10 man Charlton battled for the points in a 1-0 nil win over Bristol Rovers yesterday. They showed considerable resolve after they went down to ten men after five minutes and there was good team work. Bristol Rovers also failed to take advantage of the situation.
Novak had the chance to show what he could offer Charlton today but went in for a completely unnecessary challenge. The referee hesitated but then showed red. It could have been yellow, but the referee has grounds for his decision. There was then a scuffle in which Solly out himself about and for a moment I thought that a yellow card had been shown.
Charlton stood firm after the early blow while Gashead's bearded wonder Sinclair was advised that he lived 200 miles from Shoreditch. On 38 minutes Bauer scored for Charlton. I did not think that it had completely crossed the line, and Karl Robinson later admitted that it hadn't, but the linesman gave it.
Congratulations to Stuart McRae on winning the crossbar challenge at half time and £10,500. He had been practising and Jason Euell's advice to stay calm paid off.
Rovers still failed to offer any sustained pressure after the break, although Amos had to save from new boy Liam Sercombe. Tom Lockyer's 35-yard lob nearly caught the keeper out, but he tipped it over the bar. Tony Watt was brought on after 70 minutes in the hope that he might score a second goal, but he was a complete waste of space, failing to chase the ball. The sooner he goes out on loan the better.
In the last 15 minutes or so Rovers started to dominate the game more, possibly because Charlton were tiring after playing so long with 10 men. We were vulnerable down the left with No.3 for Rovers, Lee Brown, looking threatening. However, we held on, to the relief of the recorded attendance of just under 13,000 (there seems to have been a late surge in season ticket sales).
Amos only had one save to make, given the wayward nature of the shots from the visitors. However, he seemed to have trouble holding on to the ball, punching it out riskily at one point. As Steve from Petts Wood commented, 'He's a typical Charlton goalkeeper.'
Fosu had been billed by one commentator as likely to be a 'livener' from the bench, but he started and made a considerable contribution. Clarke got a standing ovation when he went off. However, my man of the match was Jay DaSilva who showed real skill.
Football League Paper player ratings
Amos, 7; Solly, 6; Bauer, 8 (star man); Pearce 7; DaSilva, 8; Forster-Caskey, 7; Kashi, 8; Fosu, 8; Clarke, 7; Holmes 7; Novak, 2; Watt, 4; Ahearne-Grant 5. It is unusual to get so many scores of 8.