FA Carling Premiership
Charlton Athletic 1 - 1 Leeds United
(Half-time: 1 - 1)
|« Liverpool||Manchester United »|
|Leeds United||Martyn, Woodgate, Wetherall, Radebe, Harte, Bowyer, Batty, Hopkin (Haaland 14), Kewell, Smith, Hasselbaink (Jones 32)||Robinson, Wijnhard, Ribeiro|
|Charlton Athletic||Petterson, Mills, Rufus, Tiler, Powell, Stuart, Kinsella, Jones, Mortimer (Bowen 68), Pringle (Bright 82), Hunt||Brown, Barnes, Salmon|
|Leeds United||Woodgate 25|
|Charlton Athletic||Stuart 20|
|Yellow Cards||Red Cards|
|Leeds United||Bowyer, Batty, Woodgate, Smith, Kewell|
|Leeds United||Charlton Athletic|
|Shirt numbers of goalscorers||25||40|
|Halvard Halvorsen||A muted afternoon at Charlton|
|The Observer||Addicks feel the heat|
|The Guardian||Charlton run into a spot of trouble on the brink of the snake pit|
|The Electronic Telegraph||Charlton pay price for poor finishing|
|The Times||Charlton count cost of Mortimer's slip|
|The Sunday Times||Charlton miss chance to move clear of trap door|
|Express Sport||Mortimer misses the spot prize|
|The Independent on Sunday||A sore point for Charlton|
|The Independent||Positive side to Charlton's lot|
|Yorkshire Evening Post||No charity for Charlton|
|BBC||Charlton pick up a point|
|Soccernet||Charlton Athletic 1 - 1 Leeds United|
|Carlingnet||Charlton Athletic 1 - 1 Leeds United|
Well our little purple patch seems to have ended, I'm afraid we were up against a team today who made every attempt to shoot themselves in the foot, gave away a soft goal, missed a penalty and a stupid sending off, and we still weren't good enough to win.
Charlton seemed to have ditched the passing stuff and battled hard but really we should have had the class to beat them. We struggled to control the midfield, even though after Hopkin and Jimmy had gone off injured early, we had Batty, Alfie, Bowyer and Jones in there. Without Jimmy, we also seemed to lack physical presence up front, Smith and Kewell not managing to hold the ball long enough for any spells of concerted pressure. Charlton will probably go down and we didn't deserve to beat them today.
First half - We lost 2 players in the first 20 minutes - Hoppy limped off and Jimmy seemed to either strain or pull a muscle, as he just failed to get onto Harry's through ball. So for most of the game we had Woodgate at left back with Wetherall in the middle, Alfie came on in right-midfield, Jones on the left and Kewell went up front with Smith.
Charlton scored first, Stuart getting to the knock-down from a long ball first. The equalizer came pretty quick. From where I sat, back row, over 100 yards away, it looked like Harte's free-kick had been deflected in off a defender but watching MOTD you can see Woodgate stuck out a foot to put it in. Charlton had most of the ball for the rest of the half but didn't really make many clear chances, we didn't do much, though one sweet move ended with Smith just missing Harry's low cross.
Second Half- They got a penalty quite quickly much to the astonishment of most of us who thought that Woodgate had put it out for the corner. Mortimer never looked confident though and dragged his shot against the post. A few minutes later came the sending off. Jones slid in to put the ball out for a throw and Rufus clearly kicked him as he lay on the ground. For the rest of the game Jones was booed for the crime of being kicked but if anything he played better as the game wore on. Unfortunately the sending-off failed to change the game much, Charlton trying to battle through and us reduced to a couple of long shots from Bowyer and Jones and one storming run from Woodgate that Kewell just failed to get a head to. To be honest they still looked more likely to score.
This isn't the first time that we've been totally ineffective against 10 men (Roma, Chelsea and Blackburn spring to mind), though it may have been a different story with Jimmy playing. We'll need him next week.
7s for Kewell, Woody, Lucas and Jones, 6 for the rest. No-one really played well enogh to deserve MoM.
After the game, back to the station where we had a bit of a singing competition between Leeds fans on one platform going back to London and Charlton fans on their way to Kent on the other. You could hear "We are Leeds" all through the journey back, past the Millenium Dome and Canary Wharf.
The highpoints of the day were watching a dozen or so bemused Leeds fans trying to find their way from the tube to the train at London Bridge and failing miserably and the steward sat next to me. It soon became apparent that this bloke had never been to a game before and had no idea what was going on. At half-time he seemed to think the game had finished and didn't seem to know what the score was either.
Crap first half: top point was Woody's goal and although we lost two of our players I do not think it mattered in the end. The whole team (with the exception of big Nigel) all seemed to be having their minds elsewhere when they really should be trying to nip that 3rd place. Crap passing, shit midfield and with Jimmy off injured our attack was easy-peasy to deal with for the Charlton defence. That's 4 points lost in the last two vs Liverpool and Charlton. For those who watched the Liverpool game on telly this one was even worse. Nice blue (azzuri style) shorts though and I also had the pleasure of sitting next to Lee Bowyers mom. Did not say to much though even if the blokes just in front of me tried to strike up some sort of conversation with her. Must be strange though hearing the people around her shouting "Bowyer, you f**ing w**nker get moving".
I do not know what DOL did say to the players at half-time but it did not work. If the first half was crap the second was even worse. Charlton played with 10 men for most of the time but it really looked like we were the team having 10. We were not able to keep the ball for long and we really never looked like scoring another goal.
The Valley is supposed to be an athmosperic place to go - it was not. It was almost like going to a Spurs game and confusingly for the Leeds end the Charlton fans did bother to stand up when the usual "stand up if you hate Man U" was sung. Not a single one of them - as a Charlton fan said if it had been Arsenal instead of ManU they might have joined (Woolwich Arsenal being just a couple of stops away on the train).
Best song by the Leeds end: "We're shit and we know we are" some 5 minutes before the end.
Well - we did not lose, but with 6 points from the last two games instead of 2 and a win or two instead of stupid losses before Xmas we might have been contenders.
Copy from Football Unlimited of 18/04/1999.
This was not the first time the Valley cleaners had to sweep up a mountain of fingernails, nor will it be the last. At this points-or-bust stage of the season, Alan Curbishley's analysis of the run-in left him at a loss about which games were tough and which offered a smoother ride. "I just know we have to win some games," he concluded.
They should have won one yesterday. Missed penalties and red cards seem to be a feature in important games at the moment. His team were afflicted by both, and had to settle for a draw.
© Guardian Media Group plc
Copy from Football Unlimited of 18/04/1999.
Relegation is a consequence, not a punishment, even if the financial loss for a club losing its place in the Premiership is undeniably punitive. The temptation to stick dunces' caps on teams that go down is strong, yet they are often not the least accomplished sides, merely victims of sets of circumstances which have combined to deprive them of points when they could least afford it.
Take Charlton Athletic, poised above the bottom three like Indiana Jones dangling over a snake pit,the slight difference being that, whereas Mr Jones is guaranteed freedom in one bound, Charlton may end up hoping that fangs ain't what they used to be.
© Guardian Media Group plc