Charlton v Scunthorpe United

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Football League Championship

Charlton1 (0)Scunthorpe United1 (0)

M Bent 62

Iriekpen 69

Charlton :
Weaver, Moutaouakil, Bougherra, McCarthy, Thatcher, Sam, Semedo, Reid, Ambrose, Bent (Iwelumo 74), Todorov (McLeod 66)
Subs not used:
Randolph, Sinclair, Fortune

Scunthorpe United :
Murphy, Byrne, Iriekpen, Crosby, Williams, Baraclough, Taylor, Goodwin, Hurst, Hayes (Sparrow 79), Forte (Paterson 72)
Subs not used:
Lillis, Mulligan, Butler


by Howard Paynter at The Valley

THIS was an invitation which one of the elder statesmen of SULSESC could not refuse: to write a report on the Iron’s first match in Division Two (aka The Coca-Cola Championship in modern parlance), even if it did mean missing the AGM.

Cast your mind back nearly 50 years (if you can) to our first match in Division Two in 1958 on August 23, when we played at home against Ipswich. My father and I swiftly exited a wedding reception in order to attend the Old Show Ground and sat in the recently constructed East Stand. The score was 1-1, our marksman being Eric Davis who recently died in the West Country. If I remember correctly, a certain Bobby Robson was playing for Ipswich.

Enough of the history lesson and fast-forward to the present when, after downing a couple of pints near London Bridge, in blazing sunshine at The Valley we encountered one of the Premiership’s drop-outs from last season. We were not odds-on to win and I seem to remember that it was in fact 10/1. Charlton were going to win, weren’t they? After all, they’d just come down and we’d just come up!

But it was not to be thus…!

They had the first half, dominating midfield and coming close more than once (including one effort which skimmed the bar). This is not to say that we didn’t have some chances, too: we did, though Weaver was up to them.

The second-half was ours. Although they scored first through Bent (stupid name!) after 62 minutes (and a dubious one it was, too, involving an offside decision somewhat reminiscent of the one at Bristol City in the opening match last season), we did find the net a couple of minutes later. Sadly ours was ruled out: thank you to the referee whom we all love, Mr. Kettle (but at least he’s not as bad as the aptly named Mr. Deadman). Iriekpen levelled with a stinging header from a corner on the right in the 68th minute.

Subsequently, neither team scored again but we definitely finished the stronger. However, for one team to have won would have been an injustice to the other: we had done enough and deserved our point. We will no doubt play better and lose and likewise Charlton will play worse and win.

I said to my mate Nick on the hour mark that I thought Iriekpen would be my MOTM. He hardly put a foot wrong throughout the game and it was he who scored. He certainly left his mark on the game and, perhaps, one or two of their players, as well! It was also a solid team performance, with Murphy showing what a great ‘keeper he is.

So, a pleasing start against a team which was expected to beat us.

What a shame that Charlton ran out of programmes! Enjoy the rest of the season!

PS. When was the last time that we played in front of 23,000+ fans in a league match?