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21 March 2010

Charlton 2 Gillingham 2

The season that began so brilliantly is becoming ever more frustrating. Gillingham hadn't recorded an away win so far this season but they looked the more confident team for most of the game, despite being, erm, not very good. I wonder if it was significant that they chose to play towards their fans in the first half. It shouldn't make a difference but it probably does. I'm always happier when Charlton are attacking the north stand in the second half. That's usually what happens, and it might have been a clever idea by Gillingham to upset the normal way of things.

It was quite a feisty game, and after Charlton's first goal there was some evident illwill between Nicky Bailey and one of the Gillingham players. The referee had to speak to both of them before the restart, and Charlton's already fragile concentration broke. Gillingham scored immediately. Another goal - a defensive calamity - late in extra time sent Charlton off to a round of booing. Harsh, but justified. They had promised something special to make up for the disaster at Millwall, and this was nothing like it. (After the game Parkinson said the team had played ten times better than at Millwall. Christ, I'm glad I didn't go to that.)

Second half saw Charlton slowly begin to play better, the way they always can but don't often do these days. David Mooney scored the equaliser, a well-taken striker's finish, but it wasn't enough to convince me that he should be a regular starter. He's lazy, basically, and showed this on one occasion where he knew he was going to be beaten for pace by a Gillingham defender, so just stepped in front of him, and claimed he'd been pushed. No-one bought it.

So, another two points lost. I've actually given up looking at other results and our league position. It looks like we're doomed to the play-offs, which might be fun, but given Charlton's record in knockout competitions, probably won't be.

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