09 November 2015

Charlton 3 Sheffield Wednesday 1

Like many people I went to the Valley on Saturday for the protest but thought I might as well stay and watch the match with no expectation of anything other than a horrible defeat.

After roundly booing the ownership, it was pleasing that the crowd was completely supportive of the team. Some people still don't understand this: of course it's possible to want the ownership of the club to sell up and go away but still want the team to do well. Throughout the last two months the crowd has always given the team a fair chance, with support only falling away when the performance suggests they just haven't been trying.

No risk of that today. Charlton began the game positively, while Wednesday were pretty terrible - much worse than their recent run of results led us to expect. Everyone in a red shirt seemed to be in form, including those who've recently looked so shell-shocked. From my seat in the west the most noticeable player was Reza Ghoochanejhad, putting in by far his best performance for the team. It was a transformation close to that of Frederic Bulot last season, and when he was subbed off with a few minutes to go he got a deserved standing ovation.

The opening goal was of course scored by Johnnie Jackson. A classic Jackson goal, his sheer presence creating a space around himself as he ran onto Gudmundsson's corner. For a while I struggled to remember what to do when Charlton have scored, and found that my jumping up and down muscles had slightly atrophied.

All three goals seemed to come from Charlton's ability to outwit Wednesday's defence and get the scorer into a position where they could hardly miss (although they probably would have three weeks ago).

A late goal for Wednesday from their only real chance of the afternoon didn't diminish the enjoyment and astonishment at this change in the team's fortunes. After weeks of rubbish, this. What could have caused it? Maybe Ibi Makienok wasn't joking when she responded to her husband's goal with this (you won't see a better tweet all season, Jeff).

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