14 November 2009

Charlton 5 MK Dons 1

Some things are hard to explain. Why do they bother fitting indicators to black taxis? How can one size ever fit all? Who keeps giving Piers Morgan work?

But how, I ask you, can the team that plumbed the depths of ineptness last week, causing Charlton fans to almost use up the world's supply of words ending in -less (gut, feck, hope, clue, guile, spine, feck, feck, feck), turn on a performance like today's, when in the second half they simply tore apart a decent MK Dons team, lying just one place below them in the table?

It's obviously why we love football: for every 90 minutes of utter misery, there's maybe 45 minutes of bliss.

It was a windy day at the Valley. The ball was swirling around among the leaves and plastic bags all over the pitch, and it seemed like the horror was continuing when MK Dons - actually, I can't continue to call them that - when Franchise FC took an early lead - a well-taken lob over the Charlton 'keeper. But Charlton equalised almost immediately, and the rest of the first half was a great game to watch, with both teams committed to attack, and the uncertainty caused by the wind just adding to the fun. Charlton took the lead on 21 minutes with a fine header by Nicky Bailey, and the score at half-time could easily have been much higher.

Paul Ince escorted the referee off the pitch, moaning about penalties he thought his side should have been given. Pointless, of course. He'd have been better off exploiting the sense of grievance within the team to bring out a stronger performance. But the second half was all Charlton's. Commitment and confidence grew and 12 minutes in the middle of the half saw Charlton take an unassailable lead. Bailey took increasing control of the game, and was undoubtedly man of the match.

Franchise FC are probably everyone's second most hated team, so it was especially good that this return to form should come against them.

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