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Posts tagged ‘Darren Pratley’

Goodbye Darren Pratley

Darren Pratley has announced that he will be leaving the Addicks this summer. The midfielder played over 100 matches for us and scored one very special goal and four others since Lee Bowyer signed him on a free from Bolton in July 2018.

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Charlton Athletic 0 Blackpool 3

Amongst the total hopelessness today was the sound of the death knoll echoing around that famous stadium. We couldn’t hear it, but it was there loud and long.

A month or so back we stopped looking like a promotion team. Today we didn’t look like a team at all, shorn of all pride and commitment.

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Hull City 2 Charlton Athletic 0

Bloody awful again. Start to finish. Hull so much better than us. No one played well, half of them didn’t seem to know where they were playing and I didn’t sense any type of game-plan.

What the hell has happened since the international break, something is clearly not right. We have just two injuries of any note. Yes, they are key centre-halves, but we have one glued to the bench while Bowyer insists on playing a stream of bizarre cocktails of formations and positions.

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Northampton Town 0 Charlton Athletic 2

That was a howler of a game that matched the weather, and the pitch, which was frankly Cobblers.

It was not pretty, but it was a handsome three points, and another bruising defensive display with Ryan Inniss monstrous at the back leading to a further clean sheet.

The first half was desperate and the initial pick of a midfield of Levitt, Williams and Forster-Caskey was far too lightweight. Darren Pratley changed the whole mentality when he was introduced for the 2nd half. His influence was all around him as Williams and Forster-Caskey were much busier and effective. Behind DP Inniss and Famewo dominated.

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Cardiff City 0 Charlton Athletic 0

A great point to bring home from Wales tonight.

Another defensive blockade and when we needed him Dillon Phillips delivered with the one big save of the night from Adomah.

The result was all the more significant as Lee Bowyer made seven changes to his line-up and changed the formation. Adam Matthews and Tomer Hemed didn’t travel due to small knocks and Sam Field and Jake Forster-Caskey started in a three-man midfield after long lay-offs.

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Charlton Athletic 1 Queens Park Rangers 0

Come on you Addicks.

Another resolute and energetic performance today with Darren Pratley heading the early goal from another Josh Cullen corner.

An unchanged line up from Lee Bowyer with Andre Green replacing Erhun Oztumer on the 9-man bench the only change.

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Field back

In a week when we had it rammed home to us again that it’s only us fans who truly put our football team above self-absorbed footballers, it is great to see a young man who really wants to pull on a shirt and play.

Sam Field is back in SE7, back from injury and allowed by West Brom to continue his loan spell at Charlton.

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Field of bad dreams

Sounds as if another West Brom loanee will miss the rest of the season. Sam Field’s knee injury has suffered complications and after seeing a specialist this week he will, like Jonathan Leko, spend the remainder of the season rehabilitating back at the Hawthorns.

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Charlton Athletic 3 Derby County 0

To a man they were outstanding today shoving aside last year’s play-off finalists showing once again that the Addicks can live side by side with anyone in this league.

It’s an absolute joy to watch this side. The work rate and the unconditional desire sends goose bumps down the back of the neck. They were all magnificent, but Darren Pratley was sumptuous at the back playing in between Lockyer and Sarr as Bow moved to a formation we’d never tried before and only worked on since Thursday.

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Charlton Athletic 1 Brentford 0

On Wednesday night, to steal from Lee Bowyer, we battered Forest. Today the battering was on the other foot, but heroic defending, and total commitment saw us gather another 3 points to our early unforeseen total.

8 points above the relegation zone, it’s how I’m looking at it, and another wonderful Valley occasion as second best throughout we showed another side to our game. If Wednesday was about slick passing and movement, today was about blood and guts with the back three of Lockyer, Pearce and Pratley immense and Duracell bunny Lapslie and Purrington leaving no blade of glass unturned.

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Pratley extends contract

Darren Pratley was Lee Bowyer’s second signing (his first was Lyle Taylor, so not a bad first couple of picks), and the 34-year has been an exceptional force on and off the pitch in his time in SE7. His performances and fitness at the latter stages of last season, especially in the play-off’s, were exceptional and he’s started this season in the same vein.

Today Pratley signed a years contract extension taking him to June 2021. Our most experienced player alongside Bowyer and Jackson must be an inspiration for our roster of excellent young midfielders.

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Charlton Athletic 2 Doncaster Rovers 3 (AET. 4-4 on aggregate, 4-3 on penalties)

At some point this afternoon I had stopped shaking. I have to admit I hated every minute of the game. Watching in a pub with sympathetic work colleagues and random strangers concerned to why this bloke staring at a TV for what seemed hours was going through a somersault of emotions and odd facial expressions, and ended in a tearful heap on a bar stool.

Had a bloody headache this morning though. Jesus what a night, what an achievement and the end, the pitch invasion, the unadulterated joy. The pride. Roland and his evil ownership not even the slightest regard.

It had been a long and nervy day, I didn’t sleep well, but we had the start that we had all hoped for. Bielik heading in a 2 minute free-kick. Game over. Oh no, nowhere near.

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8-0

Ay, what?

You know in 20 years time 3,000 Addicks will be claiming they were at the Lamex last night as Charlton claimed their largest ever win. A record that has stood since 1953.

Stevenage made a load of changes and fielded a youthful team, but then again so did we as Taylor Maloney, George Lapslie and Toby Stevenson starred. 18-year old Stevenson was making his debut at left wing back, and became the first ever Addicks’ debutant to score a hat-trick. A night he will never forget as will the couple of hundred Addicks present.

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Injuries happen

Three on Saturday against Wycombe. Nothing too serious but we are going to be without Darren Pratley for 2-3 weeks, Nicky Ajose probably this weekend and Krystian Bielik for a fortnight.

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Pratley makes it two

As expected, and I think in most corners, hoped Darren Pratley became Lee Bowyer’s second summer signing. The 33-year old midfield general played 35 times last season for Bolton in The Championship, where he was their captain.

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