Friday, 26 December 2014

Late, Late Xmas Treat...

It's not often I'm not in the mood for a bit of football on Boxing Day, but today I just couldn't get myself up for the game. Perhaps it was the opposition, who appear to be having just as boring and uninspiring a season as we are, or maybe it was the awful 1pm kick-off time that made my morning an unpleasant rush. As I walked to the Valley, I couldn't help but hope the players never shared my apathy.

For 45 minutes it seemed they did. We were awful.

Not for the first time recently, poor defending allowed Cardiff to get their noses in front. Young Gomez, playing out of position on the left of the defence, was out-muscled on the edge of the 6 yard box by Tom Adeyemi who headed home. Etheridge unable to even attempt a save.

There are many things that irritate me about football, but amongst the biggest is referees who feel the need to smile from ear to ear, as if by doing so they diffuse the anger amongst the fans and somehow disguise the absolute hash of a game they're having. Mick Russell, today's man, has never impressed me, but today he took his ineptitude to a whole new level. He got so many things wrong, and seemed to take a great deal of pleasure in doing so. Ironically, the biggest decision to go against Charlton he did get right and that was Harriott's sending off. No question for me. Charlton's make-shift forward was lively if ineffective up to that point, but yet again he let himself and the the team down by making a very bad decision. I'm certain there was no malice in the challenge, but it was high and late. Russell showed him a straight red; Charlton looked doomed.

Charlton left the pitch at half time to a chorus of boos, which is never good. Addicks everywhere feared the worst: a heavy and demoralising defeat against a very average team. I couldn't see anyone providing a spark to get us back in the match.

But football's a funny old game.

The second half had everything the first half didn't. Charlton somehow looked a different side after the break and despite their numerical disadvantage, took the game to Cardiff. Peeters rolled the dice, went 3 at the back and his men showed all the spirit and passion you can ask for. Wave after wave of Charlton attacks drove forward towards the Covered End and lifted the Valley faithful. It was terrific football. Some of the best we've seen this season. Tucudean looked most likely to score and his performance would have deserved a goal.

I was actually beginning to enjoy the game despite the score line.

With time nearly up, and with hope fading fast, Gudmundsson provided a late, late Christmas treat with a wonder-strike from 25 yards out. Nothing more than Charlton deserved. The roof of the Valley lifted high into the winter sky!

It was very pleasing to stick one on a Cardiff team that wasted time throughout that second half, but it could have been even better. You'd have put your mortgage on Igor to score when he went one-on-one deep into stopage time, but arguably our best chance to score resulted in the ball flying high over the bar. Just like Tucudean against Millwall, and Bikey against Blackpool, a glorious late winner wasn't to be.

Oh well, you don't get everything you want for Christmas.

Peeters continues to try and plug the gaps by forcing square pegs in round holes. Our season limps on towards January when we all hope he will be given funds to strengthen the squad. Let's hope Mr. Duchatelet is feeling generous...

1 comment:

  1. I make that 4 one-on-ones that Igor has had, and he has missed the lot!