One of my New Year's resolutions is to find time to write this blog on a more regular basis. I'm not setting any specific targets, just that I intend to make a bigger effort.
With that in mind I thought I should comment on last night's game, although if feels like it was last year now after the alcohol I consumed last night.
The game can be summarised easily. We started off ok, the game was just settling down nicely and we were finding our feet away from home then Hamer was sent off. Then we played out the first half defending for our lives, and managed to keep the score down to 0-1. The second half Orient dropped back a little and we gradually took over and towards the end we were unlucky not to grap an equaliser.
There were some significant points in the game worth discussing. The sending off was debatable. I think Hamer could have stayed on his line ad Morrisson was chasing back with Mooney, and it would have been very difficult for the former Charlton striker to score - particllarly based on the later evidence of his ability to hit the target.
Of what there is no doubt is that the ball hit Hamer's arm outside of the box. This, itself, gives the Referee the justification to show him the red card. We need to remember that he only gets a split second to make the decision, and despite the fact that if he'd stayed on his line it would have been a non event, Hamer did stop the ball on a goalwards direction with his arm outside of the box.
I have no real critisism of Hamer, he made a judgement call and suffered the worst outcome.
I watched the game at my Dad's house (I don't have Sky TV - but I'm getting it tomorrow) and his first comment aft the red card was that we were playing for a draw now. This was not a negative comment, but in truth it is very hard to avoid defeat if you play one short for more than 80 minutes. Having said that both Brighton and Colchester managed to draw with us in similar circumstances last Christmas.
It is questionable if Wagstaff was the best player to make way, but I thought I heard, or read, that he has been struggling with an injury so it might have been something to do with that.
The other points of contention were the 'off side' goal just before half time, and the 'foul' on Lisbie that, I believe, should have been a penalty.
On the whole I had plenty of time to get used to the idea that we would lose - over 80 minutes, and as disappointed as I was I can live with a defeat when we had ten men for almost all of the game, and we are still 4 points clear, with a much better goal difference from second, and another point above third.
I have no real complaints about any of the players. Hayes looked a little off the pace when he came on, but he hasn't played a lot recently, and I'm not sure he is a goal scorer either, and when your game involves holding up play and creating chances for others you are going to struggle with a limited cameo playing ten versus eleven. He has plenty of time to make a contribution.
It was very encouraging to see the Skipper back though. He managed over 80 minutes and the seemed to be no no ill effects or reoccurrence of his hamstring injury.
On the whole I would have taken this position at the start of the new year if it'd been offered to me in August, and with a fully fit squad and Leon Clarke joining I am confident that we can push on in the second half of the season.
The next three league games are massive!
Up the Addicks!