Charlton Athletic 2 Yeovil Town 0
We needed a good old fashioned clean-sheeted home win with no drama and that is what we got. Worryingly for me our defence despite each player individually having good games, still conspired to offer Yeovil plenty of shots at goal but each one Robbie Elliot was equal to, the first a one-on-one saved with his feet after Llera was caught napping. A goal down in the first ten minutes I suspect would have provided a different consequence but we got over that early hump and grew slowly in confidence.
Our play was nowhere near as fluid as when I last saw us in the flesh way back in September
against Brentford but the result was the same and the performance was a vast improvement on Monday night’s display in Bristol. There was some fine switching of play and we were keen to get the ball out wide to Reid and Sam and did so to good effect. Bailey had another off day by his standards and misplaced almost every pass he made in the first half but in his defence he never hid from a tackle or a pass and eventually played his part in the victory.
The captain should have settled the nerves with an opener when the keeper blocked his shot when right through on goal but Reid was excellent and his goal livened up a quiet Valley in the 30th minute when his left foot produced a shot like a laser-guided missile that flew past the diving Yeovil keeper scratching at thin air.
Parkinson said in his programme notes that he had the players look back at some of the early season games and although the pitch was heavy some of our passages of play during the game were reminiscent of those late summer and autumnal matches. On a number of occasions the crowd responded well to some good intentioned moves and we moved the ball well around the circumference and in the box without resorting to the hoof.
Mooney had frustrated me personally throughout the game but to his credit he was always looking for the ball, and played a lot deeper in the 2nd half, which I preferred as he and Burton do seem to get in each other’s way although I saw none of the rumoured rift between the two. Mooney did take his goal well after a crisp move ending with Racon's inch perfect pass to him inside the box.
Llera played very well and resisted those 40-yard passes into the channels and kept it simple, Reid was a constant threat and I like his direct play with a good element of skill and Johnnie Jackson had a very good debut.
It wasn’t a vintage performance but this is the rough and tumble of the 3rd Division and I have accepted that seemingly more than the bloke behind me who appeared to be stuck in a Charlton time-warp. It was the response most of us were looking for and a vital win particularly with Norwich losing at home, Colchester winning and Leeds getting their customary 95th minute goal.
One can still sense the brittleness to everyone's confidence at The Valley but the crowd were patient and got noisier as the game wore on, especially after the latest scores came through that Leeds and Norwich were behind and it was good to see smiles around us again as we climbed the East Stand steps after Robbie had done a couple of jumps.
For me the result rounded off a very nice week at home and it was an added bonus for my son celebrating his 10th birthday. I just wish I could have extended our trip a couple of days and been back at The Valley Tuesday to see us play Brighton. I will of course be there in spirit.Reports: Drinking During the Game
; Many Miles
; Deepest Darkest
; Blackheath Addicted
; Charlton Casual
; Charlton Athletic Online