Monday, 22 September 2014

Charlton Leave The Bec Door Open

Rotherham United 1-1 Charlton Athletic

For the fourth time this season & the second time in a week Charlton again took the lead but couldn't hold on for the three points as this time a goal from Luciano Becchio 20 minutes from time gave both sides a share of the spoils.

So Saturday saw us take our second northern league trip of the season and this time to South Yorkshire and to the New York Stadium. I do like a Northern away day usually a good day out with mates & a new place to visit and take in, and although Rotherham is not known for its tourist attractions we still enjoyed a good day out there.

Along with many other Charlton fans we got the train just before 10 from St Pancras station meaning we arrived at Sheffield just before 12 leaving us with a short 10 minute train ride on the two carriage express (slowest oldest train running) to Rotherham Central station by 12.26 and it was a fairly easy & simple trip.

En route there were some London based Sheffield Wednesday fans on the train & one of them modelling a home shirt with Ex Charlton fans favourite Miguel Llera on the back which needless to say caused a good reaction from Charlton fans with the infamous song of the Spaniard not having a clue being chanted at him.
A welcoming sign outside the pub LOOK AT THE BOTTOM!

As we got off at Rotherham station across from there was a pub called The Bridge Inn where we and the majority of Charlton fans headed, an ideal location opposite the station and under a ten minute walk from the ground. The pub served good ales and lagers and burgers and pies also, a nice olden style pub with plenty of atmosphere with the football on the telly also. They also had scarves up of most football clubs which was a nice touch.
Charlton Scarf up in the Bridge Inn Pub Rotherham
After a few drinks and a good sing song  we made the short walk towards the ground, and on first reaction you cant not be impressed by The New York Stadium built two years ago and literally just next to their old ground Millmoor and you know this because Millmoor's iconic old floodlights still stand.
Made our way inside & into our seats and had a great vantage point being in the back row looking around it was a perfect stadium for Rotherham holds twelve thousand with most areas of the ground full.No point building a big stadium and seeing large sections of empty seats but with these new ground there's always planning permission in place to easily expand the ground when needed.

Onto the match and the team news from Yorkshire was that Franck Moussa got a start with Tucadean dropping to the bench, Chris Solly returned replacing Gomez & Gudmundsson was back from injury meaning Wilson was a sub once again.

Ben Haim

Jackson (c)



So for Charlton it was a 4-4-1-1 formation with Moussa playing in just behind Vetokele.

Here's just a brief match report as being situated behind the goal and my singing along during the game I may not be as accurate as a home match so apologies if I missed anything out or a players performance is not on point!

The game kicked off and we were put straight on the back foot with Rotherham putting pressure on and fortunately Wordsworth firing high & wide after just a matter of seconds. A few minutes later came another chance at goal for Rotherham a nice passing move fell to Alex Revell in the box he turned and shot but his shot was too weak and was straight into Henderson.

Charlton then hit back with some good passing play Wiggins fed through Cousins and from just outside the box he fired just over. Again a similar move found Moussa laying off Jackson but again not troubling the keeper with the skippers effort firing wide.

Again Charlton's pressured with a few corners but unlike Tuesday night we failed to beat the keeper from the set plays. Then shortly after saw the unwanted sight of Moussa being booked for diving which from where I was looked like a fair decision, a few minutes later though Moussa had a good effort just firing wide to the right of the goal.The action was end to end and Skarz & Bowery both had chances for Rotherham but both fired narrowly wide.

But after 26 minutes Charlton made the breakthrough and it was the returning Gudmundsson with the goal, Ben Haim tried chipping a ball over the top it wasn't cleared by Rotherham & just past the halfway line it fell to Gudmundsson who cut inside and from outside the box fired a lovely side footed effort into the bottom corner with the keeper having no chance 0-1 He then ran and celebrated with Charlton physio Erol Umut.

Revell & Taylor both had chances for Rotherham but the Charlton defence was strong and both efforts never troubled Henderson. Moussa was a real live wire for us having an effort blocked after good link up play with Vetokele & winning a free kick in a good area which unfortunately came to nothing.

Rotherham Striker Revell was then replaced by Becchio he had picked up a knock earlier on in the game and couldn't shake it off.
Action in first half

The five minutes before the break saw Charlton bombard the Rotherham goal Moussa & Ben Haim both firing efforts at goal which the Rotherham Keeper had to save well to. The best chance of that spell fell to Wiggins firing just over from the side of the box after being fed by Jackson. Jackson in turn had a effort at goal himself but he fired over. The half time whistle went and Charlton really finished the half well and heading into the break with a deserved lead.

Rotherham made a change at half time Frecklington replacing Smallwood and it was Frecklington who had a effort at goal early on in the second half signalling the start of a Rotherham fightback.
As the half went on Charlton fans were getting frustrated due to the constant Rotherham pressure and Charlton not being able to keep hold of possession, fortunately Rotherhams efforts never troubled Henderson.

Moussa was then replaced by Bulot on the hour mark, again Big Bob making an early sub hoping this would break up the Rotherham pressure. But Rotherham kept coming and it was Frecklington firing shots at the goal again but fortunately wide of goal. Charlton then mounted a chance of their own but Bikey's header from a corner was too high.

Then the inevitable happened and Rotherham's equaliser, Charlton frustrated by the continued pressure tried to get some possession football going but Buyens hospital pass to Ben Haim and then Ben Haim's heavy touch gave the ball to Bechhio he nipped in played it wide to Pringle who with a perfect cross found Bechhio who headed in at the far post. Poor goal to give away 1-1

The last twenty minutes were quite uneventful, Bulot coming oh so close to giving The Addicks all three points he cut inside in the box his shot crept under the keeper but just as it was going over the line Loach got back and saved it. Rotherham's Frecklington had a shot land on the top of the goal but that was as close as they came, they also thought they should have had a penalty late on which was too far for me to see but Rotherham's manager Evans was fuming that it was not giving but at full time it finished 1-1 and Charlton remain unbeaten. But were very poor second half from The Addicks
Players applauding the travelling support

A shame to let another lead slip away for the fourth time this season and the third time we have done that away from home something that obviously will need to be addressed. But overall great to see us keep scoring and Gudmundsson showing what a danger he can be.
A few player ratings.
Henderson - Didn't have much to do & was let down by his defence for the goal. Poor goal kicks again though
Solly - Had a good first half with a solid display, in the second half was not able to get forward as much due to the constant pressure.
Bikey - Dealt well with the physical presence of Revell in the first half, second half he did seem to panic when on the ball which invited more pressure on.
Ben Haim - First half played well even had a good effort at goal, second half looked strong until his error led to the equaliser
Wiggins - First half played well got forward well in some good postions and had a good shot just go over, second half any interception he made he gave straight back and again was out of position. Coming forward did well and linked well with Bulot.
Gudmundsson - My Man of the Match we really missed him on Tuesday as he certainly adds something different to us this season he can pick up the ball from anywhere and takes it to the defenders which is great to see and after all those shots he's had this one was inch perfect. Second half he did fade maybe down to just coming back from injury, but lets hope he can carry on this form.
Jackson - One of the better performances this season from him, he knows he will get beaten for pace in the middle a lot as I see he runs to the edge of the box a lot when the pressure is coming and then faces the play from that it worked well and he really dug in well at times.
Buyens - Had an alright game , his pass to Ben Haim for the goal was poor as Ben Haim had no options with the opposition players bearing down on him so that was disappointing. Would like to see him get forward more but him and Jackson sat very deep most of the game.
Cousins - Looked good in the first half linking well with Wiggins to create chances , second half he was forced to defend more and we didn't see him as much.
Moussa- Looked really lively early on but faded.
Vetokele - Linked well with Moussa at times but was in the wars most of the game with Rotherham putting in some hard tackles in on him.
Bulot - Give this man time and he will become a key player looked really sharp in the second half and nearly so so nearly scored!

Home Fans - As I said earlier the stadium was pretty full which was good to see but couldn't really hear them during the game due to their singing support being down the opposite end to us.

Away Fans - A really good attendance for us for an away game 1,106 our attendance for northern away days are normally poor this time a lot of people were going due to it being a new ground but wouldn't it be great to see an increase in our away support. And the atmosphere was really good it helped whacking on the back of the stand to get the noise going too! Half time atmosphere was quality non stop singing on the concourses and in the pub before the match too loved it!

Here's where I blow my own trumpet - Many who know me know I like to have a good sing song during away games and am always keen to try and start new songs, Well I had heard Man United fans singing a song for Januzaj last season and it was really catchy so I stole it and changed it for Gudmundsson! Me & my friend Aiden started singing it at Brighton and on Saturday of course it really caught on (after everyone had gathered the words!) and had lots of comments from fans saying they loved it. I unfortunately did not film any of the singing but here's the words and here's Man United fans singing it.
I Wanna tell you
I Might as well do
About a boy who can do anything
He comes from Iceland
His name is Johann
Gudmundsson Gudmundsson Gudmundsson  Link Here

Afterwards had a drink in The Bridge Inn again and enjoyed a nice delay free journey home on the train having a good chat with friends over the days events & also enjoying a few drinks with friends at kings x before heading home. The overall feeling was we were all frustrated at not holding onto the three points AGAIN but this is still a new team learning together and great to see us scoring in every game in the league so far. Gudmundsson is a real talent and great to see him bag his first for the club.

In form Middlesborough visit The Valley on Saturday they have got a game away to Liverpool in the cup in the week so lets hope they get spanked and are tired after that, as after thrashing Brentford on Saturday they look a hard team to face right now. But let's hope we have learnt from our mistakes and add to our fine home record this season! COME ON YOOOOOU REDDDSSS!!!!!

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