutes.

It was a good opening day win but QPR are surely not the benchmark for this season. Derby will be a much better test next Saturday.

5 comments:

Chicago Addick said...

Great day Dave. Seems a long time since we won an opener. I thought Diarra was my MoM. Calming and decisive throughout and when he put one of their players into the East Stand it underscored how Luzon has added a lot more no nonsense hardness to our play.

Think you are right on QPR. Think Ramsey could be a fall guy, but you canonl beat what is in front of you.

CA

Geoff said...

Glad you were there, Dave. You seemed to have doubts some weeks back. Great to see our centre-backs defending facing the opposition rather than chasing desperately to catch the escapee. Bauer looks a prize capture. OK, just one game and an opponent (Austin) who didn't want to be there, but he was solid. Kashi got better as the game went on but he doesn't seem confident of his left foot, and better sides may find that out. I only take issue with you on Ba, who I'm afraid looked to me to be the standard of several other Ba's who have played in England - Demba honourably excepted.

That game will have been good for Pope, not just for his own confidence, but his outfielders will trust him more.

Dave said...

Hi Geoff - I'm still a trifle disillusioned but Robin's always have red breasts! Hopefully Roly and Co will prove me wrong. Think we need to give Ba a chance. I heard he looked better than Kasha and the others in pre-season, so maybe the opposition of the tactics didn't suit. Still thought he did well enough on his debut. Agree re Pope too - wouldn't it be great if Henderson couldn't get back in the side?

Dave said...

CA - yes, sunshine and three points at home. Good to beat a fellow London side too. It seems like ages since we last did that and certainly since we regularly held our own in derbies. I did look at us for top London side at 10-1. Not expecting too much from QPR, Fulham or Brentford this year.

David Walker said...

A very good day and a pretty good performance especially considering the number of debutants. Wouldn't argue with your choice for MOM, I thought Kashni had an excellent game and can see him being a key player with his tough, no nonsense, hard working attitude. I thought Makienok done OK, you have to remember it was his first match in the English game and he kept their defence busy thereby creating space for others. All in all, a good start and a bit of promise that it could be a very exciting season!