A curiously lacklustre affair this, in part accounted for by the miserable weather. As the first eight rows of the lower west once again enjoyed a design feature of the stand, that sees us all get soaking wet every time it rains, the two sides attempted to get to grips with a soaking pitch. Southern will feel aggrieved at his sending off, which at the time seemed harsh to me, and having now seen the incident back, I have some sympathy with his position. It looked 50:50 to me, but it did allow Charlton the opportunity to take the game, which was little less than half an hour old by the scruff, and attempt to make it four wins on the spin.
The fact that they did not, may in part be to do with a new central midfield pairing of Stephens with Arsenal loanee Frimpong. If Charlton can keep him fit, and if the player himself can maintain his discipline, and stay on the pitch, then this will be a marvellous signing. There were signs of ring rust from him in the early exchanges, but as the match went on, his class began to show, albeit that his debut was cut short by cramp. There will be a lot more to come from him, as his match fitness returns. He does like to play deep though, and Stephens never looks particularly convincing to me in the more advanced role. Perhaps with the return of Seabourne, Evina, or Wiggins, we may see Jackson alongside the Arsenal man, as that seems a more natural pairing to me.
There were too many low key Charlton performances yesterday, and so the numerical advantage that Charlton should have enjoyed did not really count for much. The Charlton goal was simplicity itself, with Pritchard crossing low to the centre of the goalmouth to be converted by Hulse, and the same player could have won it near the end with an unmarked header that had it been placed either side of the Huddersfield keeper would have seen us home. Instead the header went straight into Smithies hands.
As for the low key performances; in no particular order, stepping back into the shadows were Jackson, Kerkar, Stephens, and Hulse. In fainess to Kerkar, he always looks uncomfortable in the left back slot, and although Jackson poses a more potent goalscoring threat, I would have preferred to see the captain at left back, as playing a 4-4-2, there was more than enough goalscoring intent on the pitch to compensate.
Still, if anyone had offered ten points out of a possible twelve after the Midllesboro game, we would all have grabbed them disbelievingly, and at 15th in the table, nine points clear of relegation, and five off the playoffs, we are at last in midtable anonymity, a position I personally would be delighted with come the end of the season.