Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Season 2012/2013: Match 11: Charlton Athletic 2 Peterborough United 0 (nPower Championship)

Bundled on a train to London in aid of work once again, I found myself with two evenings to kill in the capital.

Given the choice between Chelsea v Fulham on Wednesday night for the princely sum of £76.50, or Charlton v Peterborough on Tuesday night for the less eye-watering figure of £15, I chose the latter.

Fifteen of the Queen's pounds seemed like a bargain for Championship football, given that ticket prices in Scottish Division Three are typically around that sum.

I anticipated that the football on show would be better than that displayed by the likes of Montrose and East Stirlingshire, and that the ground would be warmer than Links Park.

I was wrong on both counts.

The football served up by the two teams was largely honking, with neither side able to find a proper rhythm or many credible attempts on goal. And on the weather front, I appear to have brought some Scottish chill with me, as London has felt colder than Montrose these past two days.

Those players on show with a Scottish connection gave a mixed performance, Peterborough's Caledonian striker George "No, the other Boyd" Boyd looked decent in fits and bursts, but struggled to make a lasting impact. Danny Swanson, formerly of Dundee Utd, made a late appearance as a substitute, making no impression on the match. Former Rangers man Salim Kerkar also danced around the wing for a while.

But former Hearts man Ricardo Fuller saved an otherwise drab match from going down in the record books as a turgid 0-0 draw when he collected the ball 25 yards from goal and fired a shot over visiting keeper Robert Olejnik. Unfortunately it appeared he pulled his hamstring in the process and was immediately substituted.

Frenchman Yann Kermorgant put the result beyond doubt near the death, sliding in at the back post to nudge the ball over the line.

The most famous Scottish person involved in the match was Darren Ferguson, the Peterborough manager who will always bear the unfortunate introduction "Alex's son". If he's anything like his old man, the Peterborough players will have had a post-match roasting for failing to win a match in which they were easily the better team.

All in all, my first visit to The Valley was disappointing - the club shop was overpriced, there were no street sellers peddling dodgy scarves and the match itself was poor considering the supposed quality of the league.

But it's another ground chalked off on the never-ending quest to visit them all...

Man of the match: Very few contenders from that match, as both sides were poor. But Ricardo Fuller's audacious goal brightened up an otherwise forgettable affair.

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