After a bright opening spell by the visitors, Charlton battered them through the first half, and only a few brilliant saves by keeper Fleming kept them in the game. The first goal looked a bit scrappy live, but on television you could see that Hayes put a crucial and quite subtle deflection on BWP's shot. (Oh, yes, that's why I record FLS).
The second goal - a smartly taken set-piece that a better team than Chesterfield should have taken care of - and a hilarious close range miss from Clarke ("are you Torres in disguise?" the Covered End sang - it wasn't a compliment) meant that Charlton took a two goal lead into halftime. And that should have been enough, but
After the break Charlton's play slowed down quite noticeably. Again, Chesterfield started brightly but this time didn't fade. Charlton sat back a bit, and as Chris Powell has said
for a 15-20 minute period in the second half I didn't like what I was watching too much.Chesterfield didn't look too threatening from open play, though, and needed a penalty (which looked nailed-on) to score. Charlton raised their game after that. Just think what would have happened a year ago after such a setback - negativity, defeatism - and saw out the game fairly comfortably. Very comfortably, after BWP's injury time goal.
So this year's "Football for a fiver" (unlike last year's) was a total success. A pleasantly mild, sometimes sunny afternoon, an incident-packed match, and three points. Three points clear at the top of the league. It's great to be an Addick at the moment.
Charlton website match report
News Shopper report
Drinking During the Game