Crewe Alexandra 0 Charlton Athletic 2
A solid win at newly promoted Crewe. We weren’t spectacular, but we were mostly comfortable throughout. Good in parts, rusty in others, especially in the passing department, but we have to be pleased with that start.
Bow started with 17-year Charlie Barker at right back, with Lapslie in midfield and Pratley next to Oshilaja in defense. Gilbey and Washington both started. We were 4-3-3 in a patched up team but still had the quality of Williams, Aneke and Morgan to bring on from the bench.
Both Gilbey and Washington had good games, and the Irishman managed to score on his debut scraping home Oshilaja’s brave header just before half-time.
The opener was a better looking goal when Doughty controlled and finished a lovely through ball by the other new boy Gilbey.
Bowyer sounded pretty peed off afterwards and he will demand a lot more. Obviously plenty of room for improvement. Plenty of room for a lot of things, but it’s always a nice feeling to win on opening day.
Bow: “We won 2-0 and we played okay. I do expect us to be a lot better than that.”
Everyone else: Promotion favourites Sunderland were held at home by Bristol Rovers, Peterborough lost at Accrington and Oxford lost at Lincoln. Hull won 2-0 at Gillingham, Plymouth beat Blackpool and Fleetwood beat Burton 2-1. Swindon beat Rochdale 3-1 and Portsmouth and Shrewsbury, Doncaster and MK Dons and Northampton and AFC Wimbledon each shared the points.
Good start to the season. Sensible decision to play young Barker at full back I thought and it seemed to work well. Gilbey’s pass to Doughty was impressive – more please. The West Ham game on Tuesday will give Bowyer the opportunity to give other squad players a game but with effectively only one central defender in the squad Pratley will may need to play alongside Oshilaja again when he should probably be rested to avoid too many twice a week games at this stage of his career but Bowyer says he is 33 not 35 as the records state (d.o.b 22’4’1985)
Pratley could do without another game but unless the takeover accelerates looks as if Bowyer’s defence picks itself. Agree on yesterday. Hoping Doughty does the sensible career building thing.
That’s why we need to retain Doughty, the goal was the one bit of genuine quality on show all match. A very cool finish.
All in all a potential banana skin was avoided and we get the season off to a good start. One of the things Bow does well is to get the players playing when the off-field stuff could have derailed things.