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Charlton 3 Rovers 2


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Match Report by pg

Edited by Alan75

I got to see my first Rovers match in five years today.  I certainly chose a rather eventful game to watch.  A fairy-tale game.. until the last 30 seconds  

Rovers conceded an early goal with a good turn and shot by Carlton Cole.  We then managed to get back on top for the majority of the first half and dominated play.  Emerton fired on target and then layed on a sitter for Douglas who missed, whilst Stead hit the woodwork twice.  At that point you had a feeling that it was going to be 'one of those days'.

Charlton scored a second with a very easy goal, leaving Brad Friedal fuming. TV replays show that Gray played the Charlton player onside whilst both Babbel and Short were pushing up towards the edge of the 18 yard box.

Flitcroft was substituted quite early (we are all assuming it was for an injury) bringing on Tugay to partner Todd.  So our central midfield went from bad to worse.  Todd was struggling a lot with his positional play IMO and often seemed to caught in no-mans land... neither comitting and closing down players and making tackles... or backtracking and covering other options.

Charlton replied with some late pressure in the first half and the half-time whistle couldn't come soon enough.

Cole came on and once again we had the majority of play.  Todd soon came off for Yorke and it was 4-3-3 time again.  The Cole chance was a lucky break, but we did deserve it.  Lots of relentless pressure for the Rovers, shots on target from Cole and Tugay.

Late in the second half, Jensen finds his way through the Rovers defence and is left one-on-one with Friedal who makes a super close-range reflex save.  I said to my wife (who was attending her first ever match) "It could be a game-saving save!".  In the 90th minute, the fairly tale was complete and the whole Rovers end went wild and Friedal was a hero...

...until Jensen hit a screamer of a volley that sailed into the top right hand corner.

Funnily enough, I wasn't that gutted about it.  Once we had equalised I realised that there was probably a few minutes left on the clock, so I was thinking to myself "Please please let's not concede another goal."  I always knew it was a possibilty...  

So overall - factors in the loss were :

1) No strong midfield presence.

2) One soft goal (Charlton's 2nd).

3) Missing our chances.

99 times out of 100 Claus Jensen will hit that volley somewhere into Row Z.  Today he was lucky.. but that's football.

Overall - I paid 20 quid and was entertained.  A thrilling game,the wife wants to come again, and neutral friends of mine enjoyed themselves immensely.  On that level at least, it was a good day out.

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