Well it had to come! The first win in twelve attempts saw Charlton emerge victorious for the first time since mid February. Not that it started promisingly mind you. A first half of honest industry but limited impact is probably the fairest way to call it. You can see that Powell is staying true to his desire for a passing game, but that only works when the players are comfortable on the ball, and there are still too many that are not. We all know this, of course, as does Powell, and in the first half of todays game it was Racon who caused the most problems with misplaced passes, that is until fifteen minutes before half time when he decided to go into hiding.
Orient weren't hugely better mind you, and it was I suspect another error by the Charlton rearguard that gifted McGleish his 200th, and the games opening goal. As the ball curved in from Charlton's right flank, (Orient have little Cox to thank for that), the former Charlton striker stole in I suspect completely unnoticed to prod home whilst the Charlton backline remained motionless. Whether it was offside or not I will wait to see, although I suspect it wasn't, but it did capture everyone flat footed. We didn't deserve to be ahead at the end of the first half, but then again we probably did not deserve to be behind on the balance of play, as patchy as it was.
What a difference a half time team talk can make. Charlton started the second half at a far higher tempo than the previous forty five, and were rewarded five minutes in, when a fine Wright-Phillips shot from a Racon cross fell kindly from the keeper's parry to Benson who prodded it home. Goal number two was straight out of comic cuts. Jones, the Orient keeper will have nightmares about that one! All through the game he had been playing keep ball, wasting time in the same way that the Tranmere keeper had in an earlier game, but boy did he come unstuck. A prone Wright-Phillips seemed to offer no threat, so the keeper threw it over him in an attempt to get Orient on the attack. The only problem was that our diminutive number 10 leapt up like a jack in the box, collected the ball, and cooly slotted it past the embarrassed keeper in a one on one situation.
If McGleish had little to celebrate despite scoring his 200th goal, Semedo looked like he had won the lottery after scoring what I think may only be his second or third goal for the club, but in the setting up of the goal, have Charlton finally sorted the midfield conundrum? The cross from a short taken corner came from Stewart making his home debut as a sub for the equally impressive Parrett. It was an impeccable ball that pretty much landed on our favourite Portugeezer's forehead without the need for too much movement from him. The other thing I like about Stewart is that he is gobby. I could hear the guttural Scots accent cajoling and ordering from the second he came onto the pitch. With no responsibility, he probably more than Parrett, released Racon to eventually shine, the Frenchman cracking off two fine shots that deserved more than they got.
And so, for the first time in six weeks I shall look forward to my Saturday evening red wine, and for tonight only a very '70's fondue. Looking forward to it actually. Tomorrow morning I shall read the football reports in my newspaper a slightly more contented man. We still have frailties, and some pretty fundamental issues, and the team has not changed into world beaters overnight, but hey we won! It doesn't take much to make us happy does it?