24 November 2009

Charlton 4 Bristol Rovers 2

A bizarre game on a blustery night. Charlton started off in absolute control. First goal within four minutes, and the second, from a rare penalty after 15 minutes. It looked like another big win was on the cards but then Kelly Youga, playing at right back and linking very effectively with Lloyd Sam, had to go off injured. The play really changed from then. Elliot Omozusi, his replacement, is very inexperienced and it showed. After less than 10 minutes on the pitch he was booked for pulling back a Rovers player who'd outwitted and outpaced him. Near half-time Rovers pulled one back, after (apparently) one of them had been pulled back in the penalty area.

The second half saw Rovers completely in control and it was no surprise when they equalised after 11 minutes. Last year's Charlton would have collapsed after this, but although they didn't take control, at least they kept fairly composed, and against the run of play Nicky Bailey scored - snapping up a chance after Mooney's header had hit the bar.

It turned the game around. Rovers then lost their confidence and Akpo Sodje scored the goal that settled it.

The officials were once again dreadful (but not quite as dreadful as they appeared, when it seemed that one player had been booked twice). There was an element of cynicism in Rovers' play and they fell for it. The away fans were more numerous than you might expect on a Tuesday evening and made a lot of noise. They ought to feel disappointed with the result. For Charlton fans, I suppose the key point is that despite not playing well for a lot of the game, the team was still able to hold on, and ride the crest of an unexpected goal.

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