Sunday, October 26, 2008

Barmy Varney and Pride Restored

It says a lot about the downward spiral that we have been on in recent times that a draw at home to Burnley (no disrespect to the Clarets) left me leaving the Valley with a sense of joy, even though Pardew's favourite son Luke Varney missed what looked like an absolute sitter.

The first half was dour yet again with Bailey looking surprisingly out of his depth, perhaps Tuesday's error has shot his confidence and the pacy strike force of Varney and fit-again, well nearly, McLeod looking lost, even though Izale showed a few nice touches and suggested he has improved in his time away.

Like most of the goals we concede, it was not a spectacular one, ghosting through an array of bodies before nestling in Weaver's net. All this and the confusion of the offside goal which, with a little time to digest, we were lucky to have seen go in our favour.

Whatever AP said at the break seemingly worked as a combination of his words, Todorov's guile and some positive, vociferous support from the Valley crowd, gave the Addicks a lift. Burnley could have scored again but more importantly, we looked like we could find the net through some decent headers and the skilful Bulgarian's shooting. As it turned out, a Todorov header was our way back into the game.

There were many positives; Wright's debut, Yassin's pace and endeavour, Sam's cameo and of course, Todorov. Occasional defensive mishaps, an under-par Bailey and Varney's horror shot were my only bugbears.

But perhaps even more vital than a point to stop the rot was the feeling of pride that I felt at the end. We had not won, we could have lost and we look a long way from becoming a consistently dynamic force but it did not matter, the spirited Charlton, at least for 45 minutes, were back.

The climax of this game made me realise that we might not be zillionaires as at one stage looked a distinct probability and we might not be a great football team but whatever the division, whatever the result, Charlton Athletic are a club to be proud of.