Charlton Athletic 0 Leyton Orient 1
Desperate tonight wasn't it and a real peek into our future if we don't leave this division at the first attempt. To be honest it had been on the cards for weeks, fortunate home draws with Millwall and Swindon was followed by last week's poor performance against the Hartlepools. I will leave our away form because in my book a win is always a bloody good performance on your travels.
We just didn't look good enough to beat a well organised and quick breaking Orient tonight, they fully deserved their victory under the cameras and in front of thousands of smiling faces in Norfolk and Yorkshire no doubt. Drawing level at the top would have been fantastic psychologically, but there is still a lot of drama to be played out before the gongs are dished out in May.
For me what it did show tonight is that we could do with a new face to freshen the squad up a bit, whether that is a centre-half, left midfielder or a striker. Sadly McKenzie and Dickson just ended any real goalscoring threat we had when they came on for Burton and Mooney, and although Mooney constantly getting caught offside was getting on my tits, he and Burton, who I actually thought played pretty well and would have kept on for his cool head alone, looked far more dangerous as a front pair.
It was a lot to ask of McKenzie and Dickson to come on and be saviours but Dickson played as if he'd shown up with his boots looking for a game at 7pm. And I know Jonjo is 17 but he has to be grabbing games by the scruff of the neck if he is going to have the career the media will have us all believe. The poorest player in red was Semedo (and I am a huge fan), he was very disappointing and maybe now is the time for Racon to come back into the starting line-up.
Sam worked very hard and created more than enough half and full chances but on the other wing it was different story. Until Wagstaff came on we were getting mullered out on our left and although I like Basey, Youga can't return quick enough. Same for Sodje as Llera continues to be an accident waiting to happen.
Under the lights, in front of the cameras, with an ex-Addick in the oppo with an unbeaten home record to protect this was always likely to happen but our promotion chances were not decided tonight but they will be over the next month. Another test of Parky's reputation but we also need the experienced heads to come to the fore and show some positive character too.
Tonight's game reminded me of the home defeat to Swindon Town in our promotion season of 1999/2000 and further back and more comparable to our home defeat against lowly Colchester in 1980/81. Both times we came back strong and went on further unbeaten stretches. I was anxious before tonight, a think a lot of us were. We haven't looked like winning comfortably for a long while. It's done, let's draw a line underneath it and move on. Quickly.