Charlton Athletic 2 Portsmouth 1
A fantastic performance from the Addicks today, and on the TV as well. After taking five minutes to settle we dominated the vast majority of the game playing some wonderful stuff, chasing every lose ball, and never shirking a challenge.
Of course it wouldn’t be Charlton if we didn’t have to hang on a bit at the finish, and after last week I was shuffling uncomfortably on the couch at the end.
It was a sparkling performance, and in fact a very good advert for the division (as was last week), in front of a noisy Valley. We won the game in midfield. Bielik, Cullen, Aribo were each superb, and Williams and Reeves were no slouches either. It was a shame Bielik had to go off, as did Williams, both with hamstring troubles. They had no answer for Bielik who played at the foot of the diamond.
When he went off though, the energy of Cullen slipped seamlessly in there, and all the while Aribo was immense. He won the ball so many times today and keeps possession so well.
It was Aribo’s goal that gave us a deserved lead, but just like last week we couldn’t keep it longer than five minutes. Before that there were many great flowing moves from the Addicks, one of the best seeing Cullen hit Igor on the line after a great Williams cross.
2nd half and again Pompey started crisper and had a goal rightly disallowed, but then Lyle Taylor, who worked his socks off right until the final whistle, importantly scored his first goal since his suspension and Karlan Grant’s sale.
Aribo was involved again and he found Reeves, whose deft and thoughtful touch inside found Taylor who stabbed home. It was great to see Lyle Taylor baby back on the scoresheet.
We continued to control the game and Bauer had a shot saved. I thought Fosu played a good role as well when he came on sensibly keeping possession and using his pace to good effect.
Then as the clock ticked on, from an Igor mistake they got the ball forward quickly and Lowe put the ball wide as I had my head in my hands. At the death first Bauer and then Purrington had to block shots but we hung on for a huge win.
I think we have to accept that we are not going to smash loads of goals but like last week the passing and movement was top notch today as was the fighting spirit. Big, big result.
Addicks at The Valley:
Bow: “When we won the ball we did what we’re good at and we moved it quickly and I thought they found it difficult.“
Elsewhere: Only us and Barnsley won in the top half of the table. Barnsley beat Accrington 2-0 to close the gap on Luton. But Doncaster lost to Wimbledon and Peterborough to Bradford. Sunderland grabbed an injury time equalizer before 3 (three) players were sent off! Finally congratulations to Blackpool and their fans who also got a late equalizer at home to Southend in front of a sell-out crowd.