For the latest match reports please go to Volume 13
That was the chant of Charlton fans at the end of the thrilling 3-2 victory by the Addicks at Highfield Road as they realised that one more win would seem them in the semi-finals at the famous old ground and one more would lead to the club's first Wembley final since 1947. After being 2-0 down after 21 minutes, the Addicks fought back to 2-2 at half time through goals from Robbo and Newts and then dispensed with the need for a replay with a 88th minute goal by Andy Hunt.
We woke to a very windy morning in Warwickshire and rumours that a 'flu bug might keep Brown and Hunt out of the squad. Very unusually for a match day, we were able to spend a leisurely morning taking advantage of the super discounts on offer at Erith born Sophia Grant's Warwick shop. After lunch it was a short drive into Coventry. As we headed towards the three spires, we passed the West Sussex coach on the Kenilworth by-pass with the unmistakable figure of Brian Cole at the front. When I got to the ground, I found that I was sitting next to the irrepressible Pam from Sidcup. Lister Nigel from Lee came for a chat with match analyst Bob the Dog. An incident just before the start of the match saw an elderly Charlton supporter carried away on a stretcher accompanied by a doctor. As the teams came out, Charlton supporters released red and white balloons which filled the goal and drifted into the Coventry end, a good omen for what was to come.
Charlton did not start the first half particularly well. They gave Coventry too much respect and allowed them too much time on the ball in their own half while the Addicks sat back in a defensive formation waiting for whatever the Sky Blues decided to serve up. It was therefore not great surprise when City got a corner after two minutes. The ball was played out and the shot was just over the top of the Charlton crossbar by Carlton Palmer. Assisted by good work by Mark Kinsella, Pringle got through on goal but his low shot was blocked by Hedman. The Sky Blues won another corner on seven minutes and then Pringle delivered a fierce shot from 25 yards straight at Hedman. Loose defending then gave Belgian striker Cedric Roussel a golden opportunity to make use of a header from Normann to open Coventry's account on fifteen minutes.
It then all went off in front of me and to my right. A Coventry fan was discovered among the crowd, a Charlton fan plunged three rows forward and a fight broke out. It took some time for the Coventry fan to be removed (the Charlton fan was dealt with later) and in the meantime some children in the vicinity were greatly distressed and a paramedic had to be brought in to try and calm them. They were still distressed at half time. Communications manager Rick Everitt was seen having a long conversation with the police.
There was not much to distract people on the pitch. Sky Blues got a corner on 17 minutes, followed by one for Charlton a minute later, but neither side was able to make anything of the chance. Then more poor defending enabled McAllister to get free on the left to deliver a cross which Roussel put in the back of the net to make it 2-0. Although Pam would not be silenced, most Charlton fans were, her partner Danny pleading 'You're better than this lot Charlton.'
It was difficult at that stage to see how Charlton were going to get back into the match. Shields won another corner, but it produced nothing. The excellent Shaun Newton put in a good cross, but the shot from Robbo went straight at Hedman. A Kinsella free kick was put down the right to Newton who worked it across to Hunt. Good work by the striker forced Hedman back on his line where he spilled the ball but was able to catch it again. Then a superb overhead kick from Shaun Newton allowed Robbo to head the ball in the back of the net on 40 minutes.
Shaun Newton master class. Newts shows the Premiership boys how it's done.
Bug victim Mark Kinsella was pulled off for Andy Todd. Robbo put one chance over the bar, but on 45 minutes Newton made good use of a shot from Hunt parried by Hedman to level the score at 2-2, Pringle having to leap out of the way of the goal bound ball. The excited Addicks continued chanting for much of the break, while paramedics rushed into the crowd to deal with another casualty.
Just after the break another excellent ball in from Shaun Newton gave Hunt the chance to put the Addicks ahead, but the ball went just over the crossbar. Coventry pulled off Paul Williams who had picked up an ankle injury and replaced him by Richard Shaw. Roussel went down and referee Dermot Gallagher stopped the match, but after limping off, the Belgian sprouted back into life. On 56 minutes a Sky Blue free kick saw a dangerous ball flash across the goalmouth, but no one was able to connect with it. City won a corner on 69 minutes, but it was cleared well by the Addicks who then won a free kick at the other end. Stuart put in a good shot which went just wide of the post. City took off Eustace and brought on Gustaffson. The stand lights and apparently one of the floodlights then failed on our side of the ground, symbolising the predicament Coventry found themselves in. Not short of ideas, particularly the repeated use of handball, they then used up their last substitution, taking off Normann and bringing on another member of their United Nations squad, Delorge, which at least produced a cheer from the Sky Blue faithful. Deano was forced into a diving save after a run by Froggatt who put the ball into Keane.
The lino on our side failed to recognise an offside and Deano had to push the ball over the line to concede a corner. Sky Blues tried to increase the pressure. A corner on 85 minutes for City saw a header flash past Deano's post. Salako came on for Stuart. However, matters were really put beyond doubt when Hunt scored from eight yards making use of a cross from the left by Powell which bounced off Todd.
To the Londoners 3-2
Robbo went down and Gallagher ignored the prone winger as play went on. After a row between the Charlton bench and the far side lino, Charlton were eventually allowed to substitute Konchesky for Robbo before Sky Blues had their final corner. But the fight had now gone out of the Premiership side. They had failed what local fans had been describing as their toughest test of the season and it was Charlton who would appear in the draw for the next round.
The celebrations after the game went on for about quarter of an hour with the faithful chanting and cheering as the Sky Blues emptied their portions of the stadium. An enthusiastic Keith Peacock came forward to share the moment while Curbs shook hands with each of his players and then came forward to applaud the crowd. Chris Powell gave his trademark call for three cheers. The Charlton fans were still in the ground when the players came out for their warm down to another burst of applause. In magnaminous mood, we gave two Sky Blues a lift to the station, looking forward to meeting in the Premiership next year. We will be opening the champagne tonight: the victory is particularly sweet for my wife who has to work with and teach Sky Blues. Former chief cat food taster for Sainsbury's, David Hatch, may well open a tin of his favourite Whiskas.
Shaun Newton was official man of the match and was also awarded the Silver Bone by Bob the Dog.
Match analyst Bob the Dog has named Shaun Newton as the recipient of the Silver Bone for a skilled and sustained contribution. Kiely was let down by his defence for the two goals and made one good diving save. He was ecstatic at the end of the match, taking off his jumper and twirling it round. Have a good evening in Warwick, Deano. (Actually another player who seemed really excited by the result was the popular Sasa). Chris Powell had a fantastic game, determined and effective in defence and pushing the ball forward well. Questions must be asked about where Steve Brown was when the Coventry goals were scored, but I thought that he improved as the game went on. One might also want to look at where 'Paddy' Shields was for the two goals, but he generally had a good game, pushing the ball forward well. According to the programme he is an Irishman who we got from Peterborough United who will no doubt come looking for the money wrongly sent to Dunfermline. Rufus was his usual fearless self, shutting Keane down very effectively and also ready to make a decisive intervention. Stuart had a reasonable match without making a decisive contribution. The first goal scored by Robbo was vital and well taken and he was often able to penetrate the Coventry defence. Although he limped off injured, it didn't look too serious. Pringle put himself about and was sometimes able to outfox the Sky Blues defence, although he looked as if he was tiring in the second half. Kinsella was clearly unwell and it was a good decision to pull him off. Todd seemed much more up for it than in previous games and made some strong and useful interventions, although his accuracy sometimes left something to be desired. Salako and Konchesky were not on long enough to make an assessment.
Juneau the Soccer Cat has given the Hiss of the Match to the Coventry fan who provoked all the trouble in our stand, traumatising some young children who may be put off following their team for a long time. Juneau has asked if she can fly the flag of her home state of Maine on the page in celebration, but it is so naff that I am not sure than I can allow it.
When you come to Coventry next year for the Premiership game, why not visit Warwick Castle - and call on Erith-born Sophia Grant at her shop.
This was the chant that Charlton fans taunted Norwich with at half time. Sitting on a 1-0 lead at the break, two further goals from Andy Hunt produced a 3-0 victory for the Addicks which put them four points clear at the head of the table. It was a great team effort of considerable professionalism, achieved in the absence of captain Mark Kinsella who was pulled out of the squad just before the start of the game. As Harry the Haddock commented afterwards, 'Curbishley didn't have to sort anything out.' A further boost for the Addicks was that the game produced no bookings.
The long journey across the country to Norwich gave us time to mull over the latest developments in mid-Warwickshire football. Having resigned in a dramatic press conference at his basement flat, former Racing Club Warwick supremo Dave Draper has reappeared as 'Director of Football' at the New Windmill Ground in Harbury Lane. The only drawback with this post is that the 'Super Brakes' are not currently playing any football for anyone to direct. However, it looks as if they are going to be admitted to the Midland Rapide Combination Division 2 next season so that the famous chant 'The Brakes Go Marching On' will again be heard drifting across the Warwickshire countryside.
As we entered the flat, forested countryside of Norfolk, we turned on the local radio, but were greeted a discussion of matters relating to the soil, not exactly the fare required by football fans. Having linked up with the West Sussex minibus, we headed in to the national capital of combine harvesting. It was a pleasure to meet lister Sam Murphy for the first time. The Millwall myth that Charlton's support is full of secret trainspotters received some confirmation when an anorak was seen leaning over a railway bridge to take a photo of Norwich Station. It was freezing cold with a strong wind off the North Sea, no day even for a sheep to be out. It was therefore somewhat of a surprise to see Mark Kinsella warming up in shirt sleeves and shorts. Shortly afterwards he was seen making vomiting gestures towards the bench and it was announced that his place in the team was being taken by Andy Todd, with Scott Parker on the bench. Connoisseurs of errors in the programme noted that Charlton had been credited with two captains, one of them Anthony Barness.
The game had a scrappy start and Charlton were not able initially to stamp their authority on the game in contrast with their later dominance. A Newton cross flashed across the front of goal after three minutes, but there was no one there to connect. Shields blazed over from a chance, Deano had to make a save, and Norwich won a corner which gave a chance for Erik Fugelstad to display his football skills. A throw in near the corner flag offered Charlton a half chance, but the cross was overhit. Deano made a good save on thirteen minutes. Norwich won a corner, Chris Llewellyn this time being given the chance to display what passes for football skill in Norfolk. Powell put in a good cross on 24 minutes and a minute later Robbo made a good run, but didn't take his chance to shoot. But then Robbo made a mistake on the byline which allowed the Canaries to surge forward, just missing a chance to score. This was about the high point of Norwich's efforts. A free kick on 37 minutes looked potentially menacing, but the ball was delivered straight into the hands of Kiely. A Robbo corner then gave the player up front the chance to open his account on 42 minutes. Charlton continued their pressure in the closing minutes, but were unable to find the net again. Pringle had one chance, Hunt forced Marshall to make a low save, and there was also a goalmouth scramble. The assembled Addicks were so animated that they continued chanting during the break, much to the annoyance of the yeomen and women of Norfolk.
Charlton seemed less in command after the break. A Norwich free kick on 53 minutes was an object lesson in how to turn a promising situation into a useless and demoralising one as the ball sailed over the line well wide of the goal. Three minutes later, Newton burst through, but the resulting header from Hunt went just over the top of the bar. Would Charlton sacrifice their lead? Norwich won a corner on 60 minutes and in accordance with their policy of rotating their talents, this attempt (if it can be so termed) was taken by the vertically challenged Adrian Forbes. Nevertheless, Norwich drew a save from Deano a couple of minutes later and then won two corners in succession. Charlton then won a corner, but this was followed by one from Norwich, a free kick for the Canaries and another Norwich corner on 69 minutes. However, Norwich seemed even less capable of producing something from corners than Charlton.
It was good work by Pringle that set up the second goal for Hunt. Marshall in the Norwich goal appeared to have saved it, but the ball trickled across the line. Norwich's response was to draw on the strength in depth in their squad by replacing Shaun Carey with Lee Marshall and also bringing on Paul Dalglish. These were to be the only substitutions of the game, Charlton retaining an unchanged team until the end for the first time this season. Hunt put the match beyond doubt with a header on 77 minutes, making effective use of an assist from Robbo, although some people close to me thought Brown had been the scorer. Stuart then put in a powerful shot straight at the keeper. Charlton then played possession football for the rest of the match, although a run by Pringle produced a good chance, but he selflessly laid the ball off to Hunt who was less well placed. Needless to say, the team got a warm reception from the Addickted, Chris Powell leading the crowd in three cheers.
Leaving the ground, Pam from Sidcup was screaming with delight. On my way out I exchanged perfunctory greetings with another of Sidcup's characters, communications supremo Rick Everitt. Maggie and I wondered how the moaners who had predicted midtable obscurity by this point in the season would explain things away. The one Charlton fan who came on 606 complained that the team had been playing poorly, that the division as a whole was poor and that Tranmere was the best team in it. You can't please some people!
Match analyst Bob the Dog is delighted to award a Silver Bone to Andy Hunt , although it has been argued on the list that hattricks don't count. A contender for the award who would have been Dean Kiely who has made a major contribution to the club's record run of eight away games without defeat. No wonder that Coventry regard him as a possible match winning factor for the Addicks next Saturday. Chris Powell had an excellent game, putting in some superb passes and crosses. Richard Rufus was decisive in defence, making a number of key interventions. Stand in captain Steve Brown had another good game, making some important blocks. Greg Shields was authoritative in the right back position, fighting for the ball and using his pace to bring it forward on occasion. The crowd was heard to sing 'There's only one Shaun Newton and this reflected another excellent game from Camberwell's finest. I still have some doubts about Andy Todd who didn't seem to be in things much, but the counter argument is that he was quietly effective, making little lay offs when they were needed. Robbo made a good job of taking the corners, and provided the assist for the third goal, but was starting to tire towards the end. Graham Stuart was often involved, made some good passes and had one decent attempt at scoring. Pringle used his pace to good effect, often outwitted the Canaries, made some excellent lay offs and seems to have struck up a very effective partnership with Andy Hunt. Referee Michael Jones kept the game flowing well and Juneau the Soccer Cat has entered into the spirit of one of our best away wins of the season by not awarding a Hiss of the Match. Norwich were a spirited side, but they were simply outclassed by Charlton.
It's there! This new book from Macmillan refers to the Rose of Denmark, discusses the Charlton E-mail list and quotes Rick Everitt twice!
Charlton last won at Molineux in 1953, the year I started supporting the Addicks. January 11th 2000 was my 53rd birthday and Charlton's 3-2 win over Wolves took them top of the table with 53 points. '5' was the aggregate score and '3' the Charlton score.
After the Addicks had gone 1-0 down on the quarter hour from a corner, Rufus equalised and Pringle made it 2-1 just before half time, making use of a good cross from Robinson from a corner played short. A sweet move between Newton and Robinson allowed Robbo to nod the ball into the back of the net to make it 3-1. But then a bad mistake by Todd (who had been brought on in place of a disappointed Stuart) meant that he gave the ball away rather than getting rid of it. The corner gave Wolves another chance to display their setpiece skills and to pull the score back to 3-2. There was a worrying moment when Kiely went down injured. At first it looked serious, but he recovered and, despite some anxious moments, the Addicks were able to hold on for the three points, although the late replacement of Robinson by Salako was not seen as a good move by some of the faithful. Macdonald came on for Pringle in the last phase.
The weakest aspect of the performance was the inability of Charlton to defend from corners. Kiely's kicks were also very wayward, often going out of play in the swirling wind. But if it was not a classic performance, it was a battling and successful one which left Wolves supporters disgruntled at their first home defeat since September.
Bob the Dog has awarded the Silver Bone to Richard Rufus who was stalwart in defence as well as effective in attack. Juneau the Soccer Cat had pleasure in awarding the Hiss of the Match to the odious Muscat who received repeated greetings from the Addicked throughout the match. I'm off to Cambride, Mass. early on Wednesday morning, so this is a short report and there will be no report on the Crewe game.
The Valley echoed to the unfamiliar chant of 'Charlie' as eighteen year old Charlie MacDonald, making his first full appearance with the Addicks, scored a second half goal to give Charlton a fourth round cup victory over Queen's Park Rangeres. A minute earlier Graham Stuart had blazed over a penalty, resulting from an incident which also reduced Rangers to ten men. However, the MacDonald goal finally silenced the vociferous celebrants of Hoopdom, one of the noisiest groups of away supporters at The Valley this year. In the first half, Rangers had held Charlton, sticking to their strategy of securing a replay at Loftus Road. But in the second half Charlton stepped up the pace and took the game to the West London club.
The match had a scrapy start. Charlton forced a corner in the first minute but, as is so often the case, the kick went straight into the arms of the keeper. QPR had a corner on five minutes, but it was completely wasted by the visitors from the West London Academy of Football. Stuart put in a good shot as the quarter hour approached, then Rangers got away on the break, a threatening move that ended with a decisive block by Brown. Rangers then had to pull off Kevin Gallen with a hamstring injury, to replace with male model and exponent of graceful skilled play, Iain Dowie. On 25 minutes Shields put in a good ball to Hunt, but the leading scorer was unable to get it past Harper in the Rangers goal.
A Rangers corner just before the half hour sent the visiting support into an even greater celebration of Super Hoopdom than the frenzy which usually greeted winning a throw in. Two minutes later Powell put in a fierce shot which the keeper couldn't control, Salako won the ball but was unable to find a route through a crowded box. A free kick by Salako went straight to the keeper. On 38 minutes Hunt put a great cross right across the front of the Rangers goal, but there was no one there to take advantage of it. Great work by Powell down the left then forced a Charlton corner. However, 0-0 was probably a fair scoreline at half time.
Charlton's ray of sunshine, Steve Dixon, insisted on telling us several times at half time how a thousand tickets would be available immediately after the game for the replay, anticipating a strong demand to make yet another visit to the series of upturned shoeboxes that is Loftus Road. With Newts replacing Robinson, he made good use of his pace, making an early run, and the Addicks switched into a much more attacking mode. Rangers responded by committing more fouls (an area of the match in which they already had a clear lead, the eventually tally ending up fifteen to nine in their favour) and Rob Steiner was the first hoop to enter the referee's book. Charlton won a couple of corners and Kiely made a good save. Powell had a chance to score, but blasted the ball well over the Covered End goal. The sight of Rufus running up and down the touchline drew boos from the hoops who still blame him for getting Kiwomya sent off at Loftus Road. MacDonald had a chance early in the half when Harper dithered over a back pass, his clearance bounced back off the advancing MacDonald and went just wide. Plummer was the next Rangers player to be yellow carded, to be followed shortly afterwards by the popular Ian Dowie who looked deeply offended that anyone should take exception to his Palace reject style of play. Stuart put in a forceful shot that was saved and then MacDonald drew a save from the keeper. Langley put in a powerful shot for Rangers which went just over the bar, but was then brought back to receive a yellow card.
With Hunt looking threatening in the area, Plummer decided that Move One in the Loftus Road skills manual was in order and held him back with his shirt. The excellent referee Robert Styles spotted this and sent Plummer off down the tunnel, awarding the penalty. We were surprised that Kinsella or even Brown did not take it and Stuart sent the ball into the Covered End. If nothing else, this was a response to those on the list who argue that Mendonca's penalty goals don't count. Charlton showed their fighting spirit and professionalism by quickly launching another attack. On 67 minutes Newts put in a ball to MacDonald which he was able to direct past Harper.
Rangers brought on Tony Scully in place of Murray and the Addicks replaced Salako with Parker. The Addicks really needed a second goal to put things beyond doubt, but a lot of the attempts in the last twenty minutes seemed strangely half hearted. Powell put the ball just past the post. MacDonald went off to a standing ovation and was replaced by Lisbie. A shot from Newts was saved and Hunt put the ball just wide. Parker and Kinsella both had shots that were wide. A QPR corner as added on time approached gave them a last glimmer of hope, but the Addicks were sufficiently in control to take command of the situation. Paul Bruce completed the collection of yellow cards for Rangers, the Addicks receiving none at all. Gerry Francis might blame the ref, but the fact is that the Addicks were clearly superior in the second half. Rangers' finishing was often woeful and Super Hoopsters were heard complaining on the bus to North Greenwich about the lack of a midfield.
As we moved through North Greenwich among the stream of Domernauts, we were pulled aside by PC Rotund with a 'not so fast there'. However, he did not wish to check us out as hooligans, but simply wished to know the result which gave him great pleasure.
A mantlepiece in the Elephant and Castle will soon display a Silver Bone awarded by Bob the Dog to deubtant striker Charlie MacDonald. He took a while at the beginning of the match to adjust to its pace, but improved substantially as the match went on. Such was the wild inaccuracy of the shooting from the Hoops that Kiely had relatively little to do, with only QPR shot on target in the whole game, from which he made a good save. Powell had an excellent game, although one wonders if he is ever going to score a goal. Shields made effective use of his pace on a number of occasions, putting in balls that could have led to goals. Brown was authoritative, making one crucial stop. As far as I am concerned, the jury is still out on Todd who played a rather subdued role. Stuart will be remembered for the missed penalty, but otherwise he had a rather effective game. The return of Kinsella added a vital missing ingredient to Charlton's play in attack and defence. Robinson was rather subdued about what looked like a nasty knock and it was a good decision to substitute him at half time. Salako was always busy and involved. Hunt had a good game and could have scored. Newton added considerably to the penetrating power of the Charlton attack once he came on. While this is close to heresy for some, I retain doubts about Parker. He played one hopeless ball and generally seemed lacking in accuracy. Lisbie was on for a relatively short period, but did not make a great impression on the game.
Iain Dowie is described in the programme as a 'likeable target man'. Not! Juneau the Soccer Cat has decided to spoil his 35th birthday on Sunday by awarding him the Hiss of the Match.
The three matches over the festive season saw the Addicks take nine points out of nine, culminating in a 3-0 victory over Nottingham Forest in the first match of the new millennium at The Valley. The victory saw the Addicks move into second place in the table. The Bloke Behind Me claimed that the result flattered Charlton, but this was a game in which the Addicks took their chances for once and delivered three excellent goals.
Our train down was joined at Banbury by a group of enthusiastic young Addicks. Travelling via the Jubilee Line to the Dome, we joined a large group of listers at the Rose of Denmark, including the legendary Mic Milner.
Charlton applied early pressure with Robbo making a run which led to an early shot on goal. Referee Kevin Lynch, clearly a man who enjoys his food, made the first of a number of bookings of Forest players, taking the name of Marlin Harewood for a foul. Seven minutes into the game Charlton secured their first corner. The ball was not fully cleared and Greg Shields put a rocket of a drive low and hard into the back of the net.
The game then went into a rather ragged phase, matched by the subdued mood of the crowd: I could even hear a solitary shout of 'Come on Charlton' from Clare Cole. Eight minutes after the opening strike, a Robbo run forced another Charlton corner, but Stuart delivered it straight into the arms of Beasant. In the absence of Kinsella, the midfield did not seem to be gelling well together. Dawson was the next Forest player to be booked. Forest then had a couple of good chances, one shot going over the bar, while a clear shot on goal was miscued. David Prutton was booked for kicking the ball away. Approaching the half hour, Forest got their first corner, but the delivery was cleanly collected by Kiely. Charlton then went nearly two up when Pringle put in a fierce ball which Beasant saved well, palming it away at the expense of a corner. The Addicks were still giving the ball away too easy to a disorganised Nottingham side. Their main idea seemed to be to collect a full set of yellow cards, Hjelde being the next to be booked for bringing down Hunt. One minute of injury time at the end of the half turned into three and the faithful were quite relieved to hear the whistle.
Whatever Curbs said durng the break, it didn't seem to have much effect. Forest won a free kick in a dangerous position, took it quickly and cannoned the ball into the net with the offside flag up. The referee then allowed the kick to be taken again and when it was eventually delivered Chris Bart-Williams was able to execute a classic move from his Book of Superior Soccer Skills and send the ball sailing over the Charlton goal. Charlton were in rather more danger on the quarter hour mark when Kiely had to tip a Forest shot over the bar to concede a corner, which they managed to convert into a second. Stern John then got booked for bringing down Shields.
As the game approached the half hour mark, Forest made the first of a number of substitutions, the graceless Marlon Harewood being replaced by Dougie Freedman. Then Hunt broke through down the inside left channel and passed the ball to the unmarked Stuart who drove it low and hard into the back of the net. Eight minutes Hunt broke away down the right, making good use of a pass from Shields, ran past the defenders and calmly delivered an angled ball past the stranded keeper. With the Addicks 3-0 ahead, MacDonald was given his first appearance for the first team in place of Pringle. Stuart was then replaced by Parker and, as the game drew to a close, Hunt went off in favour of Salako. Charlton drew one last good save from Beasant, but were happy to coast home to a comfortable victory as the Bloke Behind Me screamed, 'You're throwing it away Charlton.' On our way from the ground, we passed the tallest poiliceman in London. Judging from the comments we heard at North Greenwich, many of the Dome visitors were not satisfied with their experience which is not what could be said of our afternoon at The Valley.
Match analyst Bob the Dog considers that there were a number of contenders for the Silver Bone, but has awarded it to Greg Shields for an excellent strike which sent the Addicks on their way. Kiely was not much challenged by the likes of Chris Bart-Williams, but made a couple of excellent saves. Rufus was perhaps not as involved as in some matches, but was always calm and collected. Steve Brown played a captain's game and made us forget we were without Eddie Youds. In the absence of Kinsella and Keith Jones, the midfield did not play well. Kinsella would have been back to take care of a couple of dangerous defensive situations. Stuart seemed rusty when he started, but improved as the game went on. Todd was a disappointment and contributed relatively little. However, Newton was excellent again and Robinson started well, fading a little towards the end. Pringle was always involved, always pressurising the Forest defence and was only denied his name on the scoresheet by Beasant. Hunt had another good game, culminating in his excellent goal. McDonald was eager, but looked out of his depth. Parker made little impression in the short time he was on, and Salako was as effective as it is possible to be in a cameo appearance.
Juneau the Soccer Cat has given the Hiss of the Match to the Bloke Behind Me who was in full moaning mode. Challenged in injury time with the argument that nine points out of nine was a good achievement, he responded, 'they haven't got three points today yet.'
East Stand, In front of the Bloke Behind Me