That really wasn't very convincing was it? I suppose it could be put down to a mediocre day at the office, but I do hope that form isn't deserting the team collectively, just as our real test is about to begin. Charlton have only played one side in the top half of the table, and even Scunthorpe only just make it into the top half at 11th. Exeter should not have posed the danger to the team that they did, but you can be sure that Colchester and Leeds will be far more problematic. Charlton will need a step up in performance from yesterday's efforts if they are to emerge with anything from either of those games.
Spring for Semedo was the only change, so protecting the back four was never likely to be as efficient without the Portugeezer. That Spring did so, with some aplomb, is a credit to him, as his natural game is far more attacking than defensive under normal circumstances. It also cannot be easy coming into a settled side, so if Semedo is not back for the next couple of games, then Spring proved that we have the coverage to cope with his loss. Elsewhere in the team though, there were some definite "off" days going on. Llera was not as imperious in the pass as he can be, and Burton seemed to run out of legs in the second half, just as Exeter were changing their tactics, and making life difficult.
Parkinson obviously decided to let the players that have done so well so far, dig themselves out of the situation, as all three of his substitutions seemed to me to be more reactive, rather than proactive. McLeod for Burton made perfect sense, as the first touch, and hold up play of the former seemed to desert him in the second half. Racon and Sam, both had quieter games than of late, and the Frenchman eventually gave way to Wagstaff, switching Sam to the left, and allowing Bailey to go inside to his more natural central midfield role.
Exeter are a better side than most would give them credit for, so I don't want to sound negative about our own performance, and as the old cliche goes, sometimes you just have to grind out a result, and that is what we did. I had heard tell of Athena, the Grecian Goddess before the game, but instead of her charms, as seen here (including some language usually reserved for Victoria Beckham);
we were subjected to a fat bloke cavorting in front of the Jimmy Seed, while our stewards collectively decided to run into each other. For comedy value it was up there with the banan skin. Fortunately Charlton did not slip on it.