Charlton 1 – 2 Albion

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Oh Withdean, to have a view like this every game

This is the best game I’ve seen Albion play this season, it trumps even the Scummers away. That Charlton even scored flatters them somewhat, they couldn’t get the ball off us for the best part of 94 minutes.

A drizzle and mist sodden Valley didn’t bode well for what was to come, nor did the heavy weather-beaten pitch. But it was nice to get so close to the action after years of squinting out over Withers, and I think our proximity to the South Stand goal raised the noise level of the away supporters, it was fucking loud where I was anyway.

I’ll go through the team’s performance in order of ascending merit. El-Abd defended well, but his distribution was poor (hoof-o-matic) 6 out of 10. Forster did ok as lone striker, but he doesn’t do it as well as Murray (who is out sick), or Holroyd. Fozzy scores 6.

Elphick and Painter were steady enough, both score 7. Gary Dicker had a good game, but in an all-star midfield he didn’t shine as much as the others, 7.

Now the 8’s. Brezovan surely deserves a run in the team after last night? My only gripes, and the first is easily mended, is that he slices his big clearances to the right. He was also at fault for their goal (which came in the FOURTH minute of the three added at the end), but he gives me more confidence than Kuipers at present. Crofts was as good as ever, but again outshone by his wingers, 8 for him.

Kazenga LuaLua is something else, when he gets the ball the crowd’s expectation rises, he simply turns defenders inside out. Not 100% match fit, but his 71 minutes last night beats most players over three games, 9 out of 10. Alan Navarro – how much has this lad turned his season round? He is the lynchpin of this team, outstanding all over the park and becoming this blog’s cult hero, 9.

It was a hard, hard choice for my man of the match. Inigo Calderon finished the game our muddiest player, and when I played the game the grottiest team mate was the one getting stuck in the most. Our main threat was down the right, and it all started with our resident Spaniard. I love the way he is in constant communication with Poyet on the pitch, he’s always thinking and his effort was only matched by Navarro. His deflected goal was a bit lucky, but his charge upfield, followed by a correction after he lost control deserved a goal, pure flair.

But my man of the match goes to Bennett. He was all over Charlton last night, and his goal rounded off his best performance by far in the stripes – 9. Both subs did their jobs well, with Holroyd in particular, 7 each.

So, we headed back through the damp police horse shit to Charlton station realising we had watched something special, the faces around me were beaming. Our team played the fancied Charlton off their own pitch with superb one touch football and top drawer finishing. As I said, this was a special night, I wish we could play at the Valley every week!

The Hovian’s Albion Team Performance : 9 out of 10

The Hovian’s Albion Man of the Match : Elliott Bennett

Albion Team (goalscorers in bold):

(4-5-1) Brezovan; Calderon, Elphick, El-Abd, Painter; Bennett, Dicker, Crofts, Navarro, LuaLua (Hart 71); Forster (Holroyd 57)

(Subs) Kuipers, El-Abd, Cook, Carole, Hoyte, Hart, Holroyd

Attendance: 17508

League One table

Wednesday, 24 February 2010 00:00 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
Full League One table
1 Norwich 33 33 69
2 Leeds United 32 30 66
3 Colchester 32 18 62
4 Charlton 33 20 60
5 Swindon 31 15 59
6 Huddersfield 32 25 57
7 Millwall 32 14 55
8 MK Dons 32 1 49
9 Walsall 32 2 43
10 Bristol Rovers 31 -9 42
11 Southampton 30 17 38
12 Brentford 30 0 38
13 Yeovil 33 -4 38
14 Carlisle 32 -5 37
15 Leyton Orient 32 -6 37
16 Hartlepool 32 -9 35
17 Gillingham 33 -11 34
18 Brighton 32 -13 34
19 Tranmere 32 -23 33
20 Southend 32 -12 32
21 Oldham 30 -13 32
22 Exeter 32 -13 31
23 Wycombe 33 -24 28
24 Stockport 31 -33 20
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2 Responses to “Charlton 1 – 2 Albion”

  1. glasfryn Says:

    I love the way Gus has bought the team on slowly but surely, nothing is left to chance every player knows what he is supposed to be doing, I am pleased Navarro had a good game again and now its all beginning to come together.
    Can we keep this form up and bring it to the Withers, we will see on Saturday.
    your comments about the walk away from the game bought a smile to my face as I have done that so many times and reminded me of a friend no longer with us,he would have loved this and loved Gus he was a purest too, and when we played footy together he was always muddier than any of the others …….but as I said to him “you are the bloody goalie” you should be muddy,I for my sins always played left back although right footed I could tackle with both feet and I always though you had a good deal of space to pass from there with your right foot .
    enough
    bloody good result

    G

  2. The Hovian Says:

    Cracking result mate, thoroughly deserved. Can we take this form home though? Anything less than a win saturday will show we’re bottlers like Leeds and Charlton, but at the wrong end of the table.

    I played centre back and a good mate was centre midfield. He used to come off at half time completely covered in mud, you couldn’t even read his number. The funniest thing he did at times was come off at half-time, usually during an end to end thriller, and say with a perfectly serious face “What’s the score?”. He was so engrossed with winning the ball in the mudbath middle of the park he couldn’t keep up with what was happening at both ends. He was a great player though, kept it simple, like a fatter version of Alan Navarro 🙂

    Cheers

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