Saturday 9 August 2008

Charlton Athletic 2 v Swansea City 0

Phew! Glad that's out of the way and we have at least got off to a winning start. In all honesty it wasn't a difficult match and Swansea can have few complaints (certainly not the Jacks I spoke to after the match).

Pards got a dream start with debutant Mark Hudson heading home unopposed from the first corner after only two minutes. The back four were rarely troubled after that and the only disappointment for me was that we didn't go after them for more goals until later in the game.

Swansea spent the first half probing the right flank but Kelly Youga stood up to everything they had to try. Mark Hudson was faultless and Fortune had an a superb game alongside him. I was critical of Fortune last week but need to say here that he was excellent and that he looked like he has a partnership going with Hudson. Hudson was sublime and played the model Captain's role in addition to heading the opener.

It took Swansea until the 35th minute to test Weaver and he saved smartly then for Youga to clear. Swansea had another half-chance before the break but the Addicks went in deservedly 1-0 at half-time.

Pardew was quick to act in the second half and was right to replace Shelvey relatively early on with Matty Holland after 55 minutes. Swansea had started the second half more brightly and we needed to mix it up. They huffed and puffed but bar one effort which Weaver pushed out for Fortune to clear, they didn't look like scoring. Swansea were reduced to ten men after a suicidal couple of minutes from Gary Monk who picked up two quick bookings and the ensuing red card. Jason Scotland looked lively when he came on but by then Grant Basey was on for the lack-lustre Jerome Thomas and new loanee Hameur Bouazza had replaced a disappointing Lloyd Sam. Charlton looked comfortable against ten men and the second goal, a near-post header from Andy Gray from a free kick, was all that was required to end the contest. Luke Varney could have rubbed salt into the wounds but his snapshot, when put through, cannoned off of De Vries. Weaver was called upon to save a free kick and swipe the loose ball clear after that but the result was in no doubt.

Bearing in mind the turbulent pre-season we have had, this was as good as we could expect and the players looked really up for it. It bodes well for the difficult away game at Watford next week.

The signing of Hameur Bouazza should not be under-estimated and is more significant than may first appear. He is a Premier League player who knows the Championship well. He is with us for the season and should provide a valuable supply-line to Gray and Varney. Lloyd Sam has some much needed competition and hopefully it will rub off on Thomas too.

I am of a mind to make the trip to Vicarage Road on Saturday.

Come on you Reds!


  1. I hate to boast here Dave, but I think the win is entirely down to me wearing my old silk scarf for the first time in decades. It carries extra Ju Ju as it is signed by the likes Les Berry, Dick Tydeman etc.

    I was very impressed by Mr Fortune - he was my man of the match. He made some crucial tackles and blocks, as did Youga.

    I actually thought JT played really well. He was our main threat - five fouls on him in the first twenty minutes confirmed this. But I liked the way we combined with Youga in defence.

    Varney and Gray so nearly linked up on several occasions to tear them apart - but that final clever through ball never quite came. But it will do. But they chased everythin down to make defence start up front.

    Liked Swansea's football - though the number of times they handballed it in the first half makes me wonder if their preseason was in Harlem.

    Our crowd were quiet - the drummer must be on holiday and we missed him.

    I do feel sooo good.

    Pembury Addick

  2. PA - Les Berry and Dick Tydeman? Yes, puts the current squad issues into context.

    Thomas had the beating of the defenders around him and he looked dangerous but the problem with him is always the same - little or no end product. Where were the crosses or scoring chances? At least he looks like he's making an effort this season.

    I agree re Gray and Varney and Hameur Bouazza will help the supply-line but we really must get a central midfielder who can pcik a pass or organise the midfield so we can provide more balls for the front two.

    It's great to be off the mark with a win but the bump won't be far away and how we respond to that will tell us if this squad will compete this year.

    Keep wearing that old silk scarf!


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