Normally I don't post on a match until the following morning. The rationale is that I will have a more balanced view of the game, regardless of whether we have won, drawn or lost. But, you know what? I really am not at all bothered by today, and as regular readers will know, I don't care much for cup games anyway. I do, however, enjoy the atmosphere of a cup game, and 7,000 Charlton fans got behind the team every step of the way today. We did the club proud, and although I am not best pleased at the scoreline, the truth is it seriously flattered Fulham.
Had the game ended 2-1, I think that would have been a fairer reflection, but as a test, which Powell said he wanted, he certainly got that. I haven't seen a Premier League club play since we were relegated, freom the top table, and the difference in quality was marked. The Fulham short game was quick, precise, and most importantly of all incisive. Charlton couldn't really cope with it if truth be told, and Dempsey was just too much of a handful for our back line. Their two centre backs coped with Wright-Phillips and Kermorgant with a minimum of fuss, although I have to say, if any player showed he can play above our current level it was Kermorgant. I also thought Pritchard played very well against much better opposition than he will ever have played against before.
It wasn't as if we didn't have any chances either, Wright-Phillips, Kermorgant, and Green all had good chances to redress the scoring, but were denied mainly by Stockdale. As we sang repeatedly that we didn't really care much for the FA Cup, but we were going up, it was sad that all game I don't remember ever hearing Fulham chant or sing at all. Maybe it was because they never really needed to get out of third gear in order to put this tie to bed, and in terms of building a team Powell will have learnt a lot from this. We may be quality in the third division, but we would almost certainly come straight back down if we were in The Prem right now. I am sure nobody would ever underestimate the size of the task in front of us, but this was certainly a salutory reminder.
We should all be proud of how the boys played today. It was an extremely flattering scoreline which Fulham didn't really deserve, but with our cup jaunt over, the far more important games against the two Sheffield sides await. Now those we really do care about.