Charlton Athletic 0 Cheltenham Town 1
It gets from worse to worse still.
Ben Garner said that we are progressing. This is not progression, this is regression – our results, our football, our position, our attendances, our pride.
To steal Rich Cawley’s phrase after last night’s game, it was a soul destroying result is front of a detached audience, and possibly a lower number of Addicks that watched that Portsmouth game 30 years ago.
We still talk fondly of those Charlton people involved on that December day in 1992, this lot won’t be remembered for anything accept possibly being the worst Charlton team we have seen in five decades.
It was an odd line-up from Ben Garner. Two untested and untried young centre-backs with a forward line that looked as if it was picked out of a hat.
Chuks Aneke fit enough to start in a cup tie, but not in the league. No Daniel Kanu, no Deji Elewere and Payne on the bench, Morgan somehow preferred. Some sort of 3-5-2 formation that just never gelled apart from the odd moment here and there. The tale of our season, in one that we have won just five times.
Garner saw a lot of ‘brilliance’ in that performance. I did not. It was the most experienced defender Ryan Inniss, who almost gifted Cheltenham two goals in the first half, and it was the experienced Craig MacGillivray that did gift them their goal late in the second.
Substitute Charlie Kirk came closest to scoring, but it was wiped for offside, just before Cheltenham’s Alfie May plunged the knife deep into our hearts.
The performances of Sean Clare and young defenders Zach Mitchell and Lucas Ness the only redeeming features of a soul destroying night.
As we sink to a new low, Ben Garner sadly looks out of his depth, as does Thomas Sandgaard, and his son sat motionless and clueless in the west stand.
Ben Garner: “From the start of the second half, the first 25 minutes, we were brilliant for long spells. We pinned them back and had complete control.”
Stats (CAFC first): Possession – 66% / 34%; Passes – 554 / 288; Accurate passes – 470 / 200; Shots (on target) – 14 (4) / 13 (5)
Photo: Paul Edwards