View from the South – Charlton Athletic vs Birmingham City

It was a cold dank wet day with wet snow falling slowly on Saturday morning but it looked unlikely that the weather conditions were going to make a huge impact on the game going ahead or not. I had already been out with Dilys, my faithful Welsh Terrier for our usual morning walk, I’d been down to the newsagents to collect the papers and had renewed my lotto entry as you never know winning my fortune may not allow me to buy the club but I could probably afford a box next to Jasper Carrott! The clock moved round and the time soon came for Mrs Bazza to give me a lift to Farnborough Main Station for the journey to London. It had been a while since I’d been able to go to a game having missed the trip to Burnley (too far nowadays) and Forest (I was at Twickenham watching the Calcutta Cup game; a great time was had by all and let’s just say I have no recollection of England’s final try!) However, I digress; I was on my own for this game as Chris, Will and Little Jack all couldn’t make it and both my lads are at University.

Once arrived at Charlton station there was a pub welcoming away supporters called the Antigallican which was showing the Spurs-Newcastle game and decent beer. Antigallican means one of two things; ‘anti-French’ or an extra backstay support for a ship’s mast. The toilet facilities were small but welcome on such a freezing cold day. They were needed as at least four pints were imbibed before setting off for the ground. Now for the match itself and before I go any further it was not the greatest game I have ever been to by a long way. The standard was pretty rubbish to be honest. Blues played with Butland between the sticks, the back four was as you were with Caddis, Cauldwell, Davies and Robinson. Burke, Reilly, Elliott, Gomis and Hall comprised the midfield supporting King up front.

Blues started the better and the first couple of chances fell to Chris Burke and to Wade Elliott both of whom fired their shots well over the crossbar. Charlton came into the game without really threatening. Dale Stephens and Ricardo Fuller had shots deflected and saved by Butland respectively. Another Charlton move saw Chris Solly cross to Scott Wagstaff, who laid the ball to Kermorgant but the Frenchman’s shot was deflected behind.

From the corner Charlton did go close as Lawrie Wilson headed just wide. Fuller had another shot on the turn but was wide with his effort. Blues’ finishing was equally poor on a dreadful pitch that made the on the floor football that they were trying to play very difficult. Generally the play was slow ponderous and lacking any form of quality. Half time came and went and having queued for a drink I gave up as the teams were back on and I decided I’d have one later.

Birmingham upped their tempo after the break with Rob Hall looking dangerous. At the end of the first period it did look as if he should have had the benefit of the decision for a penalty. I will admit the incident was at the opposite end of the pitch but the tackle did appear to come in from behind the winger but Andy d’Urso waved away Blues’ appeals as he did in the second half when King was quite clearly having his shirt collar pulled not five yards from the official. That one I did see clearly and I am convinced had it been just outside the box it would have been a free kick to Birmingham. Hall continued to cause problems and forced Ben Hamer into a good save and as Blues enjoyed their best spell of the game started to dominate possession. Unfortunately, the finishing did not match some of the approach play and King blazed over again when set up by Burke. Blues never really used their strength out wide to get behind and turn the pedestrian Charlton rearguard and thus the game petered out towards a goalless draw which was all it deserved. Then with two minutes left the Blues defence took their customary slumber and allowed themselves to get outnumbered out on the right and in the centre. Addicks defender Solly overlapped and crossed to Kermorgant who beat Butland with a free header barely eight yards out with no one nearly close to him. I confess that I thought that was it but Blues are nothing if they are not resilient and as Charlton backed off trying to close the game out Burke drilled a low cross into the penalty area where Elliott was on hand to side foot home with seconds remaining. Poor though this game was neither team deserved to lose this match any more than either deserved to win it. A draw was the right result.


The Good: the Antigallican pub before the game. Cracking atmosphere from the travelling Bluenoses.

The Bad: The match. It was the poorest I’ve seen since we lost to Ipswich at home earlier in the season.

The Ugly: The pitch. The recent weather has not helped.


Charlton Athletic: Ben Hamer 6 Cedric Evina 7 Johnnie Jackson 6 Michael Morrison 6 Dale Stephens 6 Scott Wagstaff 7 (Dorian Dervite 89) Yann Kermorgant 7 Ricardo Fuller 6 (Bradley Wright-Phillips 89) Chris Solly 7 Lawrie Wilson 6 (Danny Green 71, 6) Leon Cort 7

Subs Not Used: Button, Taylor, Pritchard, Wiggins.

Goal: Kermorgant 88

Booked: Wright-Phillips


Birmingham City: Jack Butland 8 Paul Caddis 6 Stephen Cauldwell 6 Curtis Davies 7 Paul Robinson 6 Chris Burke 6 Callum Reilly 6 (Nikola Zigic 90) Wade Elliott 7 Morgaro Gomis 6 (Wes Thomas 68, 6) Rob Hall 7 (Nathan Redmond 73, 6) Marlon King 6

Subs Not Used: Doyle, Mullins, Lovenkrands, Hancox.

Goal: Elliott 90 + 4

Booked: Reilly


Referee: Andy D’Urso 6: generally OK but it’s arguable that Blues should have been awarded a penalty if not two. The officials cannot be blamed for the poor standard of play.

Attendance: 17,269

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5 Comments on View from the South – Charlton Athletic vs Birmingham City

  1. Well- I like to read opposition reports to see if they agree with your view of a game. How disappointing to read such a one sided viewpoint. Are you sure you actually did not stay in the Antigallican or was the beer so good it affected your eyesight?

    Blues were as a poor a team as we have seen at The Valley this year. I apologise for the state of the potch- it is a disgrace but money is tight and I suppose grass seed is at a premium right now! (wickes do a good line in sand but we cant afford that either).
    Butland was outstanding and your right back was very sproting when Evina seemed to get stuck in an advertising hoarding in front of the away fans. But uour view of the game is not a true reflection. I was betting on a more challenging Blues performance but after the first 5 monutes of brightness you withdrew and seemed to be playing happliy for a draw. You were slightly improved in the second half for the first 10 minutes but withdrew again. You can thank your lucky stars we failed to take our chances and BButland was in such good form, he is outstanding, as we deserved to be about 3 up at the half. The goal to take the lead was well desreved and it was a shame Powell decided to shore up a defence you seemed unable to penetrate in the dying minutes as it clearly left them more confused as to who was marking who -ended it up no-one and you equalised.
    D’Urso was a nightmare for both teams, in fact any team he officiates between, he should go.

  2. The one at the start of the second half on King when he shot and got taken out after it was a stonewall penalty but overall it was a good point after a poor first half

  3. Well Sussexmick I stand by my view that a draw was a fair result. As the home team, Charlton did not do enough to merit the win. As for the missed chances, apart from the clear shot by Wagstaff, the rest were half chances and sometimes they go in and sometimes they don’t. Birmingham had half chances too: King and Burke had clear shots on goal and both can be expected to hit the target inside the box but both blazed over so don’t try and make out that Charlton were hard done by. This game was so bad both teams would have been lucky to get nil had the match rightfully ended goalless. Birmingham are a poor side this year, don’t mind admitting it but so are most teams in this division including Charlton which explains why the Addicks have struggled to win at home this season. As for you being three up at half time – based on what evidence? Virtually nothing happened! Those that regularly read my reports will testify that I strive to be fair to opposition teams sometimes to our own supporters chagrin but I tell it how I see it. I’m sorry that you feel that Blues were as poor a side as you have seen at the Valley this season but I felt the same about Charlton so we’re even. The conditions and the state of the pitch were mitigating circumstances to both sides to be fair.

  4. It is a very poor division , I’ll bet Villa can hardly wait to get down here and give it the big ‘ I am ! ‘

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