Thursday, 23 August 2012

Charlton Athletic 2 v 1 Leicester City

Tuesday 21st August 2012
Football League Championship
The Valley, Charlton
Admission: Season Ticket
Programme: £5.00
Attendance: 16,658
Match Rating: 4

After three seasons away from having a season ticket at my beloved Charlton Athletic, during their days in League One to enable some more extensive groundhopping, the club’s promotion back to the Championship, together with a bargain season ticket price of £240.00, persuaded me to hop aboard the rollercoaster that is taking my seat at The Valley throughout the season.

Previous descriptions of the ground can be found here, and I found my seat this season to be towards the back of the lower tier of the North Stand, pretty much right behind the goal. An excellent position, although the slight incline in rows means that there is a fair amount of head swerving is required to see the goal action.

Tonight would be a tough game for Charlton to start their home campaign, against big spending Leicester City, one of the favourites for promotion to the Premiership. Having won League One at a canter last season, Charlton opened their season with a draw at Birmingham City, only being denied by a scrambled equaliser four minutes into added on time at the end of the game. Leicester won 2-0 at home to Peterborough. There would be a couple of subplots to the game. The Charlton manager, Chris Powell, was the first team coach at Leicester before moving to Charlton, and was given his first coaching role at Leicester by current Leicester manager, Nigel Pearson. The Charlton striker and cult-hero Yann Kermorgant also played for Leicester, with unhappy memories, with his last touch as a Leicester player consigning them to a penalty shoot-out defeat to Cardiff in the play-off semi final the season before last when his tame chipped shot was comfortably saved. Loud boos greeted his name when announced, although Charlton fans cheers greeted former Charlton player Paul Konchesky.

On a fairly  warm summer’s evening, the opening stages saw Charlton doing much of the attacking, but Leicester always looked dangerous on the break. On 18 minutes, it was the home side who took the lead after some patient build-up play, when Bradley Pritchard played the ball to the edge of the penalty area, into the path of Bradley Wright-Phillips, who strode forward and smashed a ferocious low drive into the net past Kasper Schmeichel. On 32 minutes, Charlton doubled their lead when the ball was played across the 18 yard line to Yann Kermorgant, he drove powerfully into the net, for a goal that must have meant a lot to him personally against  Leicester. For the rest of the half, Leicester were in the ascendancy, and they were slightly unfortunate to go into the break two goals down.

The second half saw Leicester dominate, as the Charlton players struggled to retain possession and did not close the Leicester players down enough, inviting pressure. Leicester got back into the game on 54 minutes, when the ball was whipped in from the byline and Andy King finished powerfully from close range. As the second half wore on, it seemed only a matter of time before Leicester scored an equaliser, but some poor finishing, combined with goalkeeping by Ben Hamer and some heroic defending ensured that Leicester just couldn’t score a second goal, as Charlton held on for a hard earned three points. A very entertaining game of football to start the season at the Valley.

A match report of this game can be found at here


Anonymous said...

Danny Drinkwater scored for Leicester not Andy King! :D

sussexhopper said...

Thanks for your comment...think you might have your seasons mixed up though? Drinkwater scored the goal when the teams met at the Valley in August 2013...but this report was from August 2012 and it was definitely King who scored that day...unless all the other online and club reports are wrong too! ;)