Saturday 1 October 2011

Charlton five points clear

Charlton are five points clear at the top of League 1 after their 2-0 win at Sheffield United today in what would have been a Premier League fixture four years ago.   Perceived big threat Preston lost 2-1 at lowly Orient.  No wonder Chris Powell felt able to say, 'We have made a statement.'

My train took me through Sheffield at 16.20, but I didn't hear the result until 18.15.

Charlton substitute Yann Kermorgant was the hero after he came on in place of Paul Hayes.  After an uneventful 65 minutes, with the match looking as if it might be heading for a 0-0, the bouncing Breton stepped off the bench and headed home with his first touch from Johnnie Jackson's corner.   Kermorgant has now scored twice in three substitute appearances.

And two minutes later he set up Bradley Wright-Phillips, who finished at the second attempt from close range.  Blades' Ched Evans hit the post from outside the box deep into injury time.

Someone who was there has said, 'Great win. Worked hard in a tense first half and survived a couple of goalline scares, although we had a good chance at the other end which was fluffed by Morrison, I think. Solly was excellent again.'

'Second half more even, then the substitution won the game. United couldn't deal with the Frenchman in the air and BWP had another chance to score moments before he did.'

'Hamer had a great game, although he misread one first half cross. It was the sort of ground-out but ultimately convincing win that persuades you we will go up, albeit it's too early to say that really.'

'What we can say is that those looking to make a judgement after 10/11 games ought to be singing Powell's praises if they have any sense of fairness because no one could reasonably ask for any more over the 11 games.'

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