Date: 6th August 2017 at 6:17pm
Written by:

Expectation was high. The supporters were ready for a fight from Bristol Rovers the team we put 9 goals past last season. It looked like an even eleven against eleven until the 7th minute when Lee Novak saw red for a cynical challenge on Stuart Sinclair. The referee Christopher Sarginson without hesitation reached for the red card and the Addicks were down to 10 men. Lee Novak walked to an early bath.

Now, I don`t know about the rest of supporters who were there and witnessed the challenge and sending off. Could the referee have used a little discretion, come on 7 minutes into a new season and the Addicks were reduced to 10 players and were staring 83 minutes of this game without a striker.

Advantage was Bristol Rover`s. Robinson had to reshuffle his tried and trusted 4-2-3-1 to 4-4-1. It unbalanced the team that became exposed in all position especially in midfield which in past seasons was our problem. But in spite of being reduced to 10 there were some encouraging signs from Amos, Tanqe Fosu and Billy Clarke. The Addicks looked sharp, slick and inventive at times, although the sending off obviously changed the nature of the match.

I`m very critical when it comes to players who have been brought down whether through careless play or during a tackle that looks like the ball was won cleanly. The opposing player reeling in agony in order to make a statement to the referee who very often like in this case acts on instinct rather than in what he actually witnessed. Stuart Sinclair milked the situation that influenced the referee to give the red card so early in the game.

I`m sorry. If a player is Pollack`s the way Sinclair acted after he was brought down there would defiantly be some sort of damage with the player that would reduce his performance to a crawl for quite some time. Yet he showed no after effects and in fact was running around quite unhindered for his experience.

Throughout the game Sinclair was booed by the Charlton supporters who probably thought his actions deserved the response for making much more out of the incident that he ought to have done.

Call it retribution and a bit of good fortune on our behalf. The winning goal came from the big German, Bauer. His effort was shrouded in controversy. Ricky Holmes was the provider. Sending over a corner kick that Rovers keeper Adam Smith clawed Bauer`s header onto the post, but the assistant referee on the far side adjudged the ball had crossed the line.

This goal came on 38 minutes. Even after the goal was given, many of our players were not sure whether it was going to stand. Even the referee who in my opinion had a bad game did not immediately point to the centre circle. This made the last 18 minutes a very interesting first half. To give the Addicks the thumbs up, they defended stoutly and were not intimidated by Rovers players who were falling down like ten pin skittles. The Addicks went into the interval 1 goal to the good.

But a game consist of two halves and there was no doubt in the second period. In the Addicks players` minds will be that Bristol Rovers were not going to lay back without a fight.

The second half was as predicted. The visitors came out with a renewed confidence that they can over turn the 1 goal that they probably feel should never have stood. But fight as they did, it was not going to be their day. In fact it was the Addicks who could have doubled their advantage through some very good team play that saw them get behind their defenders with some ease.

We won ugly is my heading. Attacking football don`t have to be pretty. Unfortunately there is always going to creep into the modern game the ugly side of the game. First game out we seemed to have a different approach to our game structure. Softly, softly attitude of last season looks like it has been replaced with, give as good as you receive. Good on them to finally be more aggressive. Because there are teams in this division who will not take prisoners. A good start to a long campaign.

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