Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Walking wounded snatch the win

Credit where credit is due. Not too many of us predicted a Charlton victory today and even fewer would have predicted one after watching the first 70 minutes of this encounter, but by hook or by crook we managed to turn what would have been a hugely demoralising defeat into an unlikely victory. On top of that, both of our goals were top quality, and Darren Bent had a hand in both of them. An intelligent square pass left Hughes with a tap in for the first, and a powerful run accompanied by an unstoppable shot eventually delivered the three points.

Bent has had a few critics in the media recently, claiming that Premiership defences have got to grips with him after his wonderful start to the campaign but he answered that accusation this afternoon, and you can tell how much the goal meant to him by his celebrations. Two more goals in his remaining three games should be well enough to see him on the plane to Germany.

It was good to see Sankofa finally get his chance, but I wont dwell on the rest of the match too much. Pompey were the better side for long periods and will think themselves unlucky to be going home empty handed. For the second occasion this season, we have picked their pockets and come from a goal behind to win 2-1. While Curbishley's comments about it being a heroic effort are probably a little over the top (we should really be beating sides like Portsmouth anyway), I’ll forgive the over indulgent post match comment purely because of that patronising arm around Redknapp's shoulder at the final whistle. "Awww so close, never mind 'Arry, maybe next year eh. Oh, assuming that you're still in our league of course!"

I've been pretty gloomy over the last week or so, but I am taking some comfort now in the fact that our home form is looking rather formidable. Since New Years Eve we have played 12 games at the Valley and won 8 of them, drawing the other 4. Three of those matches were in the cup of course, but that still leaves us with a league return of 21 points out of the last 27 available at The Valley; plus we can claim to be undefeated in SE7 in the calendar year of 2006. If we avoid defeat in our final home game against Blackburn, then by the time the new season comes around we will have an unbeaten home run stretching back 8 months!

What an odd season it's been. For the first third of it we were demolishing teams away from home and losing at The Valley, the middle third saw a decline in form both home and away, and the final third has seen us losing games on the road but supplementing our league position on the back of home results. Consistently inconsistent kind of sums it up.

Still, that's football I suppose. At least a victory today means that I will actually bother watching Match of The Day this week, it's been a while since I've done that.


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