When we heard that the departure of the Rickshaws had been delayed, then we knew that the championship was in our grasp. 10-man MK Dons duly obliged by beating Sheffield United 1-0 to cue warm celebrations. It had been achieved with a rather laboured victory over Wycombe Wanderers who were not without quality, but they were fighting to beat relegation.
Before the match started it was good to see the owners on the pitch with Chris Powell, but above Richard Murray recovered from his recent stroke.
We started the game by changing ends which always makes me uneasy. I thought that we were a bit casual in the opening stages and Wycombe won an early corner. They decided to take this short which in my view rarely works and demands a level of skill which the Chairboys did not possess.
We then won our first corner taken by Stephens. The ball was cleared off the line and then saved. Wycombe then demonstrated their ability to counter attack and they were not far wide with their attempt. They then broke again, but this time the ball was well over.
Wright-Phillips shot at the keeper who made a double handed save. Then Kermorgant won a free kick which he took. His excellent effort went over the wall and into the net to make it 1-0.
The Covered End told us that MK Dons had gone 1-0 ahead. Wright-Phillips was one on one with the keeper, but he made the save. Hamer had to save from close range, not the easiest of saves to make. Charlton won a corner taken by Jackson but it was unproductive. A free kick was awarded against Pritchard, but the Wycombe effort went off the wall. Solly provided good defensive work to clear.
Scott Wagstaff was fouled as he advanced on goal and Eastmond received a yellow card. It was in a similar position to the free kick from which the goal was scored, but Jackson's effort went over. Wright-Phillips had a chance, but put the ball just wide. Hamer made a good save.
Then on 45 minutes, with Kermorgant down from a head injury, Wycombe danger man Stuart Beavon made it 1-1.Half time: Addicks 1, Chairboys 1
Wycombe were boosted by their goal and gave Charlton some nervous moments in the first twenty minutes of the second half. This started the usual suspects in the East Stand moaning, so it is probably worth quoting what the Football League Paper had to say this morning: 'As is the sign of champions, Charlton were resilient in defence and ultimately clinical in attack.'
Scott Wagstaff had the opportunity to create something, but instead of keeping the ball on the ground but sent it sailing over. Wiggins won Charlton a corner. Hamer made a great save at the expense of a corner for the Chairboys which for some reason they took short again. Wright-Phillips received a yellow card. This gave the Wycombe fans the chance to proclaim, 'Bradley Wright-Phillips you're more **** than Shaun.' In any event he was withdrawn on 70 minutes and replaced by Haynes who offered more pace against the suspect Wycombe defence.
It was Haynes who set up Kermorgant whose pull back was placed in the net by Stephens. Haynes burst through but his effort was saved. Grant Basey was taken off and received warm appluase from the Addickted. Hamer made another good save. From the resultant corner, Hamer claimed the ball authoritatively.
After the four minutes added on, we had to wait a few minutes more while the match at MK Dons was finished and then Big Dave Lockwood told us that we were champions. One fan managed to evade the heavy security cordon and did a good job at dodging the security men before embracing Bradley Pritchard. Some Wycombe fans stayed behind to applaud our players.
Congratulations to Charlton fan Jane who managed to make an excellent statement in support of the team on the six second spot on 606 last night.
The coveted Silver Bone has gone to Ben Hamer who now has quite a collection of them. A couple of great saves in the second half kept us in the game and he was not really at fault for the goal.Solly had another very competitive game and is very likely to pick up Player of the Year. I voted for Wiggins because I think Solly is going to get it anyway (or Kermit) and I wanted to see Wiggins get a placing in recognition of his contribution. However, he did make a few errors today. Morrison also created a few problems through misunderstandings with Hamer. Cortwas solid, although I am not sure where he was for the goal. Stephens started well, but then faded and started making unforced errors, although he redeemed himself with a well-taken goal. Pritchard stuck to his task with dedication and energy. Jackson still seems a little off the pace. Wagstaff tends to be inconsistent and spoilt one potential scoring opportunity through a lack of thought. Wright-Phillips missed a couple of good scoring opportunities. The goal scored by Kermorgant was a classic. Haynes not able to make use of his one scoring opportunity, but did play a part in the winning goal.
There is no Hiss of the Match. The officials were generally competent and the game was played in a fair, competitive spirit with relatively few fouls and only two yellow cards. However, why is it that couples now feel that they are entitled to stand alongside one another on escalators on the tube rather than allowing those on the left to pass?