At 7:45pm Charlton kicked off their first game at the Valley since the last game of the 2010/11 season, and can I just say that the pitch looked fantastic. A great job done by the groundsmen.
The whistle blew and immediately we knew that Den Bosch were not a team to be taken lightly, in the first few minutes they showed us that they were not scared to pass the ball and attack. And pass the ball well they did, creating the first chance of the game. Which for us sailed wide past Robbie Elliot’s goal.
I mumbled under my breath “this does not look good” and to be truthful it didn’t, you could see that our boys were trying to pass the ball and were constantly on the move to create space but things just did not seem to be working. A slight bit of doubt did slip into my mind I will admit, but I pushed that to one side as I fully understand things take time and I do believe in the what Chris Powell is working to achieve this season.
As the game progressed Charlton started to stamp their authority and continued this into the second half, good performances again from Stephens and Greem who has previously impressed me in the pre-season games I had seen prior to Tuesday night.
I’m my last post I wrote that Hayes had not impressed me and I was not going to criticise him for it but be paitent, well I’m glad I wrote those words. Last night he seemed a different player, looked good on the ball, showed a good level of control and hit the bar with a header in the second half. He also had a chance in the first half when we were attacking the goal at the Jimmy Seed stand, he did a lob shot with the goalkeeper off his line but I felt he could have run with it and stood a better chance. But still great performance all round, even winning the ball from a Den Bosch defender and creating chances for others.
Could there have been more chances? Possibly but I’ll say again, still early days. We looked solid at the back once we got our grip on the game, I was not worried that we would concede a goal.
The game would have gone to penalties if it was not for the sublime finish by Bradley Wright-Phillips, once again underlining what he is capable of doing and why he was bought to the club in January.
Looking at the strikers in the squad, we have BWP, Hayes and Benson and Chris Powell has made it quite clear he wishes to sign another. If that turns out to be Rasiak only time will tell, I reckon he could be a bit part player for us and be a handful for the last 20 minutes.
At the end of the game Johnnie Jackson who was captain and I spotted giving out instructions so looks to be a good choice going forward, lifted the ‘Peoples’ Cup. Where did that come from??
I now play the music at the Valley which I’m honoured to be able to do, my choice of track when JJ lifted the club was a good one. (so I think)
A second string squad play tonight at Bromley and after that more training and then the action kicks off for real on the 6th August against Bournemouth. Right here right now I predict a 2-0 win for us!
Thanks for reading, I’ll leave you with this!