26 February 2012

Charlton 2 Stevenage 0

I think a lot of people were expecting a difficult game today. Stevenage are one of only two teams to have beaten Charlton in the league this season, and they've generally been doing well, with a good chance of getting into the playoffs, and a decent cup run. There wasn't much sign on the pitch of how they've done that. True, for the first half they kept Charlton bottled up, but they didn't look as if they had much creative to offer. Charlton kept their game intact and didn't panic, even when a couple of good chances were missed by BWP, who was getting into some good positions. I didn't say it, or better still write it down, but I began to think this was the game when he'd get the goal everyone wants.

In the second half Charlton upped their game and Stevenage largely disappeared. The first goal, about 5 minutes after the break, was an unstoppable shot by Morrison from a loose ball following a corner. And then, 10 minutes later, BWP at last put away one of his chances, with the help of a deflection. The joy and relief around the ground was tangible. By the end of the game he could have scored 5 or 6, and while a couple of weeks ago we'd have bemoaned the wasted chances, now we were excited by the potential he's showing again. I'll be surprised if he doesn't score a few more goals in the remaining games.

Stevenage didn't ever look like coming back and so on a beautiful sunny winter afternoon a near-capacity crowd enjoyed the comfort of a comprehensive win against needlessly feared opposition.

This was another "Football for a Fiver" day, and the most successful yet. The streets around the ground were swarming before and after the game. Obviously a lot of kids (including my friend Teresa's son Burt) were seeing their first game, and you must believe they'll want to come back. The future looks better than it has for years for Charlton.

Relive the joy with these reports:

Official site report
News shopper report
The view from Chicago
Charlton Casual
Blackheath Addick
Kevin Nolan on

Some people see Chris Powell as a miracle worker. I wasn't sure, but look what he's done today: he's only gone and made the Daily Mail a must-read. (Well, OK, one article in one day's paper, but it's a start.) Maybe he can sort out Southeastern Trains next.

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