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Cheltenham Town 2 Charlton Athletic 2

From Accrington to Cheltenham. July to May. The rarely good, the often bad, and the pretty ugly season has come to an end much to all of our relief.

It wasn’t a bad game in all honesty, but for the umpteenth time we couldn’t finish a lesser side off, and defensive frailty made three points one. Much like Accrington last July.

Dean Holden is a manager I can get behind, but I worry that the defence has got no better under his tutelage. I would have no problem at all if all of the defenders left as they’ve all combined in some way to our inability to keep any kind of clean sheet, even AMB in recent games. I would just add some experience to Ness, Mitchell, Chin and Asiimwe, who made a very bright cameo.

Jack Payne proved again how much of an impact player he can be. He scored his goal after pressurizing their player into a turnover and finished confidently. His goal involvement stats are pretty decent.

We should have had the game wrapped up by half-time. Scott Fraser finished well for a deserved opener. Rak-Sakyi really could have signed off with a hat-trick, although one chance looked like a penalty to me. Chances also fell to Egbo and Campbell as we regularly got players into their box.

Leaburn was pretty quiet and again I thought Aaron Henry failed to impress. Tyreece Campbell had another good game though and any future positives surround our thriving academy assembly line. If only we can enjoy them for more than 50 games.

So, 10th place secured, three points and three places better than last season, but on and off the field we are lifeless, and it was another insufferable campaign to forget.

Dean Holden once again spoke with purpose after the game, he clearly knows his limitations, but his attitude, integrity and ambition deserves our support. We can only hope that he, and us, get similar from those that tender to own the club.

Dean Holden: “We finished 10th in the league, which when we came in we would have took, no doubt about that. You look at MK Dons who were in a similar position ended up getting relegated today. We have to accept that it has been a decent second half of the season but I think we’re 15 points away from the play-off positions and I think 36 points from the top two – that shows how much work there is to do in the summer.”

Stats (CAFC first): Possession – 62% / 38%; Passes – 313 / 191; Accurate passes – 257 / 131; Shots (on target) – 10 (3) / 9 (2)

Photo credit: John Jones

8 Comments Post a comment
  1. Shadow Play #

    We underachieved this season and yesterday too many failings from the season were on show which underlined why we finished 10th and not higher up. If we had a good goal scorer in our ranks we would have been out of sight by half-time while some better defending would have cut out at least one of the goals conceded.

    Priorities for me – a defensive coach, a couple of decent defenders and a goal scorer and then we need to work out how to replace the 25 goals or so and assists that Jes contributed from the right, his departure leaves a big hole. Above all we need to find that extra bit of determination to close out games like this, we have left too many points out there through careless defending and play.

    I’d like to sign Michael Hector on a longer-term deal, he and Lucas Ness have the makings of a decent partnership, but now restored to fitness he’ll have job offers but we can’t rely on Academy players, we need the strength in depth to play a 50 plus game season and that means drafting in some experience. Relying on talented young players is why despite a dozen attempts on goal that we only scored twice and both goals came from older players who read the game and knew what to do when given the opportunity.

    There’ll be a few departures this week but we have a lot of the pieces in place, Dean Holden made a few comments after the game about the fitness of the squad, so whoever signs is in for a summer of hard work and of course we need to get the ownership situation sorted PDQ. If Thomas isn’t prepared to fund the squad rebuilding then the best thing he could do is to sell to one of the consortiums that are apparently hovering. He risks ending up like Roland, by holding out for what he wants he’ll only drive his losses up and the club will stagnate.

    Thanks again CA for hosting this blog and entertaining our below the line ramblings.

    May 8, 2023
    • Thank you Shadow. Your comments are always thought provoking and very welcome.

      May 8, 2023
  2. Daggs #

    Just to echo ‘shadow play’ Thanks for keeping this blog going through a tough period in CAFC history.
    This and Dave’s ‘drinking during the game’ are my two favourites.

    May 8, 2023
    • Many thanks Daggs. I really appreciate your support. It is not easy for sure.

      May 8, 2023
  3. Chris #

    That’s it…..done a dusted for another season that was a roller-coaster of emotions for the future of our club.
    Too many distractions off the pitch affected everyone from staff,supporters and fans.
    Fingers crossed that the mess will be sorted and we can become a real club again.
    Holden is the anchor and let’s all hope his influence will bring success and calm.
    Have a great summer CA and thank you so much for all your postings and we can continue next season.
    I’ve a few more games to enjoy at The Valley before the groundsmen can rip up the pitch !!!

    May 8, 2023
  4. rierti #

    As you know I have made good comments about Asiimwe and I am therefor pleased that it seemed to go well for him. I was surprised, but pleased, that Rylah also made his debut. He is only a first year but is a strong powerful two footed player with great pace. The debut of Roddy was more difficult to understand as on the limited times I have seen him he has not impressed. I don’t like Henry as defensive midfield as the defensive side of his game is not great, however, his passing ability is very good indeed and I think he would be better employed further forward as a play maker.

    May 8, 2023
    • A two -footed player still seems a bit of a rarity. Frustrates the hell out of me that Fraser can hardly kick a ball with his right foot.

      May 9, 2023

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