Saturday, 26 March 2011

Honours Even

Another tough game and another point earned.  After Tuesday's match against Southampton we needed another result to start to build the teams confidence back up.  This was a tough point to earn.  Both sides are in a bit of a lull right now.  Bournemouth have dropped down to 6th spot from the automatic promotion places, and our problems are already well known, and both sides occasionally showed the nerves..  Bournemouth however were definitely the team on top for most of the game, exactly what you would expect from the home team and it was up to Charlton to bide their time, keep it tight and make the most of our opportunities.

We did just that after the half hour mark.  Wagstaff latched onto a rebound from a Frank Nouble shot and managed to find the back of the net, albeit to cries of "handball" from the Cherries fans.  From my vantage point I have no idea whether it was or not, but the ref didn't seem to think so and so we were ahead for the first time in six games.  Our lead however was not to last long at all.  A sliced backpass from Racon put Elliot in trouble and he could only knock the ball on to the crossbar.  Marc Pugh was quickest to react and it was an easy header for the Bournemouth player.  Bournemouth were struggling a bit in the first half, they definitely didn't look like the promotion chasing side their form this season has suggested.

I think Lee Bradbury might have had a word with our hosts at half time because they came out for the second half in a very positive mood and started to play some nice football.  Our defence was struggling to cope with their assault and they managed to grab a deflected goal.  Going a goal behind is nothing new to us.  We've been there a lot lately, but as with the Southampton game our heads didn't drop.  Despite Bournemouth drawing some confidence from their goal and knocking it about rather well, we still managed to compete and keep our heads up, clearly the belief within our side is growing, which is great to see.

9 minutes from time and we were all square again.  After some fine work from Anyinsah and Dailly, the ball fell for Bradley Wright-Phillips (who else?) and he finished superbly.  This clearly upset Bournemouth who then set about laying siege to our goal for the majority of the remaining time.  Only some good defending, some great clearances off the line and some magnificent goalkeeping from Rob Elliot ensured that we kept it level and went home with a share of the points.  This was despite the Ref not being able to read a stopwatch.  The board went up to show five minutes added time, seven minutes later we were still playing.  It was almost eight minutes before he finally blew the whistle.

All in all another good day at the office.  The players still had a fight in them despite some of them not being fully at the races.  We definitely earned the point, no question that it was deserved, but there were times when I thought Bournemouth looked there for the taking, particularly in the first half, but our own lack of confidence and ideas hindered us.  Overall we have to be pleased with the point.  Rochdale up next, and if we can grab three points then 5 points from three tricky games will be a decent achievement.

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