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Posts tagged ‘Sunderland’

Charlton Athletic 2 Sunderland 1

You’ll never going to believe us, but the reds are going up. Allez, Allez, Allez.

Well, what a journey that was. What a day. What a team, what heroes Lee Bowyer and Johnnie Jackson are. Yesterday will be a day Addicks, team and supporters as one, will remember for the rest of their lives.

The finer details of the game are a little blurry. It was game that flipped from scrappy to nervy to a finely balanced battle. It’s interesting that reports of the game seemed to think we were deserving winners. I wasn’t so sure from where I sat, but Sunderland are a very functional side, hard to beat, but lacking flair. Meanwhile Bowyer has put together a team that can change a game, be the more adventurous, can play around sides. The first goal, which was pure poetry, a great example.

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Luton and Barnsley promoted

Nerves rattled both Portsmouth and Sunderland last night when with an eye on second place both came unstuck meaning that without kicking a ball both Luton and Barnsley were promoted.

Peterborough were two-up at Fratton Park, but then we’re hauled level. However with their own promotion push on a knife edge Posh went back in front and are now a point behind Doncaster. On Sunday Peterborough are at home to Burton and Doncaster home to Coventry.

Who one of those plays in the play-offs is all up for grabs. Even the Addicks can snatch 3rd on Sunday but Portsmouth are in pole position facing Accrington at home, although Stanley did score five last week. Sunderland have a tricky one away at Southend, who need to win.

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Brave face

Bow put on a brave face when talking about our promotion rivals spending in the January transfer window, but if it didn’t only highlight the budgetary disparities between us and them, it also shone a massive spotlight on differing board ambitions.

None of the clubs at the top with us are loaded with money, yet Bow’s fellow managers and Steve Gallen equivalents were all allowed to haggle and barter in the window for the betterment of their squads and Sunderland, Portsmouth, Luton and Peterborough have all come out the other end with a deeper and, on paper at least, a stronger collection of players.

Doncaster, who have one of the lowest budgets in the league, were pretty inactive in January but importantly kept John Marquis despite interest from Sunderland, and a late bid from Swansea. In demand Alfie May also signed a contract extension.

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Charlton Athletic 1 Sunderland 1

I thought before the game with our injuries that I’d take a draw. I was even more certain after half hour as we were hanging on and behind to a 2nd minute goal. Sunderland had chances to bury us in that first 30 minutes, but by the half-time whistle the worm had started to turn and we finally started to get our act together.

2nd half was a diffent game. We were excellent and it was the Black Cats that were hanging on and riding their luck. Taylor deserved the rub of the green that saw his cross turned in for an own-goal equalizer. He was excellent again.

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Telly Addicks

I was thinking yesterday how nice it was that I’ve been able to watch the Addicks live on the television for their last four games. Except we’ve lost all four, and in fact the two before that, both of those were 0-3 defeats. At least we scored yesterday for the only time in those six games. I am sure there are Premier and Championship teams that will claim worst TV records, but I’d like to see them, and this isn’t a recent phenomenon remember.

Anyways, I’m here to list some positives. Yes I know, until the old scroat either sells or keels over, then positivity is very thin on the ground, but there was a fair bit on Saturday to be hopeful for.

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Sunderland 2 Charlton Athletic 1

An opening day ending in a heartbreaking defeat but a performance built on hope, a battling spirit and a fair bit of quality. We deservedly took the lead through Lyle Taylor’s penalty and for 35 minutes Sunderland were all at sea as we played high up the pitch with Aribo dominant and the front pairing of Taylor and Grant a constant menace.

The hosts were poor but they finally got their act together as we reached half-time, but our dominance deserved a second goal and it was George Lapslie who had the best chance. A powerful Pratley shot was also well saved.

Sunderland were never going to be so bad 2nd half, but we still looked pretty comfortable, our only concerns being when one of our players went down injured and wondering who the hell from 4 on-field substitutes would replace them. It was never a dirty game, but there were lots of stoppages for injuries on both sides and both Pearce and Solly ended the game limping and bloodied.

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Brought to our knees

“Charlton say that austerity is necessary to “restore the financial health of the club”. But Duchatelet has brought Charlton Athletic to its knees over the last four years, demeaning the club with every misjudged cut, sale, sacking and bad appointment. Staff that leave now are rarely replaced and the whole club is desperate for profound change and renewal. For the long-term survival of Charlton Athletic, all that matters is Duchatelet finally selling this club on to people who can take better care of it.”

From the excellent article in today’s Independent written by Jack Pitt-Brooke.

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2018/19 League One Preview – Part Three

Part One of my 2018/19 League One preview, which went from Accrington Stanley to Coventry City is here and Part Two that began at Doncaster and ended at Portsmouth is here.

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Sunderland away at lunchtime

Perfect. 600 mile round trip on opening day and because our new friends Sky fancy it, the game will kick off at 12.30pm. Nice for those of you that wanted to see the team in the flesh on opening day. Wait, we may even have new owners sat in the stand the old scrote in his laboratory watching on his Belgian telly..

This is followed by our new big rivals Shrewsbury Town at The Valley the week after, then the club’s first ever trip to Accrington Stanley and a game under the lights in SE7 home to Peterborough.

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40 years of love

My longest ever football memory was 40 years ago this weekend.

I don’t remember having any interest in football before May 1973, my Dad was a lapsed visitor to The Valley working weekends and providing for his family amidst power cuts and miner strikes, so I suspect the opportunity to sit down as a family to watch the pinnacle of the season was one that he was looking forward to.
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