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Charlton 2012 Review: November

Compiled by: @rufusisadogsname

Consecutive draws at tough places showed Charlton’s resolve away from home but it was at The Valley where the team had to prove itself. One solitary victory from seven attempts was a poor return for a side which had been so dominant on their own patch the season before.

Middlesbrough were likely to prove difficult opposition - coming into the game off the back of five wins in a row. Rob Hulse’s first goal for the club offered brief hope before a series of defensive errors allowed The ‘Boro to mount a comeback. The eventual 4-1 score line was flattering for the away side but this offered little consolation to the home fans as boos were heard at the final whistle.

“Complete disaster”, “tactically clueless”, “Board to blame” were some of the post-match comments on CL as the doom merchants re-emerged after a quiet past year. More worryingly were the rumours circulating about Jimenez getting impatient with the fans’ messiah SCP. Were we to see Dennis Wise coming in before long? Did new investors want a higher profile manger? Does SCP know how to make a tactical substitution before 70 minutes?


Fortunately we didn’t have too long to dwell on these questions due to the imminent arrival of the league leaders – The Red Dragons. The cold night and apparently evident thumping kept away some fans from a game that will live long in the memory of the brave souls who didn’t give up on their team after 20 minutes. Two sloppy goals conceded from corners might have resulted in widespread boos and shouts of “Parky / Pardew / Dowie out” in years gone by, but on this occasion the reaction was the opposite. In a moment not unlike Tottenham at home in 2007, The Covered End gave unwavering support despite the supposed inevitable loss. What followed must have been the most surreal 70 minutes most fans had seen for a long time.

Jackson silenced his doubters with two well taken goals before 11 minutes of madness in the second half put the Addicks 5-2 up. First Stephens with a long range indirect free kick which ‘keeper Marshall could only spoon into his own net, and then a header each from the new look partnership of Haynes & Hulse. After inspiring their team back into the game, the fans could only look at each other in disbelief as a nervous Valley held on for six minutes of injury time which provided two more Cardiff goals.

Powell's muted celebrations at the final whistle, however, still prompted suggestions that our manager had accepted his fate and was on the way out. In hindsight, his lack of tunnel jumps was probably due to sheer exhaustion after an emotion-sapping game. At the same time as Obama was securing a second term, SCP was still a fan favourite as shown by the 100% Support Banner on CL.


Another new development amongst the Charlton faithful was the emergence of a new support group named “The Red Division”. An average age of 16, a tendency to mask their faces and an array of Palace-style chants meant they were unlikely to be welcomed warmly but their presence provided a much needed catalyst for an improved atmosphere. This coincided with back-to-back wins away from home starting with the trip to Ashton Gate.


Going away to a team that had lost their previous six matches presented a potential banana skin which thanks to a new look side was easily avoided. New loan signing, Dan Seaborne, provided more balance to a team struggling for defensive stability and Haynes and Hulse continued up front. Haynes put the visitors ahead after Stephens had struck both posts before Michael Morrison’s composed finish gave The Addicks a deserved win.

A small but noisy contingent then made the long trip up north to see us take on goal machine Charlie Austin and Burnley. Charlton showed little idea of how to play against ten men after a Solly shot was handled on the line. However, Johnnie Jackson’s second penalty miss this season did not prove costly as Haynes made sure we robbed the points after a Rob Hulse flick on.


The following week, ‘dench’ became the new buzzword amongst Charlton fans as Emmanuel Frimpong was brought in on loan from our neighbours Woolwich Arsenal. His class was evident in the first hour of the home game against The Terriers as Keith Southern became the third man this season to see red against us inside the first 45 minutes. Again, Charlton could be criticised for not making the extra man count as Huddersfield provided a threat throughout the match. Hulse’s close range finish after neat build up play and a Bradley Pritchard cross looked like the winner before a last minute penalty punished Charlton for their lack of ruthlessness.

Nonetheless, 10 points from 12, a tight defence and a new look strike partnership had brought back some optimism at the Valley for the visit of bottom of the league Peterborough on a cold Tuesday evening. The Posh players gave the lie to their lowly position during the first half as Seaborne and Kerkar struggled to the right flank and a Stephens-less midfield lacked much creativity. The ineffectual Fringbong was taken off for Danny Green who created an immediate impact on the right. Fuller's magnificent swerving goal from 30 yards to the top corner was his last action, as he went down clutching his leg. But another Greeny cross was touched by sub Hulse before Kermorgant stabbed it in from close range. 2-0 and game won.

Chants of “all going to Millwall clap your hands” showed the fans’ priority as we looked to take our good form into one of the most important games of the season…


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Roland Out Forever!