Sunday, 28 February 2016

Charlton Athletic 3 v Reading 4

Four more nails hammered into the Charlton coffin yesterday in front of a surprising good 'football for a fiver' crowd. Katrien Meire should take note because football for a fiver is close to what she will need to offer all next season if she's to avoid the gates collapsing dramatically. 

For the first time since signing them, Sanogo, Motta, Yun, Fanni and Texeira all started. Yun had a fine match at left back and would have been my Charlton man-of-the-match but he was pipped by the running and goals from the Arsenal youngster who reminded me of Adebayor. 

I say Charlton man-of-the-match because the best player on the park was Yann Kermorgant who was out to prove a personal point to Roland Duchatelet. After opening the scoring with a brilliantly directed thumping header, the Frenchman rattled an absolute peach into the top corner to restore Reading's lead after Sanogo had raced onto a through ball from Motta to equalise.

Three minutes before the break we stuck our half-time chin out once again and Ola John duly smacked us. I was ready to leave and catch the end of the Italy v Scotland game but my missus said we should stay "because you never know what might happen."

Shortly after the restart, Sanogo headed powerfully at goal but his header was parried by the keeper and as it came out it was run back into the goal by the covering defender. It barely crossed the line but it was given anyway. Not sure how Sanogo can claim it but he has. Two-three then and we continued to press. Bergdych and Gudmundson both looked bothered and Makienok was winning some aerial ball but it was the galloping Sanogo who was finding space and through balls. With the clock running down, Gudmundson found himself with a second to spare twenty yards out and smashed the ball goalward. It was another fierce shot but straight at their keeper and again he parried it out but only to the waiting Sanogo whose return was enough to cross the line once again by a couple of inches.

The problem for us though, was Reading were all over us at the back when they attacked. Tex stood up well but Relegation Roger had a match he would rather forget. Diarra had offered some protection in the first half but he began to fade in the second. Henderson had already pulled off two full stretch saves and in the 92nd minute Reading broke in numbers and a driven left wing cross beat every red shirt and was picked up at the back post by Rakels who had time to beat Henderson and send 3000 Royals fans home happy. 

We are still only (only) seven points and a hundred goals behind fourth bottom MK Dons but we won't get another seven points this season. Next year we are headed to Accrington Stanley and other footballing outposts. Meire will close the parts of the ground and ticketing will go online. They may dispense with programmes and we will cash in on players during the close season. Next August's starting line-up will bare scant resemblance to yesterday's. Gates will consistently be four figures and I predict we will struggle. Competitive in the Championship with ambitions for the Prmeir League my arse. The cost of running the club will have been reduced so they can concentrate on farming young players. I'm out.

Finally, doffs hat to the 20 Addicks who took the "Time to Go" banner go Duchatlet's back yard yesterday and displayed it during the St. Trinden match. All were ejected and the banner confiscated but the point was made, the press alerted and their ejection from the ground was roundly booed by the home fans. Roland, there will only be one winner in the long run and it's not you.

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