Sunday, 30 April 2017

Emphatic win ends mediocre season

A 3-0 defeat of relegated Swindon at The Valley today saw Charlton finish 13th in League One, not that impressive given a claimed 'top six' budget. If we had taken more of our chances, it could have been a much bigger scoreline.

There was a strange dearth of programme sellers outside the ground before the game, but Rick Everitt was on his usual pitch selling Voice of the Valley, raucously promising a Chrissy Powell exclusive, thus deflecting attention from the absence of a souvenir supplement covering the centenary of the shelling of Ramsgate.

I was quite isolated on my row, with both Steve from Petts Wood and the Bloke Beside Me and his friends absent. However, the Bloke Behind Me kept up a stream of advice, his most frequent shout being 'Play the simple ball.'

A few minutes are kick off black and white balloons hit the pitch, but play was only delayed for a couple of minutes.

The first phase of the game saw Anton Rodgers hitting the bar from a free-kick for the Rocking Robins. But it was Charlton who took the lead on 15 minutes when Chelsea loanee Jay Dasilva's cross was headed home by striker Josh Magennis.

Charlton stepped up the pressure and Nathan Byrne and Magennis came close to doubling the Addick's lead. Charton were dominating and got their second on 43 minutes when Jake Forster-Caskey turned in a Byrne cross from close range.

Charlton seemed a little sleepy and casual after the break and the visitors got into the game more. Johnnie Jackson was then prevented from scoring by Will Henry when the keeper saved well from the Addicks' captain. An offside flag then saw a Islam Feruz goal for Swindon chalked off. Charlton's third came on 66 minutes when fans' player of the season Ricky Holmes slid a shot past Henry from a Byrne pass to wrap up the points.

Johnnie Jackson got a warm standing ovation when he was substituted.

Dire warnings about penalties under the Football Grounds Act were issued over the loudspeakers, although those about throwing objects on the pitch (which had included flares) were redundant by then. A security cordon failed to prevent a good humoured but firmly anti-Roland pitch invasion at the end of the game. Josh Magennis walked over to the East Stand and gave his shirt to an older lady supporter.

Two fire engines were seen heading for the ground after the game.

The rumour mill says that Lee Bowyer is to become assistant manager. Louis Mendez tweeted that Karl Robinson seemed uncertain about his future after the game.

Average official attendances at Charlton this year fell by 29 per cent from 15,632 to 11,162.

Charlton failed to win the 'most draws' trophy which went to Bradford City with 19 as against 18 for the Addicks.

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