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Charlton v Wolves, Kevin Nolan's Match Report...................Superb As Always

December 29, 2015 by Kevin Nolan Leave a Comment

Charlton 0 Wolves 2 (Graham 52, Lennon o.g. 83).

A spontaneous eruption of desperation, disillusionment and dejection, immediately after Charlton fell behind to Wolves in the 52nd minute, briefly electrified The Valley yesterday. Hopelessly out of sync with this lifeless game, it began in the North Stand, where black-and-white scarved mutineers rose to their feet and invited the rest of a kids-for-a-quid crowd to "Stand up if you want them out!" There was no need to name the targets of their displeasure. A state of war already exists between fans and hierarchy at this great old club.

The response from the East and West Stands was all but unanimous. Young and old, male and female, they stood in defence of their democratic right to protest and made their point with dignity and restraint. In doing so, they exposed as ridiculous the claim contemptuously made by CEO Katrien Miere that no more than 2% of Charlton's fans are unhappy with her guvnor's master plan. There was no vilification of those who chose not to join the stand-in, nor was there any gratuitous descent into the personal abuse which has undermined recent demonstrations. There's a noble tradition of public protest in this our green and pleasant land and its peaceful principles were by and large respected.

Breath will not be bated while management's response is awaited. Their default position mimics that of the ostrich, who, myth has it, rides out crises by burying its head in the sand. Bonce below ground, Roland apparently knows best and if you don't like it, you are advised to lump it. But he would be unwise to underestimate the stamina and organisation of an intelligent fanbase which galvanised into decisive action when the club was forced out of its home 25 years ago. They scared the establishment out of its corporate life back then and many of the veterans of that people's uprising are still around.

The first half of this latest nail in Charlton's relegation coffin was just what the powers-that-be ordered to keep the peace. It's hard to recall anything of note occurring although it's worth noting that Wolves contributed fully to the dross on display. They were the perfect opponents for a relegation-threatened side but the Addicks were dismally incapable of exploiting their medocrity. In the mighty Chris Solly, however, they did number among them the game's outstanding performer. Solly is the very model of the modern professional footballer, one incapable of giving anything other than his best, whatever the circumstances.

The latest setback in Charlton's injury-hit season, meanwhile, saw Ademola Lookman withdrawn with hamstring trouble and replaced by the somewhat larger Simon Makienok, who promptly made an impact by mowing down referee Keith Hill. It was Makienok who forced the early second half corner, which Harry Lennon spectacularly botched and from which David Edwards sent Jordan Graham away to curl narrowly wide. It was a warning which went unheeded.

Possibly shaken by the escape, Lennon was unable to control the physical presence of Benik Afobe, who cleverly turned the young centre back before crossing hard and low from the right. An involuntary touch from Naby Sarr was parried by Stephen Henderson to the feet of Graham, who finished emphatically from close range. The vocal protest that followed was an unplanned reaction to yet more adversity.

During the din, Afobe came close to doubling Wolves' lead but Henderson turned aside his low drive. At the other end, Morgan Fox broke through on the left but Ricardo Vaz Te and Reza Ghoochannejhad made like colliding Keystone Cops in their efforts to convert the left back's inviting cross. Their mutual ineptitude successfully protected the Addicks' clean sheet of shots on target. No other entry troubled this reporter's notebook.

It remained only for the visitors to finish Charlton off and, with seven minutes remaining, that detail was taken care of. Graham's deep left wing corner was turned into his own goal by young Lennon, under the looming far post presence of Danny Baath.

Without a win now in seven games, the Addicks nervously face the New Year, as did Downton Abbey the challenging arrival of 1925 on the telly. The Earl and Lady Grantham (family name: Chambers-Pottes) were worried, like Charlton, about the immediate future. But at least their gels were suitably married to corking chaps who knew the difference between a soup spoon and the one you use for afters.

Below stairs, meanwhile, the lower orders began timorously to emerge from their entombment and sniff the sweet air of freedom. They were surprised to discover that Ramsey McDonald's first ever Labour government was already in power and it's going to take all of Cheerful Charlie Carson's formidable nostril-flaring disdain to stem the rising tide of bolshevism. And the poor old sod's got the shakes. You'd still back him, though, to have the 12-hour day re-instated in no time at all. As students, no doubt, of Downton Abbey, Roly and Katrien will pine for a day when the English peasantry knew their place and were not permitted to congregate in public. No need for them to worry because they're going about things the right way. Pretty soon, Charlton will be struggling to raise a quorum as they fight relegation from League One.

Charlton: Henderson, Solly, Sarr, Lennon, Fox (Ceballos 80), Ahearne-Grant, Ba, Jackson, Vaz Te, Ghoochannejhad (Holmes-Dennis 66), Lookman (Makienok 45). Not used: Pope, Charles-Cook, Muldoon, Mouussa. Booked: Lennon.

Wolves: Ikeme, Doherty, Edwards, Baath, Ebanks-Landell, Henry (Byrne 71), McDonald, Coady, Iorfa, Graham, Afobe. Not used: McCarey, Golbourne, Wallace, Ojo, Sigurdson, LeFondre.

Referee: Keith Hill (Matthew Buonassisi).

Att: 18,059.

Filed Under: Sport
Kevin No


  • Big crowd .The fans must be happy they all turned up.[RD to KM]
    Yes and they all stood up and chanted how much they wanted "them" out so they must be happy with us cos we are not "them" we are "us".[KM to RD]
  • He really is a fantastic writer
  • One of his best ...excellent
  • why would you want to write all that no one would read
  • "....forced the early second half corner, which Harry Lennon spectacularly botched and from which David Edwards sent Jordan Graham away to curl narrowly wide. It was a warning which went unheeded."

    Thought it was Morgan Fox, not Lennon.

  • I hope when what's left of our club rises phoenix like from the ashes of this malign experiment, that Kevin Nolan will still be around to report our plucky progress with his customary style and wit.
    Love it.
  • dallas said:

    why would you want to write all that no one would read

    There's a fair few comments on this thread alone of people who have read it......
  • Spot on as usual, Kevin.
  • Okay,
    Official attendance 18K
    Real attendance ?
  • Thanks Kevin.
    Beautifully crafted and as succinct as ever.
  • Sponsored links:

  • edited December 2015
    I love the style of reporting, Kevin, if not the result of the game/experiment/pantomime. Never stop writing.
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Roland Out Forever!