Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Charlton Athletic 1 v Huddersfield Town 2

Out with good mates I haven't seen for ages last Friday, one of them told me my Blogging was becoming depressing and that I needed to up the positivity. I laughed but did reflect on that over the weekend. Sadly Mick, all I could hear this evening was a definite hissing sound as our early season bubble continued to deflate and it's hard to be positive after that performance. I was reminded once again why I wrestled with the notion of renewing this season and why I am decided that I won't be going every week just because I feel I have to. If there's a real prospect of coming home feeling depressed like I do this evening, then I will do something else. It's not that I expect to see us win every week, I don't - I have been going too long for that. But I do expect to see us trying our best and to know that we have a competitive squad of players and that the game-plan is more than bringing on a few players to sell for profit.  

Perhaps we are expecting too much? Early season flash-in-the-pan and perhaps Huddersfield were overdue their first victory. They certainly went for it from the off and didn't we look sluggish and flat-footed. Jordan Cousins did flash a shot a foot wide in the opening minutes but it was Ishmail Miller who caught the eye and gave Patrick Bauer an uncomfortable 45 minutes. Sean Scannell was his customary thorn-in-our-side and we were second to everything. Out-jumped in the air and even the referee seemed to be aiding them. 

After 11 minutes, Morgan Fox lost a fifty-fifty to Scannell who made the most of it and delivered a penalty-spot cross which Bunn smashed with a powerful volley straight at the centre of the goal. Nicky Pope was right there but the pace caught him out and he could only direct the ball high into the net. The Terriers tails were up and remained so for much of the first-half when they managed to score a second from a free-kick which beat Pope. I'd need to see it again but it didn't look like an unstoppable shot.

So two-nil down and suddenly there were players looking hurt and bothered. We did respond after that and Naby Sarr (doesn't he look like Paul Mortimer on the ball) managed to get a head on a corner and direct it into the far corner to give us hope. Sarr looked awkward at times in the first-half but improved notably in the second. It didn't help that Bauer was struggling with Miller and that Fox was under pressure on the left. The centre pairing of Kashi and Ba were again second-best as on Saturday and Jordan Cousins was once more wasted on the left side. Several times Fox emerged from an encounter desperately looking down the line for Cousins who was nowhere to be seen. The first-half petered out with a couple of desperate long range efforts from Ba as we struggled to break down Huddersfield's two banks of four.

After the restart we huffed and puffed in typical second-half Charlton fashion but they were proving hard to beat and continued to look lively on the break although our back four looked more assured than in the first period. Even Kashi and Ba began to see more of the ball but Makienok wasn't finding any space and Tony Watt was playing much more withdrawn than he should have been. The consequence of that was Tony Watt losing possession with almost every touch and often when he was bringing the ball up with four or five men ahead of him. He has to be used as an out-and-out striker if we are to get the best from him. He has the skill and unpredictability to turn a defender and shoot but left with four to beat from midfield he is a liability.

Ba was taken off after 55 minutes to enable us to revert to a 4-4-2 allowing Cousins to drop into central midfield and for ten minutes it looked like Bergdych might change the game but for all his pace and urgency, he was well marshalled on his side. That seemed to be the cue to drop Berdych back to Morgan Fox's position to enable Conor McAleny to make his loan debut. McAleny looked good on the ball. Balanced, composed and pacey, he managed a couple of ambitious shots but also tried a couple of threaded passes which it looked like we would need to score again because we weren't getting behind them with any space and were winning nothing in the air. That was probably why Makienok made way for Igor Vetokele after 80 minutes but Igor made no impression and was outpaced whenever the ball went near him.

Five minutes of added time weren't enough and there was a familiar disgruntled air as the ground emptied. Interestingly, after seven games we are now 12th, where we finished last season. Based on what we have seen, I think that's a more realistic expectation for our season this year. Blackburn away looks a home banker from here and next week's visit to high-flying Palace suddenly feels uncomfortable. 


Kings Hill Addick said...

After that game Dave you seem very positive. There is a feeling, elsewhere, that the world might be just about to end.

I fear you could be correct about Palace though. They have a very strong side, currently, and if they play anything like their best side we could be on the end of a bear bad beating.

We need to avoid defeat at Blackburn then treat the cup game as a 'Bonus Ball'.

Chicago Addck said...

Depressing maybe Dave, but plenty of home truths. Lots to ponder. Thanks for the quick report.

Dave said...

You're welcome CA - I had to get it off mu chest before bed...

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave, not posted this season as........ well, as stated pre-season, I was/am just fucking bored with football and CAFC in general.I did not feel as optimistic as some of our fellow Addicks, it just seemed same old same old to me and at present it just appears to be a groundhog day type of early season.

Hopefully, I will gain some long lost enthusiasm eventually and join you and Mick for a long overdue beer, I would like that, however, it will be unlikely to be a pre or post match bevvie.