AFC Bournemouth 1-2 Charlton
My son and I showed up in our shorts at the Fitness First Stadium yesterday, maybe slightly underdressed considering the weather and rain, but what we witnessed was a stylish performance from Charlton in the final friendly before we get down to business next Saturday.
The fact the four of us made it all was touch and go thanks to god-awful traffic from the minute we got on the M25 at Junction 3 all the way down to the back streets of Boscombe. We parked in the car park next to the open end of the ground just as the referee blew his whistle for the start of the game. I bumped into a fellow blogger
and we watched the game together in a busy and good heartened away enclosure.
On the way down we had plenty of time during the drive down to discuss our hopes and fears for the new season but we agreed while the game's result wasn't going to be important, the way we played and the unity and spirit shown from the team was.
And what we saw was an excellent performance full of good movement, passing and creation plus a solid looking back four. The rental car on the thankfully shorter drive home was full of good humour and positivity.
I was glad we went, I have never been one for friendlies but beggars can't be choosers these days and I was impressed on many levels particularly the way we dominated the game in every area. Sam, Racon, Llera and Spring (for 45 mins) were stand-outs and even McLeod's direct play was recognised by Addicks around us. As for Gray's appearance it was met by a combination of surprise and cynicism. Perhaps reasons for Gray and McLeod's showing and Dickson's omission will become clearer this next week, or perhaps not!
So a very enjoyable, if long day out, my two mates who joined my son and I will both renew their season tickets this week on the back of that performance but as I said the real business begins next Saturday.Reports: cafc.co.uk
; Drinking During the Game
.Quote: "I thought Charlton were excellent. I was very impressed and they gave us a tough game, probably our toughest of pre-season. For whatever reason, I thought we looked a little off it so it's a little wake-up call ahead of the season. I thought they were better in all departments. We can't complain about anything and got what we deserved."
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe.