08 October 2011

Charlton 1 Tranmere 1

It seems to be the pattern that visiting teams set out to make a quick impact, hustling for every ball and disrupting Charlton's pattern of passing football. If Charlton were a website, you'd call it a denial of service attack. That's exactly what Tranmere did, and Charlton never settled in the first half. It wasn't surprising that Tranmere took the lead after 30 minutes or so. A speculative shot from McGurk took a sizable deflection off Chris Solly to beat Ben Hamer. I'm sorry, Chris, but I'd call it an own-goal as I think he was trying to block it but got the angle wrong.

After the break, Charlton played with a lot more composure, helped, no doubt, by Tranmere's decision to hold on to what they had. In their keeper's case, what he often had was the ball and although he got a talking-to, he didn't get booked.

Charlton's equaliser came from a penalty, and the decision was followed by some ludicrous gamesmanship by Tranmere, including the keeper, who actually picked the ball up off the spot after Johnny Jackson had placed it. The referee, D Drysdale, really lost control of things at this point and it must have taken three minutes before Jackson took the kick. Thanks to @hannahbk for this video:

Tranmere are a huge team. In particular Showunmi up front looks about two metres tall, but he's not the aerial threat you might think. Like a lot of big men, he can't jump that well, which was fortunate.

On the other attack, I thought BWP had a slightly below-par game. His touch and movement weren't quite on song, and he missed a good chance in the second half which he'd normally be guaranteed to get. His understanding with Kermorgant doesn't look complete yet but they haven't played together much, so I'm not too worried about that.

So Charlton still haven't worked out how to weather a determined denial of service attack. But they remain top of the league and unbeaten, and the clocks are soon going back. It's still much better than anyone could have predicted.

Two big questions remain at the end of this game. How did Tranmere's keeper get through 90 minutes without a yellow card? Have you ever seen a worse free kick? (You know the one I mean.)

Other views
Charlton website
News Shopper (Paul Green)
briefly put: Charlotte Allen on Twitter (contains strong language)

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