It's the hardest thing in football to accept defeat when you don't deserve to, but sometimes you have to accept the kick in the nuts and move on. There were enough positives yesterday to do just that, but a very disappointing result it was none the less. After nearly 7 hours of football without conceding a goal (let's not forget that, by the way), we go and let in 4!
For me, Charlton's latest home defeat surprisingly hinged on the introduction of our biggest hero on 67 mins. It wasn't Yann's fault, but it was obvious the balance of the side had changed with young Harriott making way for the Breton Warrior. Lacking width, our style of play altered to the ridiculously ineffective long ball tactic and we looked less threatening as the game petered out.
I love the guy, but I'd love to know Morrison's successful pass rate if judged only on those that go forward. Probably best we don't know.
Right from the outset Leeds players deployed dirty time wasting tactics and constant whinging that the ref just never got to grips with. Players and managers come and go at Leeds and yet somehow that hugely dislikable side to their personality continues to come out on the pitch. It find it rather odd that a football club would want to retain a trait like that. Leeds 'keeper, Paddy Kenny, who was forced in to a number of top draw saves throughout the game, was easily the worst offender, arrogantly clapping the ref when he finally received a yellow card for a series of painfully drawn out goal kicks. Leeds other yellow card was also for time wasting (kicking the ball away), it won't surprise you to learn.
Michael Brown is a perfect fit for Leeds. Having had the misfortune of watching him many times over the years he comes across as a nasty little footballer with a horrible approach to the Beautiful Game. I hope I never set eyes on him playing football again.
It's amazing that with such a poor philosophy on football the team are followed by such impressive numbers on the road. Impressive in numbers; compliments end there.
But full credit to Ross McCormack, who, in my opinion, had an quiet game but for 4 decisive moments. His composure and quality where and when it mattered the sizeable difference between the teams. How Charlton need that sort of clinical finisher. He'd have gone home with the match ball if his own fans had returned it from the Jimmy Seed.
Mind you, it can't be often that you score 4 in one match but still not get the best goal of the game; that accolade going to Charlton's Cameron Stewart with a strike that was always going in the second it left his boot.
In the end, Charlton contributed to their own downfall but for a spirited performance alone deserved something out of the game. Yet again we fall short at home. No question the scoreline flattered a very average Leeds United, but they won't care one bit (and why should they?). McCormack had a day he'll never forget and referee Keith Stroud can look back on yet another performance littered with critical mistakes.
Actually, something tells me Mr. Stroud probably won't see it that way...