22 March 2009

Charlton 0 Preston 0

A really dull first half. Charlton, for some reason, playing like the away side, with Kandol alone up front. Huge numbers of empty seats, the rugby internationals probably proving a better draw than a meaningless game. But it was a lovely sunny afternoon and the game picked up towards halftime.

Darren Ambrose was in the starting team. He shouldn't have been. I'm not one of the many Ambrose haytas. In fact, I think a succession of managers at Charlton have wasted his talents, largely through sapping his confidence and criticising him for not being a hard tackling player, which he never will be. At his best, he's one of the most creative players in the squad. But he needs to be allowed to play that way. Lately, he's hardly played at all, and must be feeling fed up. He looked it. At halftime he was replaced by Lloyd Sam, who clearly should have been on the pitch from the start. Charlton's attacking play gained a new attacking dimension. But still no goals. Preston were just as ineffective, but HUGE. After an injury to Mark Hudson the game ended with Matt Holland at centre half, marking Parkin, a man roughly twice his size.

Oh, one thing I'd never seen before. A couple of times in the first half, the ballboys threw on a replacement ball too quickly, so there were two balls on the pitch. The ref's remedy? He sent off all the spare balls.

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