Tuesday 26 January 2021

Milton Keynes 0 v Charlton Athletic 1

Before the game I thought we could win this evening if we carried on from where we left off against Swindon. We had created enough chances to have won handsomely but our terrible start in conceding twice to their only attempts on goal during the first-half ruined meant we had to settle for a point.

This evening, Bowyer's team came our fighting and our chasing-down of the opposition in possession during the opening twenty minutes was very impressive. Our midfield four of Forster-Caskey, Pratley, Shinnie and Millar sat a little higher than normal and were very quick to press any player receiving the ball or trying to move through our middle. Stockley and Washington also played their part and Milton Keynes found it so difficult that their only outlet was from centre-half Darling, who was restricted to launching 50 yard balls over the top.

We moved the ball well in possession and Liam Millar, in particular, was having real success down the Charlton left. ironically, when our goal came after 18 minutes, it was from our right-hand side. A probing pass-and-move down the flank had dragged the home defence across the field and when Pratley looked to cross, Stockley and Millar were unmarked on the other side of the box. The ball evaded Stockley but Millar caught it with his first touch which moved it onto his right foot and he slammed it past Fisher.

Milton Keynes did come back at us after that but but found the going tougher in midfield than some of our other opponents of late. Andrew Shinnie and Fortser-Caskey were nipping at their heels and Pratley was breaking things up. Millar and Matthews took the ball out every time they got it which made the home team fall back. Amos had seen an effort across goal skim the post and watched a free-kick clear our bar but at half-time we looked comfortable.

Whilst I think a second goal was there if we had gone for it, caution gradually tookover in the second-half. Ronnie Schwartz had been introduced for Conor Washington after 50 minutes - Washington had been by far our quietest player. Annke came on for the tiring Stockley around 70 minutes along with Albie Morgan for Andrew Shinnie. By then we were beginning to defend in more depth and an equaliser looked far more likely. Ben Amos made a brilliant one-on-one stop to halt Jerome as Milton Keynes went for it. A triple substitution around 80 minutes saw them maintain the momentum but we held firm and amazingly played out the four minutes of added time relatively easily.

Saturday's opponents Portsmouth suffered their second successive home defeat, albeit only by the odd goal to table-toppers Lincoln, and we look to be playing them at a good time.

I hope Bowyer sticks with the Oshilaja-Gunter central defensive pairing and is not tempted to bring Pearce or Pratley back into the line. Oshilaja had another commanding performance, even if the man-of-the-match award went to Millar. I would like to see Anneke and Schwartz start on Saturday with Stockley and Washington coming on for the last twenty. I'd stick with the squad of players who played this evening with no other changes.

It would be great to see Famewo come back into a winning side and help improve the defence until Inniss is ready to resume duties. 

Saturday 23 January 2021

Charlton Athletic 2 v Swindon Town 2

Another frustrating day for Charlton fans and another two points lost. We cling on to sixth place in the table but the games in hand other sides have over us makes that a flattering position. Realistically, when matches even out, we really sit about 10th and the only hope from here is a play-off finish.

I was delighted to see Bowyer revert to the back four which kept a clean sheet at Bristol Rovers by bringing Matthews back to right-back and dropping Jason Pearce. Unfortunately, after only five minutes Matthews was unable to stop Hope from rounding him in the box and firing in an acute shot which Amos failed to hold at the near post. It was a gutting start to the match in which we might have already taken the lead. Ronnie Schwartz had ghosted onto a back-pass and seen Travers in the Swindon goal get enough on his shot to steer it onto the post and Chuks Anneke had seen a snapshot fizz across the face of the goal. 

We looked like there were goals in us but we laboured to create the clearcut chances after going one down. Chuks got up to a decent ball in from Williams but he planted his firm header straight at Travers when any angle would have asked big questions of the Town stopper. I think we were guilty of over-playing. Every seemed to want to make another pass and too often we picked the wrong options. 

By contrast, Swindon were much more efficient in possession. They made clear space to receive passes when in possession and moved the ball forward quickly and with some directness. Deji Oshilaja was having another commanding performance in defence alongside Gunter and we didn't look like conceding again. However, on 39 minutes, Swindon worked the ball up on our right and played it in across the box. Millar attacked from the left but was a fraction late and would have committed a foul had he gone through with his challenge. Instead, Palmer was able to drill a shot from 20 yards which Oshilaja tried desperately to block but succeeded only in forcing the ball down as it sped goalward and as it rose it beat Amos' dive. 

Two-nil down at half-time and that horrible stat that we haven't won a match after going a goal down since the play-off final at Wembley again roared into view.. 

Our now weekly procession of early second-half substitutions started with Andrew Shinnie for Jonny Williams. I love Jonny Williams but he looks to me like he's been struggling this season with the pace of games. He can't do more than hour anyway and looks an older player than his 27 years. You could be forgiven for thinking he is a veteran of over 300 games but in reality he has only made around 170-odd first-team appearances (61 for us) in his career.

We started the half brightly and Chuks Anneke was lurking at the back post when Liam Millar swung a quick cross from a Pratley pull-back to reduce the arrears. With plenty of time on the clock we needed some composure but Swindon did well to slow the game down and break our rhythm. Albie Morgan came on for Darren Pratley as Bowyer tried to turn the screw. We continued to get forward but it was all a bit too frantic and we couldn't get the break we needed. Pearce was called on after Ian Maatsen limped off and Jayden Stockley came on with 15 minutes to go for Chuks Anneke who had been our biggest goal-threat up to then and had rattled the bar from close range with a thunderous shot minutes before. 

Ronnie Schwartz hadn't seen much of the ball but he did get it in the net after beating Travers from close range but he had gone a second too early in his desperation to score. He too made way for Washington as Bowyer gambled on fresh legs.

I was bemoaning Shinnie's contribution on 90 minutes when he scored. The impressive Liam Millar had slid a pass through to Forster-Caskey whose touch found Shinnie close in on goal and he beat Travers. He had seen plenty of the ball since coming on but was not finding any space so had struggled to do anything with it. Too many of his passes were underhit or too hopeful but he was at least there when it mattered.

With a total of nine second-half subs, it was no surprise that there were six minutes of added time. We continued to batter away and Conor Washington might have won it at the death when he was played in and rounded Travers but he had been forced wide and with a covering defender scampering for the line, he could only force his shot into the side netting. 

Lee Bowyer would have blown a gasket had we lost but I suspect he will choose to see the positives in this showing and try not to be overly critical of his players. What he can't cover is the fact that we have again given two goals away and left ourselves too much to do in the second-half. 

The arrival of Stockley this week was criticised by some who thought another central defender should've been the priority. I understand that given our struggles of late but I think a forward was the right decision. Famewo and Inniss will return but whatever happens at the moment we look like we need to be out-scoring our opponents to win and that was never going to happen with a reliance on Omar Bogle. 

Wednesday 20 January 2021

Peterborough United 2 v Charlton Athletic 1

Last night's disappointing performance and result against fellow promotion hopefuls, Peterborough United, was entirely predictable. We all know we are struggling to put out a side capable of winning more games than we lose at the moment. That's a result of injuries and salary cap regulations which means our ability to improve our squad is limited, so it is going to take time to significantly strengthen what we have. What we should be able to do, however, is manage our players in such a way as to ensure we get the best we can from those we have available and, for me, that is not happening.

The side we started with last night wasn't the strongest available to us. Accordingly, our game plan, wasn't as positive as it could be and our substitutions were mismanaged and cost us three points. All of this sits with Lee Bowyer. I will say now that I remain fully behind the manager. His record stands for itself and I believe he can take the club forward. This may all be part of the learning process but he has to learn but there are worrying signs that current lessons aren't sinking in.

Peterborough have a strong home record and score plenty of goals. We have shown repeatedly since the loss of Inniss and Famewo that we struggle to defend for any length of time without conceding goals. Faced with that fact, we need to ensure we have the strongest attacking frontline and a midfield capable of relieving pressure on our defence and supporting the strikeforce. Too many times in the last few months we simply haven't done that and we did it again yesterday.

It is blatantly obvious to anyone with an ounce of insight that Omar Bogle is not a goal-scorer. More clear still is that he appears to have very limited technical ability and when he is in the side we struggle very badly upfront. That's not an opinion, it's a fact. He was brought in because he was available to us (at the time and for the budget) and looked like Chuks Anneke Mark 2 which would hopefully allow us to rest one of them at all times. The problem is that the likeness ended at their physical size and appearance. When he was hauled off after 32 minutes the other week, I thought Bowyer had finally had enough and had realised that he simply doesn't offer enough to the side to help us win games. The priority signature of Ronnie Schwartz also signalled that Bogle was on his way out. Sadly, he has continued to get minutes, albeit as a sub most recently but we started with him last night with Anneke on the bench. It was no surprise to me then that we had no attempts on goal last night whilst Bogle was the focal point of our attacking ambition. 

The penalty we scored after 14 minutes should have given us a platform to score again and go on to win the game but we didn't have the ambition or the personnel on the pitch. Instead, we settled back content to manage the game and did that well enough to half-time. Deji Oshilaja was having a fine game at the back but I was annoyed we hadn't kept the same back four that did so well at Bristol Rovers on Saturday. Maatsen, Ohsilaja, Gunter and Matthews had kept a rare clean sheet, why drop Matthews and bring back Pearce so quickly when we have been shipping goals with him in the backline?

It was fairly obvious that Darren Ferguson was going to change things in the second-half and he did. Burrows came on after 58 minutes and Brown on 64 minutes. Posh were clearly upping the ante and we were retreating further into our shells. The equaliser was coming but when it did, it was down very simply to a communications error between Oshilaja and Pearce both going for the same bouncing ball. A shout was all it needed but it didn't come. Oshilaja might have feared the worst with Pearce having made a horlicks of a similar ball the other week and decided to try and avert the danger himself but it all went wrong and Szmodics was left free to beat Amos.

What we needed at that point was to take the game back to our hosts and give ourselves the chance to score another goal. It was clear Anneke was needed. Millar had been doing well and Forster-Caskey, Saturday's other man-of-the-match, was also strong in the middle. Fresh legs were needed but why make a three player change at once? Anneke and Schwartz were a no-brainer but why also change a well performing Forster-Caskey. Before those three found their feet, Posh got a second and it was Forster-Caskey's replacement, Andrew Shinnie, who was complicit in the goal.

After that we were chasing the game but Peterborough did what we fail to do so often when we are front. They kept going forward and came closer to a third than we did to an equaliser. Szmodics should have got a hat-trick but Ben Amos made a stop he had no right to and which went some way to atone for the second that he might have done better with.

As the clock ran down, Bowyer then did something I can't forgive. He brought Gilbey on. Gilbey has struggled since joining us. He has had injuries but when he has been on he simply hasn't done well enough. With no shortage of similar midfield players, Gilbey has stood out in recent weeks for not standing out. In his last two games he hardly touched the ball and should have been dropped before he was. Bowyer rightly called him out in my mind and I said he should only come back into the side if he could demonstrate a determination to compete and add something. In my mind, that wouldn't have been for weeks. He needed to understand he had lost his place and to come back we had to see a clear change. Instead, he was thrown on last and once again showed nothing. 

It's simply too easy to be part of this squad and take your turn on rotation. It's no surprise then that some players aren't giving their all or are playing despite better players being available on the bench. Until that changes, we can't expect to start winning more games than we lose.  

Saturday 16 January 2021

New Charlton Athletic Magazine for Fans

Pleased to see that there is a new Charlton magazine out this week. It's produced by Addicks fan Gavin Billenness whose full-time job is in media. Not surprisingly, it's a well put-together, good-looking and colourful addition to all-things-Charlton.

As well as an exclusive interview with Speedway enthusiast Graham Stuart and an excellent appreciation piece on the Great Breton, Yann Kermogant, there is also an assessment of Albie Morgan who blotted his copy-book today.

It's being launched as a glossy magazine which is no mean feat given there will be no crowds anytime soon to sell it to but subscribers can order copies from www.modmag.co.uk. You can also reach the editor on Twitter @modmag1905. I believe a digital version will also be made available in due course. 

Get behind it for less than the price of a pint.

Bristol Rovers 0 v Charlton Athletic 1

Lee Bowyer's boys made a meal of this but at least we got the win and are still hanging on to a play-off place. 

A goal that looked direct from a corner just after the hour gave us the lead but we should have been three up at least when the five minutes of extra time were added. By then, we had been reduced to ten men because of a silly first yellow card that Albie Morgan got and the almost inevitable second for a foul. Lee Bowyer should be very unhappy with Morgan given he was booked for pulling someone back on Tuesday when again they represented no immediate threat. 

For a change I am pleased to say that the defence were pretty solid and our midfield managed to hold the ball and play it up for the strikers. Sadly, it was not a good day for them. Washington, Anneke, Smyth as well as subs Bogle and Schwartz all fluffed their lines. Aneke missed a couple of sitters in the first half. Bogle blew a one-on-one and Schwartz managed to block a couple of other efforts that might have gone in. Still, we managed the win and that excuses the misses to some extent.

My man-of-the-match was the unfairly maligned Deji Oshilaja with Jake Forster-Caskey a close second. Oshilaja won everything in the air at the back. He made several fine last-ditch tackles and provided great support for Maatsen on his left and Gunter and Matthews to the right. Forster-Caskey saw a lot more of the ball than in recent weeks and provided a supply of decent balls forward which deserved more. 

Liam Millar had another good game and may have a shout of the goal if he got a touch. His presence in the line between Forster-Caskey's corner and the goal at least blind-sided Day in the Rovers goal. 

It should be said that Rovers didn't exactly look full of confidence and that this was the sort of result we might expect against a side 19th in the table. However, the others down there have all been taking points off us, so we shouldn't knock it. The win keeps us in sixth as those above us largely won as well but what is now very noticeable is that sides below us have games in hand. Ipswich and Sunderland both have two and they are a point and three points off us respectively. Accrington have four matches in hand and are only three points behind us. We will need to get another run going just to stay in the chase.

On Tuesday night we go to Peterborough United who sit a place above us. It will be a big test for our make-shift side. They walloped Mk Dons 3-0 today and have won their last four home games handsomely. We do have a tendency to play better against better opposition but we will need everyone to be on their game at London Road.

Tuesday 12 January 2021

Charlton Athletic 4 v Rochdale 4

Never has a point at home to Rochdale been better received. A quite astonishing match at The Valley this evening which managed not only to encapsulate what's been going wrong for Lee Bowyer and the Addicks these last couple of months but also showed, very clearly to my mind, the way out of our current difficulties.

Lee Bowyer looked determine to stare the Angry Brigade down again at the start of the match when he went for a three-at-the-back formation which meant Paul Smyth operating as a right wing-back. His continued experimentation with playing players out-of-position, backfired very quickly. Having fallen behind easily to an all-the-time-in-the-world strike from 20 yards which flew in off a post, Smyth was ruthlessly exposed on the right by 17 year old Baah who skated passed him and smashed a second into the roof of Amos' net. Chuks Anneke gave us a little hope with a determined charge and finish before Smyth was left in thin air again by Baah as Rochdale hit three. It forced a defensive switch which at least meant Bowyer acknowledged his mistake.

Forster-Caskey managed to close the gap with a shot that deflected off a Rochdale head and beyond Bazuno's dive. As if we hadn't suffered enough though, Humphrys stepped up to hammer a free-kick through the Charlton wall and beyond Amos to put Dale 4-2 up at the break and they looked unassailable.

As has become necessary in recent weeks, Bowyer had little option but to pull two players at half-time. He manage to get that right as Smyth was clearly punished and Bowyer finally lost patience with Gilbey. He's a senior pro and he was very fortunate not to be taken off against Accrington Stanley after hiding during the first-half of that game but justice was done tonight and I don't want to see him start a game again until he proves worthy as a substitute. 

The hoped-for fight-back arrived on 65 minutes when Chuks Anneke applied the finish to a fast moving breakout and cross from the right which he met powerfully in the centre. Three minutes later and Ronnie Schwartz  scored a goal that settled the debate about his quality. He rounded off a good move with a superbly struck goal that he lodged in the top corner. With 22 minutes still to go, it looked like a redemption showing and Anneke was denied what would have been a brilliant fifth before the end by a fine diving save from Bazuno. 

With two minutes left of normal time, Trevor Kettle once again pissed on our chips by somehow yellow carding Jason Pearce after he went for a ball with Bazuno. Bazuno made a meal of it and Kettle was quick to flash the second yellow followed by a red. After that we brought Matthews on and settled for the draw.

Lee Bowyer's post match commentary will be interesting but I think the come-back will enable him to moderate his language and talk this one through. For me though, the game should prove to be pivotal in terms of spelling out, once-and-for-all, that he needs to play players in their best positions and that attack is the best form of defence. Ronnie Schwartz may be short of match fitness but showed his class tonight and he looks like he could be what Chuks Anneke has been crying out for. Hopefully that means we have seen the last of Omar Bogle who needs to move on and find a level of football that suits him. 

Saturday 9 January 2021

Charlton Athletic 0 v Accrington Stanley 2

Oh the pain. Once again humbled live on Sky to the footballing nation. Thankfully most will have chosen to watch one of the two F A Cup ties on terrestrial TV but us Addicks were left to suffer once again.

For me the result was a milestone this season. It was the match that saw our hopes of automatic promotion disappear. We are now 9 points off Lincoln with six teams above us. It would take a winning streak of Inniss/Fanewo proportions to move us back into contention but those two are still weeks if not a couple of months away from active service.

The ignominy of losing to a side who were non-league not so long ago hurts but you have to accept that Accrington Stanley are in League One on merit and when they outfight, outthink and outplay you, it's time to show some respect. Especially so when next up are forever league whipping boys, Rochdale.

We were undone by a defensive howler from Jason Pearce who failed to get enough on a long kick from keeper Baxter and Stanley's Bishop nipped in to lift the ball over the advancing Amos and run on to head in from two yards. In the second-half, Bishop scored again, this time selling Oshilaja a dummy and leaving him on the deck before side-stepping him and making an angle to score as Pearce slid in hopelessly from the right. The absence of Inniss and Famewo couldn't have been more painfully underlined.

To be fair to Andy Holt's club, Accrington Stanley bossed the match. They peppered our goal-frame from the start and must have had at least a dozen shots from the 20 yard mark in the first-half alone. In the second-period, with the lead, they were more defensively minded but still got forward at will.

Lee Bowyer's post-match anger was evident and those who believe he has lost the dressing room will not have been discouraged by his Sky TV rant when he openly called out most of the team and was directly critical of Marcus Maddison for pulling out of a tackle late on. Maddison had taken a knock seconds before and limped off afterwards but Bowyer was incandescent and said that players who don't put in the effort won't be playing for the club. This sounded a little desperate given we have been seeing this for weeks now with the same players being rotated back into the side.

For what it's worth, Oshilaja and Pearce were both woeful at the centre of defence but for me, the problem is they are seeing far too much of the ball because our midfield can't hold it and they have been schooled to pass it around between themselves and Amos, which they do religiously, even when we are losing. 

Ian Maatsen is a tidy little player but he is guilty of over-playing and loses possession too much. He should be given strict instructions on his job. Gunter was tidy enough but part of a mis-firing back-line.

Midfield was the big problem. Morgan and Gilbey were missing in action during the first-half. It was the 23rd minute before I even saw Morgan and I only noticed he was hooked at half-time because Anneke came on. Gilbey should also have gone but Bowyer instead preferred to take off our man-of-the-match, debutant Liam Millar. He may have been tiring but Gilbey was asleep. Millar had been lively down our left and was unlucky not to have created more but until Anneke arrived there was nothing to aim for. Washington and Smyth run around a lot but neither are going to win a towering cross in the middle of the box. Millar reminded me very much of Jerome Thomas. Gloved arms out wide for balance and a slaloming, stopover, running style.

Forster-Caskey was a little more engaged but couldn't stop Accrington playing through us at will. He had a decent effort towards the end of the first-half which might have impacted the match but Baxter made a smart save to stop the cross shot. Smyth was ok on the right too and was one, like Millar who at least put in a shift.

Upfront poor Conor Washington was left looking busy but with little service and little chance as he was marked out of the game by Burgess, Hughes and Nottingham. 

The bedwetters are screaming for Bowyer to go but these are largely the same people who post "in Bows we trust' after we win a couple of matches. 'Fickle' is the word and it's an understandable reaction to what we are seeing but you have to ask yourself why are we struggling and who, realistically, would do better quickly? We all know that central defence without Inniss and Famewo is a major problem. It's been clear since August that we don't have a forward line that will lead us to promotion and leaves a midfield that looks worryingly short of confidence and commitment.

Andrew Shinnie is proving a big miss. Marcus Maddison has not yet made his mark and his stay could well now be over. Gilbey has been promising since arriving but nothing more and he has been coasting since his return. Not sure what's happened to Albie Morgan but he's lost whatever he was showing when he broke into the side. Jonny Williams can't manage more than 20 minutes and Forster-Caskey is a bit of a luxury for his contribution. That leaves Ben Watson who we rely upon too much and who is often embroiled in the back-four's passing-it-around game. Darren Pratley's energy might help slow the opposition in the middle but too often he's been playing in central defence or inclined to drift back where he is a bit of a liability. 

Replacing Bowyer won't help, even if we managed to get a new manager-bounce which hasn't really applied to us previously. The fundamental problem is our squad. It was woefully short in July and hurriedly assembled in August. At full fitness we can compete in this league but we have been well-short of that for two months now. 

We need to focus on some basics now and use this season to consolidate. Bowyer needs to pick players who are going to put in the required effort as a minimum. I'd like to see us settle on a side and stop rotating players. Accrington Stanley showed us last night what you can do with a settled side and a limited squad. Players who are just so-so aren't good enough for this club and we have too many of them. 

A brutal clearcut is needed in the Summer when lots of them have contracts that expire and the loanees are likely move on anyway. That would free-up the wage bill under the salary cap and allow us to rebuild. In the meantime, we have to suck it up as the Yanks would say.

Saturday 2 January 2021

Hull City 2 v Charlton Athletic 0

I couldn't bring myself to write-up the Plymouth game, I was so pissed-off. Today I thought we would see a renewed intent and purpose. A team determined to atone instead of lamely "going again." Instead, after an hour and a bit I have given up on Valley Pass and have decided to start the obituary early.

Hull City were low on confidence going into this match having lost three on the spin.  In the first half we gave them the lead and they should have been at two-up before the break. After the break and the usual Bowyer changes we looked little better and then Darren Pratley somehow managed to get a straight red card which has ended the contest for me.

Not sure where to begin but it was piss-poor from start to finish. Team selection was again a mess. Bowyer to blame and he needs to stop pissing about quickly or he will find himself up Shit Creek paddle-less. Stuck with Pearce and Pratley at the centre of defence - Pearce went to sleep for Hull's opener and Pratley got himself sent-off on 65 minutes. Matthews was at left back with left-footed Purrington on the bench. Maatsen was playing on the right with Forster-Caskey on the left. Albie Morgan went missing and up-top, once more, the big hope was Omar Bogle. 

None of it worked. Our midfield couldn't retain possession for more than five seconds. Service to the front two was poor but when it did get forward, Bungle was there to immediately lose possession, miss-kick, get out-jumped, stumble, fall-over, put it into touch or blow it some other way. That left our back four once more dominating possession by spraying it around amongst themselves in ever decreasing arcs until Amos was forced to hoof it upfield or we lost possession and were forced into panic defence.

The Hull opener, when it came, was easy-peasy. A break down our right, a cross into the box and a man let go by Pearce to knock it in. Woeful. What response did it provioke? Zilch. We simply carried on losing possession, passing it around the back four and watching Hull miss chance after chance when they did get forward. 

Gilbey was brought on for Watson in the first-half after Watson took a knock but I didn't see him touch the ball until ten minutes into the second-half. By then Bungle had been hooked and Paul Smyth introduced. That did nothing to sort the midfield mess but at least Maatsen had been moved back to where he should have been on the left-hand side of the pitch. 

Pratley's red card was from nowhere and lots of conjecture about what it was for but I can only assume dissent given it was a straight red and there had been no scything tackle before it. If it was dissent, I have had it with him. He is a battler but also a liability in central defence when he lacks pace and is at risk using his tackling speciality of wrestling opposition players to the floor. If he's helped ensure there was no way back today, we will have to find another choice at centre-half (Barker?) and stick with him. 

Not sure I will bother with Valley Pass again until there's some point watching. That starts with no more Bogle. He is the worst 'centre-forward' I have ever seen play for us. Worse than Mike Small, Russ Abbott, Leroy Ambrose and all the others my mind has mercifully erased from the memory banks. Bowyer must know that but why persist when he could have played Davidson (pre-loan) or Smyth. I would honestly have played anyone else in the squad who thought they could give it a go than put Bogle in, knowing full well he would thwart our attacking options. 

A Covid-induced break in the league for six weeks or so might help us with injuries. Failing that, Bowyer needs several players quickly and several need to be moved on to remind the others that they get paid good money to perform and not just appear in the red shirt. 

i see it finished two-nil. The slide out of play-off contention continues.