07 February 2016

Charlton 0 Bristol City 1

Like a fool, I had hope before the game. On a day when the blustery weather was urgently telling me to stay at home with a DVD and beer, and there wasn't even going to be a big protest to attend, I didn't want to miss one of Charlton's rare wins this season.

Surely they would win. Reports from Rotherham last week suggested the team had found a new organisation and drive that could easily overcome Bristol City, even if the visitors played better than anyone expected.

Surely Charlton would win. The consequences of defeat were too awful to consider.

Bristol City played about as well as anyone expected, ie not very, but it was enough. The first half was all that mattered, and a scrappy half it was. City took the points from a penalty, which Jose Riga later described as a blatant dive. Not sure I'd agree with him on that, and City probably should have been given another penalty a few minutes later, so you can't play the injustice card here.

As so many teams have found this season, if you take a lead against Charlton at the Valley, you just have to hold on to it. Even so, with about three minutes to go City got the ball in a perfect position to take it to the corner flag and run down the clock. To their credit, they went for goal, which kind of sums up their assessment of Charlton's chance of levelling the score. Fair enough: Charlton had spent the previous 70 minutes proving there was none.

It's desperately worrying that Riga's reinvigoration of the team has fizzled out so quickly. Although I'm more sceptical than some about his abilities, I had hoped ... Oh, that evil Hope again. Readers, if you ever have a daughter, do not name her Hope. She will kill you.

How we laughed at the start of the season when the bookies were offering ridiculously short odds about relegation. Three to one, I think it was. We should have lumped on.

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