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Saboteur

13 January 2013

Charlton 2 Blackpool 1

A rather alarming opening gave way to that rarest of things this season - a comfortable home win on a Saturday afternoon.

The first twenty minutes saw Charlton totally fail to make an impact on the game, losing possession at every opportunity. But perhaps even in these early stages it was becoming clear that Blackpool, for all the tidiness of their midfield play, lacked a real goalscoring threat.

After Charlton had scored - Jackson, untidily but opportunistically - Blackpool never really looked dangerous. Around me there was a certain amount of disatisfaction with Charlton's willingness to sit back, but perhaps it was just a brilliant tactic based on close scouting; maybe you can let Blackpool dominate possession and territory with impunity. And the forced selection of Morrison and Taylor in central defence would in any other circumstances have looked like a brilliant decision: they had the solidity that had been the bedrock of last season's success.

No-one had a bad game, in fact. Another returning player, Scott Wagstaff, didn't make a big impact going forward, but it wasn't that kind of game. He perfectly played his part in the five across midfield keeping Blackpool anodyne. And he did score the second goal: he knows how to be in the right place at the right time. It's a pity we haven't seen more of him this season. Probably.

But the man of the match for me was Lawrence Wilson. He's getting better all the time, and is developing a really good understanding with Chris Solly. The interplay between them was crucial for the second goal.

A comfortable result brought out the best in the Charlton crowd. When Nathan Eccleston came on as sub for Blackpool he got warmer applause from the home fans than from the visitors. We even applauded Kevin Philips off the pitch - it was his 550th match apparently. The Covered End chanted "We beat you at home, we beat you at home. How shit must you be? We beat you at home" and possibly even rarer than a home win, we had a referee (M Jones) who was so good at his job that no-one noticed him.

It was a freezing cold afternoon, but one of the best this season. And I haven't even mentioned the dazzling debut of Callum Harriot.

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