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Club News

The Lancashire Experience: Charlton

2 September 2012

Fixture
FLC Saturday 01 September 2012, 1500
Nottingham Forest 2 – 1 Charlton Athletic
Venue
The City Ground
Weather/Conditions
Fair
Away fans
Some 1500, fairly dormant throughout.
TimekeepingKick-off 3 minutes late (nothing new there)
The Match
In keeping with most games so far this season: Forest dominating for well over an hour, boosted by McGugan’s timely opener midway through first half – a cracking drive from a free kick from an almost impossible angle near the corner flag. Second half continued in much the same vein though you got that increasingly nagging feeling at least another goal would be necessary to make this one safe. This duly arrived as if Blackstock and Hutchinson could hear the Radio Nottingham commentary in a well-worked move from the right. New signings James Coppinger and Billy Sharp were introduced at a predictably late stage of proceedings given their late arrival only the day before, but the latter’s welcome to the specially adapted chants previously used for Earnshaw suggested that the disappointment and ill-feeling following his failure to arrive on Trentside last season was firmly in the past. Almost scored from his first touch in a move almost tailor-made for him. How we’re going to watch him playing alongside Blackstock and/or Cox in the coming months! One less welcome trait of the new Forest style manifested itself again however, and barely a minute after Coppinger had come on, The Addicks had pulled one back when Fuller (on as a late sub) sent a tricky ball across the face of goal to bounce awkwardly back towards Camp and then bobbled agonisingly into the net to set up a very nervy finale.  We held out – just – but certainly a few warning bells sounding, with memories of Huddersfield still fresh in the mind.
Highlights
Some positively dazzling football from Forest especially in midfield; McGugan’s latest pile driver to open the scoring; Hutchinson’s strike just when it mattered.
Lowlights
The desperate scramble right at the end as testament to the need to kill the game off when we have the chance.  Anything but a win today would have been a travesty.
Hero
Blackstock and Cox did their stuff, but Gillett emerged as the real unsung hero with some assured tackling to the extent he may yet plug that gap vacated by McKenna a year ago. Ayala much improved.
Zero
No-one – apart from the ref. See below.
RefereeSalisbury – Awful: picky and card-happy are probably the kinder words to describe this podgy jobsworth.
Entertainment Value8/10. A joy to watch, bar the ref’s nit-picking. The final five minutes was distinctly nail-biting stuff. Just as well we got that second goal.
Promotion Rating2 – Need to tighten up at the back to avoid soft late goals.
Misc
3rd place tonight – giddy heights indeed, and one of only two teams remaining unbeaten to date. This is seriously in danger of being fun once again! Just hope the message gets through soon – today’s 19000 attendance must be the lowest Saturday gate for some considerable time.

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