Charlton 0-1 Millwall ~ Match Musings

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Buoyed by the first win of the season against Blackpool, it was with some reasonable sense of wellbeing that we made the very short journey to the valley to watch the Lions take the usual three points from our hapless neighbours at Charlton.

I say this not to be deprecating or derogatory to Charlton, they are, in essence a bit of a non-entity in our footballing circles, but simply because we always expect to do a number on the window licking train spotters (and I do mean that in a deprecating and derogatory fashion.)

Historically (and some might say hysterically), we beat Charlton. The facts don’t lie; we are and always have been superior to these upstarts in South London and how it pains them so much it is truly wonderful. These deluded fools are another example of how many stupid people can, if allowed to, convince there self that losing on a very regular basis to your local rivals somehow gives you some sort of moral high ground.

You can imagine them huddled in small groups, their bottom of milk bottle glasses thick with stale mucus in the corners, dried crusty dribble on the corner of their lips, fresh dribble urging itself out of the mouths as they excitedly tell each other how the scum of South London are no match for their exquisite masters of the association football genre.

You can hear the crackle of their yellowing, once white bry-nylon shirts echoing like the sound of a bowl of breakfast cereal, their elasticated slacks, pulled up to above navel as their excitement mounts when this fixture draws near, and then, finally, the first gentle, almost apologetic coughs that quickly turn into great wracking chasms of braying air through windpipe as lungs are expelled of obstruction as the bi annual cases of Millwall flu are pronounced throughout the region and alas, the poor souls have no recourse other than retreat to their bedsits and sit out this 24 hour malady that affects their ilk.

It is not without substance that the Millwall fans are often heard to chant that they laugh at the Charlton fans. The vindication in doing this is there for all to see.

Lomas had his work cut out for him with this fixture. Even the win against Blackpool would quickly pale into insignificance if we slipped up against the eternal fall g u y s from the valley and this would have been instilled into the team as well. The line-up was the same eleven that started against Blackpool and this was the correct choice, no question. So we lined up as follows: Forde, Dunne, Beevers, Robinson, Malone, Abdou, Trotter, Bailey, Woolford, McDonald & Waghorn

Naturally, the 3,000 odd Millwall fans made more noise than the 12,000 Charlton fans, but that is to be expected, as the ref got the early game under way due to the Bastard SKY mob wanting to broadcast the game, and straight away we settled into a comfortable format that looked assured and in charge from the off.

Although the opening encounters were scrappy it was soon apparent that we were the superior side and that Charlton were never going to cause us any real problems all afternoon.

We had a couple of half-hearted attempts from Bailey, who seemed to have irked the train spotters somewhat, before a Waghorn effort really made them sit up and take notice.

We played some classy stuff at times, the pass and movement play clearly suiting the players and with Forde a virtual spectator, the back four looked in imperious form against what little attacking flair they could muster (which wasn’t a lot).

Trotter and Abdou were at last back in tandem giving Woolford and Bailey time to put on a show and Woolford in particular revelled in the freedom this gave him. He was ably backed up by Malone who has slotted well into the left back role that I fear Lowry may well be looking at a long stay on the bench when his ban is over.

For all our possession and ease of play it still took us 37 minutes to break them down and although the shot from McDonald (after sterling counter attack play) took a deflection, as far as I am concerned it was going in anyway. 0-1 and cue pandemonium in the away end.

This broke what little spirit the spineless Addicks had and to say we dominated the rest of the half is a massive understatement. The fact that we couldn’t add to the one goal did not lesson the fact that we were far superior to them.

At the half time whistle the lads were cheered off by the travelling contingent and rightly so, it was a fine first half performance and a well-deserved lead.

No changes for the second half and as expected, the hosts came out with a little bit more vigour than they showed in the first half but our resolute defence were in no mood to give any quarter and had no problem with anything they had to offer.

Woolford had a goal bound chance blocked as we pressed forward for that second goal and soon after Lomas made a change, bringing off the tireless McDonald and bringing on a revitalised Morison who quickly put the fear of God into the Charlton defence by setting up the effervescent Woolford whose stinging shot hit the side netting, much to the relief of the home fans.

We then seemed to accept that they wanted to keep the ball between their ‘keeper and their back four and although they had the possession they were never going anywhere with it, on numerous occasions we hounded them back forcing their ‘keeper to kick long and hope for the best. The best was always our back four.

We had chances for the second goal, Morison again the provider, this time for Trotter who took the ball on the bounce and forced Hamer into a smart save.

I think the only real effort they had on goal was a very tame effort from Church that hardly troubled Forde who collected comfortably.

It really was boys against men out there, we looked the better side and indeed we were the better side and although we never got the second goal, in truth, we never needed it. Malone was unlucky not to score though after Chaplow set him up but again it was the side netting that stopped the shot.

There was one brief moment in stoppage time where the home side managed to test Forde but it was a poor effort that Forde smothered with ease and then shortly after, the final whistle sounded to bring to an end the torture for the poor old Charlton fans.

Two wins on the spin, who’d have staked their lunch money on that after the Derby County game? Watching the players celebrate with Lomas after the whistle was strangely compelling and although the new manager still has a long way to go to climb to the top of our demanding mountain, he is, at last, making some headway.

Dirty Leeds up next and if Lomas pulls that one out of the bag then he will almost be made welcome!

“These people were not only cheering, they were throwing flowers and hats. The hats were made of stone, but the thought was there.”
Terry Pratchett

Updated 22-09-2013 at 10:31 PM by FairweatherFan

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