Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Charlton Have The Blues As Home Points Dropped Again

Charlton Athletic 1 - 1 Birmingham City

Charlton again were left frustrated by letting another lead slip this time at the hands of Birmingham, David Davis cancelling out Vetokele's early opener.

After having a few drinks in Blackheath headed to The Valley on Saturday still buzzing from Tuesday nights late stunning victory against the league leaders Norwich. Now we had a chance to really kick on and push us higher towards an unexpected title chase challenge.

Birmingham although low down in the table were heading to SE7 with new found confidence after already defeating a team in South London by beating Millwall 1-0 in midweek.

After signing from Brentford in the summer Clayton Donaldson would be the real danger for Birmingham up front especially after scoring in their win over Millwall. And of course in between the stick was former Charlton keeper Darren Randolph whom I've always thought looks a decent player.

The Charlton team news was that Chris Solly moved back into the team as expected & Tal Ben Haim missed the game due to religious reasons so in stepped Micheal Morrison, a big game for Morro his first league start of the season and coming into an unbeaten side can be daunting for him.

Again it was a 4-4-1-1 style of formation with Cousins and Bulot swapping places throughout like Tuesday's game against Norwich.

Teams Out
The first action of the game was oh so nearly an early goal for The Addicks, a lovely weighted ball from Cousins found Vetokele who smartly cut inside and curled a left footed shot at goal it beat Randolph but just went wide! Brilliant individual effort from Igor showing how he can create a chance by himself, so unlucky!

But Igor didn't have long to wait to get his goal, just eight minutes later a fine cross from Bulot picked out Vetokele who headed it firmly down and in the goal a brilliant finish but where was the Birmingham marking?!?! Nothing Randolph could do as Igor finished clinically and made use of the poor marking. Funny enough I had just said to my mate "Bulot has not done much so far for us he aint been good or bad" And there you go literally as I said he puts in a beautiful ball for the opener. 1-0
Celebration the early goal

But yet again Charlton did their usual thing and sat back, Buyens who was having a poor game dwelled on the ball and was dispossessed which led Donaldson through but his effort was high and wide.

Apart from a Jackson effort which failed to trouble Randolph it was Birmingham that looked the more likely to get the next goal in the game, Donaldson was on the end of a cross but again his attempt was wide of goal.

Koby Arthur who only made his debut for The Blues in midweek was really looking dangerous and he so nearly equalised for them. He received the ball in the inside of the six yard box his shot beat Henderson but Donaldson stupidly touched the ball as it was going in a yard out and whilst being in a offside position! What a big let off for The Addicks.
First Half Action

As the half reached towards it's end Gleeson and Reilly had their efforts blocked for City & Bikey had a headed effort go over the bar. At the interval we narrowly led and were a bit lucky to be due to Birmingham's disallowed goal.

The second half started and Charlton created an early chance, Vetokele managed to nick a pass through to Wilson but his effort was fired over the bar. But again came the Birmingham pressure a wonderful dipping cross to the far post found a diving Robinson whose header was saved at the far post by Henderson.

But then game a well deserved equaliser a smart corner routine from Birmingham a pass to the edge of the box where Davis was unmarked and on the turn his fine low drive went straight into the corner of Henderson's net. Really poor from the Charlton defence, Davis was unmarked on the edge of the box and no one failed to pick him up, as he fired a well placed shot in the corner Henderson could do nothing about it as it came through a crowded penalty area. 1-1

Could Charlton respond? A jinxing Chris Solly run saw him cut inside and fire a effort just wide of goal, memories of his screamer v Blackpool a few season ago were nearly relived. Tucudean & Moussa were brought on to try and ignite the Charlton team into action but the game really petered out, and a long range shot from Bulot in the 75th minute was all we could conjure.

Birmingham had a chance with 10 minutes to go when Donaldson and sub Thomas combined but Thomas's effort just went wide to the right of the goal.

Unfortunately the game was held up for a while due to a bad looking injury to Jordan Cousins as he fell awkwardly, but thankfully since then we have found out that the midfielder is recovering well and should be back after international break.
Second Half Action

The last effort of the game fell to Bulot after linking with Vetokele but his effort didn't test Radnolph and missed to the right of the goal.

A rather poor game overall and Charlton will be annoyed they let another lead slip, whereas Birmingham will be pleased with 4 points from 6 on the road this week. 1-1

Overall it was a frustrating afternoon at The Valley, but still the defence stayed strong not to lose the game but we could not find that cutting edge to win the game.
Here's a few match performance reviews.

Henderson - Could do nothing with the goal as it was a precise shot in the corner of the goal through a crowded set of players.
Solly - Was Mr Dependable at the back as usual and nearly scored from his run forward. Couldn't get forward as much as he always does.
Bikey - Solid as usual and won the hard fought battle versus Donaldson.
Morrison - My man of the match. As I said earlier would have found it hard mentally coming into an unbeaten side and trying to make a claim for a spot. But he did it well, after being so used to long balls last season he played it around neatly on the floor and an acute ball through found Wilson but he wasted it. Defended strongly as well ,great professional performance who is waiting in the wings if there may be an injury or suspension.
Wiggins - Wasn't able to get forward as much & had a hard time with two pacy wingers against him but had a decent game.
Wilson - Had a poor game a lot of times when he found himself in good positions he squandered it with his final ball & poor decision making letting him down.
Buyens - Had a poor game lost the ball a lot in the middle with poor passing and taking too much time on the ball. A shame after he has started the season so well but hopefully the break can ignite him again.
Jackson - Was having a decent game and was harshly taken off to his dismay early on in the second half where really it should have been Buyens who should have been replaced.
Cousins - Didn't really make his mark on the game and then suffered a bad looking injury late on which fortunately now does not look too bad.
Bulot - Slowly breaking into English football and had a decent game, assisted the goal with a fine cross and had a few shots late on.
Vetokele - Back on the score sheet with a well taken goal. Early on nearly scored a fine individual effort. Unfortunately after that his team mates didn't create much for him.
Moussa - Came on with half hour to go but again was frustrating to watch as he lacked his final ball.

Home Fans - A very dull and flat atmosphere at The Valley as the fans grew frustrated from the lack of chances.

Away Fans -  1,500 Blue fans travelled down from The Midlands a decent attendance and made good noise throughout.

Ref Watch - No key moments apart from the disallowed goal which seemed to be the right call was made. Did fail to let advantage be played a lot too.

We have reached another international break and we remain unbeaten and in a very respectable 6th position. Of course we are going to be frustrated at the lack of attacks on goal that we had in the second half and giving away victory again but there is still a lot to be positive about.

For one I personally never expected to be where we are now and to still be unbeaten is a real credit to what a strong and experienced defence we have this season.

Think we really needed this two week break as a few tired legs and injuries have occurred and hopefully this break will revitalise us and maybe a cheeky loan signing could strengthen our team for the upcoming months.

All in all so far it's been a really good season but be great to see us push on from such a fine start. Next game is away to Bournemouth and fortunately no Kermo has he is suspended (Thanks Yann we know you still love us ) It might see us in our new 3rd kit too! So bring your sunglasses Come on you TEQUILA SUNRISES!!!

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