This week’s blog comes to you later than originally planned. A fantastic start to the season with a convincing 3-0 win at home to AFC Bournemouth and a host of new players on show has been overshadowed for much of the South East London community following the senseless riots we’ve seen over the last week.
The Valley faithful were expectant of a positive start, and boy did the lads in red deliver! We were solid at the back with Morrison and Taylor looking a strong – particularly Taylor with his vision of the game and ability to mop up. Stevens and Hollands looked a fantastic partnership in the middle – Hollands with an impressive work rate and drive, and Stevens in particular with a superb touch, great passing and a lovely controlled goal. Hayes up front looked skilful and a real handful for the defence, and hopefully he’ll begin to develop a good partnership with Wright-Phillips over time.
Add to this the strong performances of the familiar in Elliot, Solly and Jackson, a screamer from Wagstaff (and his inevitable FIFA 2011 ‘brick’ celebration…), and we have seen a glimpse into the potential powerhouse that Powell has been trying to build this summer.
The game itself started quite closely, with both teams creating good chances and failing to really test the respective keepers. However after Charlton’s opener there was only ever going to be one winner – with Powell’s men looking sharper and more hungry.
People left the game satisfied that the team performed largely to expectation, and Wagstaff’s stunning volley the talk of the town that evening. We were all very much looking forward to a good test against Reading a few days later. Even better was the news-to-come that Jason Euell was to sign a one year contract with the Addicks – a signing that will add real quality and experience to the attack.
That all changed when the rioting began. Understandably, the London football matches were called off so the police could dedicate all of their resources to securing the streets of the city once again.
This is not a political blog, and as such it’s not appropriate to rant about the low-lifes of society and their actions. Instead I feel compelled to comment on a football twist to the violence that slowly emerged the next night.
With no football for the strong rival fans of Charlton and Millwall, in an unprecedented act they banded together to protect their ‘patch’. Stories have emerged that some where there to cause trouble, others were racially motivated. Having discussed the events of that night with friends and colleagues who were there, I am proud to confirm those people were very much in the minority.
It was a fantastic evolving story of bitter rival football fans joining together for the common good, and for once I am proud to say that I live in an area full of Millwall, as well as Charlton, fans. Now, how do we get rid of the Man Utd lot…
Written by Sunny Seabrooke, We Are Going Up’s Charlton Athletic Blogger
Sunny tweets at @sunnyseabrooke