If it's hope that kills you, then Charlton are doing their level best to put us all out of our misery. A strangely lacklustre game, reminiscent of a training match played at three quarter intensity. "Remember lads, no hard tackling, this is just about meaningless passing with no end result. The result is not important" What else can I put tonight down to? There was an inevitability about the result from the moment it became obvious that an ultra conservative 4-5-1 had been adopted. We are not good enough to simply play for a point; fact.
The only player that looked like he cared tonight was Reid, and despite the predictable dreadful final ball, at least looked like he wanted to cause MK Dons some trouble. Meanwhile, Powell looked on, motionless from the sidelines. I am not sure if it was the act of a manager caught like a rabbit in the headlights, or the stance of a man that now realises the enormity of the task he has taken on, and is powerless to change anything meaningfully in the short term to transform the team's fortunes.
Five minutes from time, I sat in my upholstered seat, and promised myself that I would not single out Francis and McCormack. After all, the whole team had been poor, so why single them out?, despite the fact that both had put the team in danger on a number of occasions yet again, as appears to be their wont. As we entered injury time however, Francis gifted MK Dons the opportunity to deliver the coup de grace. Losing the ball yet again in a dangerous position, two MK Dons players scampered away, and an easy win was sealed as Baldock slid the ball into an empty net. A merciful killing indeed.
I will be there again on Saturday, but firmly of the belief that the play offs are beyond the capability of what we call our team. This same team that won four in a row when Powell was first appointed, has now taken one point out of a possible eighteen. Thirteen above the relegation zone, and ten away from the playoffs. Mid table obscurity is the only realistic "hope" I have for this season. Thankfully I was only twenty minutes away from a couple of pints. The people I feel sorry for are the hardcore fans who had to trek back south. Their passion and performance tonight put the team to shame, but even they must have been tempted to head for the exit when Charlton's capitulation was complete deep into injury time. We all deserve so much better than this.