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New Article: Stewart shines but Charlton undone by late madness

Dan Macionis looks back on his trip to Yeovil

Before last weekend Charlton had made the trip to Huish Park, the home of Yeovil Town, three times in the previous four seasons and each one was memorable in its own way.

There was the very wet afternoon on the open air terrace in November 2009 when an Akpo Sodje inspired Addicks drew 1-1 despite playing most of the game with 10 men after his brother saw red (hmmm…). Then there was a 1-0 victory in February 2011 which was Chris Powell’s first away game in charge, and a thrilling 3-2 win on Boxing Day of the same year when a late goal from Danny Green (coupled with late Walsall turn-around) helped extend Charlton’s League 1 lead to eight points.

Therefore, despite being on a poor run of four defeats in five and facing a Yeovil side who had just recorded two victories on the spin against play-off chasing teams, there were at least some hopes it could be another memorable afternoon in the West Country.

Huish Park is not the easiest of away grounds to travel to; engineering works on the railway and the fact the ground is not close to either of the town’s stations meant the trip was not the most anticipated. Nevertheless as I set off, the misguided optimism that accompanies many an away game was still present.

As the game drew closer, the feeling that this was actually a huge game in the context of the season began to dawn. A win for the home side would see them leapfrog Charlton and leave us in the relegation zone whilst an away victory would create a cushion over the bottom three and give us some much needed confidence going into the festive period.

The first half was fairly unremarkable with neither side looking especially threatening until two Charlton goals sparked the game into life. Firstly Cameron Stewart received the ball in his own half from the keeper and ran the length of the pitch before finding the corner with an excellent finish. Stewart seems to be having a mini goal-of-the-season competition just for himself as all three of his goals have been something special.

Stewart then burst down the left and found the head of Jackson at the far post with a pin-point cross. It was the kind of goal we have become used to seeing from the skipper over the last couple of years as he appeared at the back post to nod in.
As the second half got underway, the rain began to fall, it was nowhere near the monsoon that was seen in 2009 but even so when you are on an open terrace, it really is not welcome.

Charlton could have extended their lead but the home keeper made a fine save from Simon Church before Yeovil scored a fortunate goal. Michael Morrison inadvertently deflected the ball past Alnwick to give Yeovil hope and ensure a tense last 20 minutes.
Then within a matter of minutes Yeovil earned a penalty. From the other end of the stadium it looked like there was contact from sub Andy Hughes although maybe the player made the most of it.

Miller blasted home the penalty and with 15 minutes to go, the home side suddenly looked the team most likely to win.
The five or so minutes of madness ended with Jackson seeing red. Even with a lot of bias it looked as though his shirt was pulled just before he lunged in, which should have been given as a foul. The challenge itself from Jackson in real time looked fair but having seen it again, it was the kind of tackle that nowadays will see the player sent-off.

The red card understandably altered the manager’s tactics as we saw the welcome return of Chris Solly instead of a more attacking change. Solly slotted in effortlessly and will hopefully be an asset with a busy December schedule.

There were a few nervy moments but the team defended well and Alnwick did well when called upon to ensure it was only two points dropped and not three.

Coming away from the ground, we managed to get a taxi back to the station with relative ease and although there was anger at the fact we were comfortably winning, it could have been worse and there was the positive fact we scored two goals away from home for the first time since August.

The 2013 trip to Yeovil was not as dramatic as 2011 or as wet as 2009 but four goals, a penalty and a red card meant this trip certainly was not boring. I felt we deserved the three points but Yeovil are on a decent run.
There is still plenty of work to do if we are going to move up the table and the manner of the collapse was alarming, however the rot has been stopped and we move on to what will be a very challenging few weeks.



  • Nice article. it is a funny little ground. Went to all of those games. (Particularly remember the deluge game). Don't quite agree with you about the first half. Thought Charlton dominated and were excellent. 2-0 up, should have won. I believe Powell's tactics were wrong in the last 30 mins in failing to adapt to a changing game. (Redman tells me though that I'm wrong and am dumb and that I was having a personal pop at Powell) Not sure who the ____ he thinks he is! I agree that with the existing resources at our disposal we are in for a difficult remainder of the season.
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