Sunday 14 February 2010

Please Charlton

Put the smile back on my face. Yesterday was another painful sporting day for me. Scotland put us through the full range of emotions in the 6 Nations clash with Wales in Cardiff as we threw it away conceding 17 points and the lead in five desperate last minutes. This was the footballing equivalent of being two up after 85 minutes and conceding three late goals. It was, at least, a much improved performance and we saw a much more ambitious and attacking Scotland showing. Chris Paterson was injured early on and Thom Evans was stretchered off late on. Paterson might recover before the tournament finishes but Evans will be out for some time. Unfortunately, it writes off Scotland's championship for another year and makes my trip to Rome in a fortnight a strictly Wooden Spoon affair.

In League One, things looked promising with 20 minutes of the afternoon card remaining. Leeds and Norwich were both losing to lowly Orient and Brighton respectively but both recovered. Leeds forced a draw whilst the Canaries went one better to get back on the winning track after their reverse at Millwall last week.

Millwall themselves won again yesterday in a poor match against Exeter City. The game was devoid of goalscoring opportunities until Neil Harris stepped up to finish an 81st free kick and win the contest. 

Elsewhere Colchester drew at Stockport and Huddersfield and Swindon played out a draw which leaves us a point clear in third. Tomorrow's night Sky encounter against Bristol Rovers is a great chance for us to increase our lead in third and steady the ship with two home games to come against Yeovil and Brighton. Unfortunately, unless we are much bolder in our game plan away from the Valley, the draw looks like the result we are really playing for. Soaking up pressure and hitting sides on the break isn't good enough when you are five and potentially eight points adrift of the big prize. The draw at Swindon will encourage Phil Parkinson to stick with his tactics and with two games to come at home, I can see us falling short of the commitment needed to win the game tomorrow. 

Please Charlton, prove me wrong and put the smile back on my face.

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