Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Charlton 2 - 1 Bolton

As Greavsie used to say, "It's a funny old game Saint!" In fact, he probably never, actually, said it himself. It has become one of those catch phrases that has stuck from a time that football was real and not some over hyped product from Sky TV with real people playing, opposed to spoiled millionaires that could retire when they sign their first contract at seventeen.

Anyhow, if ever there was a game that fit Greavsie's catch phrase this was it. For the first half an hour (28 minutes to be precise) we were, clearly, second best then, somewhat, against the run of play we scored a goal from our first shot on target. A good goal, to be sure, but we were not worth the lead at that point. It seemed to lift us and we started to play with more confidence. We even looked like we were dominating play before the half time whistle came.

Into the second half and nothing much had happened - I would suggest that both sides were settling down hoping to not concede early - when we broke down the right and an inch perfect cross to, of all people, Johnnie Jackson and I would have bet my house on him scoring. He did and suddenly the game looked comfortable. It never looks won until the final whistle, for me, but I was confident that if we could just hold on for five or ten minutes we would be able to close out a team that came to The Valley with one win in five, and that being against Manager-less Birmingham, all be it it was their last game, and the first of their new manager's reign.

The lead lasted three minutes. I can't say Bolton didn't deserve anything based on their first half performance. I also have to concede that we seemed to drop back and panic defend to get to that five or ten minute point. A cracking shot from outside the box was put into the corner by Moxey, and suddenly we have more than half an hour of panic!

We did hold on, but I would say that we reverted to the 'defend at all costs' approach that we have seen a lot of this season. I can't quite get my head around the fact that we seem to be able to score for fun when we try to, but we tend to spend more time trying not to concede. I'm sure Bob knows what he is doing but if we were to spend more time attacking with purpose we might, not only, score more but concede less, but what do I know?

All in all a very successful day and a more than satisfactory outcome. Something that I have been experiencing a lot recently.

On a personal note I discovered last Wednesday that my son passed the Kent Test (formally known as the Eleven Plus) and due to a completely random set of circumstances, that were completely out of our control, is virtually guaranteed a place in Maidstone Grammar School which was our preference due in part to the school and it's grand history and traditions and also because it is the closest school (of any type) to our new home.

This great bit of news, coupled with a smooth house move and better than expected progress with unpacking and settling back into the house that we last lived in back in 2007 has managed to distract me, sufficiently, from what's been going on at Charlton. Tonight, however, was a great way to remind me that all the while life goes on and we all grow up and change homes, relationships, schools and jobs their is always a constant that keeps us anchored. For me that is football and Charlton in particular.

This season my son has started coming to Charlton regularly, he even gets excited about going. He plays football with friends at school now, something that he's never done before, and he comes home and asks me to play in the garden with him. This is something that I always wanted him to do and even though it took ten years to get there, we are developing a mutual hobby bond that I have always had with my Dad that makes me think that he will, also, have something that defines him all the way through his life. In truth, it doesn't matter which team you support, being a football fan is a life long relationship and very rewarding, and heart breaking in, not always equal, measures.

Tonight was very rewarding and a win in the televised game on Friday evening, before we fly off to Tenerife on Sunday, against Fulham (who I, particularly, dislike) would just make my week. Sadly I know that Charlton can't be relied upon to do that so I'll just bask in the knowledge that with this win tonight we have managed to stay unbeaten this season, at home, until November, at least, and for a total in excess of six months - in all competitions!

If you'd offered me that when we came off the pitch in the early Spring after losing 3-1 at home to Blackburn being two points off third from bottom with one Saturday of the season left, I would have ripped your arm off.

Up the Addicks!

Thursday, 9 October 2014

The End of an Era

I started this blog in January 2008 four months after I moved back to Kings Hill after living in a couple of properties my wife and I rented after selling our first property on the old airport, eighteen months before. Kings Hill is a lovely development, it has grown over time and take out those that only live here because they think it makes people's perceptions of them different, it is populated by nice people. Until recently it was mostly families - due to the size, and type, of the properties that were built when the development was started. Recently the developers have been building flats as single people and childless couples have wanted to live here. I imagine some of that will be divorced parents and the children of the initial families that moved in here.

Despite being very happy on Kings Hill tomorrow I am moving off the development. My son still has another year in the school here so I will be coming back here every day until July next year, but I will not live here.

This brings into question this blog, or rather, it's name. Let's ignore, for a moment, the fact that I've been as good as retired as far as writing the blog is concerned. I'm moving to an old cottage on the outskirts of Maidstone. For those that know the area it used to be in a parish called Bearsted, but due to changes in the boundaries it is now in the Parish of Maidstone.

Maidstone Addick doesn't appeal to me due to the fact that it's a big town, besides I'm sure I've seen posts from a Maidstone Addick on Charlton Life. Bearsted Addick would be an alternative, but as the cottage isn't, technically, in Bearsted it would be incorrect.

If we assume that I intend to come back to blogging at some point, which I believe will be the case, and on the basis that I would prefer to have all my Charlton ramblings in the same place I'm tempted to keep this blog open and make my moniker even less indicative as to who I am, in reality, by continuing to write under the name Kings Hill Addick.

I have a couple of weeks of unpacking and 'putting away' ahead of me then my son and I are off to Tenerife for half term, but I will look to get back into updating this blog more regularly towards the end of the year. With the team performing so well and with the new owners looking like they really do know how to run a football team this is a good time to be a Charlton fan. It should, also, be a good time to be a Charlton Blogger.

The last year has been a challenge. Many of you will know that my wife and I separated last summer and I've been living with my son (who sees his Mum very infrequently - her choice, not mine) and with him taking the eleven plus exam this September I have had little free time to waffle on about Charlton, and have always felt that anything I do that is not, potentially, helping my son with his exam would leave me with guilt if he didn't pass. Note I'm avoiding to use the word fail. With that part of our lives behind us I anticipate that I will have more time, again.

I won't make any promises, not that any of you are, exactly, waiting with baited breath, but all being well I will be back spouting my drivel once I've finished sunning myself in the Canary Islands.

Up the Addicks!

Monday, 27 January 2014

The Magic of the Cup

It has been a while since I've posted anything on here and, if I'm honest, I don't feel as though I miss it. I also don't think that my contribution to the Charlton bloggers is missed too much as there are a number of newer blogs and many of the established ones are still churning out quality material on a regular basis.

However, I thought I'd share my thoughts about the FA Cup run we are having this season. My first blog post a little over six years ago was about the FA Cup. We had just been drawn against Peterborough in the event that we won a replay against WBA, which we didn't. Much has changed since then but there has been a bit of a lack of commitment to the FA Cup from Charlton for much of that time - something that I have been critical of.

Not any more, all be it we made a couple of changes, six months ago no one would have batted an eyelid at the prospect of Jackson coming in for Cousins after a suspension, and Dervite and Sordell can make genuine claims to be first choice.

I had a conversation with my Dad and we decided that after last season (and those the preceded it) we would pass on the Oxford game this season. We have tended to play reserve players and have often lost against lower league opposition. We didn't buy Oxford tickets, and I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the team that failed to beat them at The Valley. The team for the replay was every bit as strong and a convincing win was the reward.

I wasn't tempted to go to Huddersfield - it is a big commitment when one only has three days notice. however Sheffield Wednesday is a different matter.

I went to the League One game in January 2011 which was a great day out. It felt (all be it we have half a season to go) like a Championship decider. I don't mean that the winner becomes champions, but that the winner was there that day and the win was worth six points, in real terms.

We won that game 1-0 and, frankly, never looked back afterwards. Sheffield Wednesday did, indeed, take second place. There is a suggestion that a lot of the reason for that was that Sheffield United imploded when Ched Evans was sent to prison, but had he not been available for the games in which he scored all those goals they wouldn't have been anywhere Wednesday at that point. Besides it's all in the past and has no real impact on the Cup game coming up.

As it happens I had planned to be away that weekend. A friend of mine from my time at Sheffield University is a Leeds fan and I was going to spend the weekend with him at his home near Middlesborough and we were going to go to the game. Thus I have a free weekend (i.e. my wife will have my son all weekend and I have no Leeds game to go to).

At the risk of sounding patronising I feel that as the club are taking the FA Cup seriously I shall do the same. Clearly I would have preferred a home tie against Wednesday, but as the club will benefit from as much money irrespective as to where the game is played I feel as though I am supporting the club by going, not only by being there but by paying for the ticket. Besides, I fully expect the tickets to be cheap and the coach is never that expensive and as I don't use it often I don't find it to be anything other than a nice drive up the motorway and back - assuming that they don't put some crap on the DVD on the way home too loud for me to close my eyes and have a snooze.

Clearly I will probably change my mind should our game be moved to the Friday night or the Sunday, but if it's on the Saturday, as I fully expect it to be, then I shall me making my way up to the city that I lived in during the early 90s.

Up the Addicks!