Super Simon wins over the Valley faithful
Things didn't look good as the train journey from Milton Keynes was beset with delays that meant my appointment with with a pint or two of Harveys best in Greenwich was a good 45 minutes later than it should have been. Fortunately the Addicks cheered me up later with a fine performance that secured a win.
The club website promised a couple of changes to the side that played on Saturday. A couple clearly being a euphemism for ten then as only Hamer remained from the eleven that began the campaign at Dean Court.
It's a rare that one is able to report on a comfortable cup win for the Addicks but make no mistake, this was just what is was. When compared to other, and perhaps more fancied sides that exited the competition last night and with more senior players, then it reflects well on our boys.
Oxford never really got going or threatened and you'll find more flair in a pair of Oxford bags ( sorry ). However, they had made a couple of changes themselves and as was shown on Saturday, they will do well this season. Clearly in Potter they have an exciting and attacking player, sadly we didn't see much of him.
Oxford did have a few chances and couple fell to Constable ( wearing the number 9, surely he's lacking another couple of 9's there ! ) who sadly for the U's shot wide.
As I noted before, Sir Chris had to balance the desire for a cup run against the need to keep his regulars fresh for the game on Saturday. He got it just right yesterday.
Clearly the team had been instructed to play a patient, passing game as we prodded and probed for openings. Sadly a few Addicks desired more direct approach but when we did do this long balls were mopped up by the U's and possession surrendered.
I can't think that any player had a bad game. Captain Cort put his body on the line a few times as he led by example. Wood didn't put a foot wrong in tackling well and was commanding when heading the ball. Church showed good awareness and movement and of course, bagged a brace.
I'd not seen young Pigott play before, however, I now fully understand why folk are so fulsome in their praise of young Joe. He really does have some promise and I hope we get to see him at the Valley for a good few years to come.
Church's first goal on 18 minutes settled the early nerves for us supporters, if not the players. It appeared to come from rebound off Pigott that left Simon with the goal pretty much at his mercy. He fired home comfortably to get off the mark in his Charlton career.
The rest of the half witnessed more patient play from the Addicks with a splattering of half chances for both teams. A goal late in the first half or early in the second is always good and Green provided just that on 48 minutes when his low driven free kick went through a sea of players to find the back of the net albeit possibly via a deflection.
It was just reward for Danny who was impressive and I hope he retains his place for the visit of Boro.
You'd expect to find a Church on the end of a cross and on 53 minutes we saw exactly that as Pigott delivered one but sadly Church had lost his way and was unable to convert from 6 yards. Salvation was just around the corner though as on 57 minutes a neat turn and first time shot saw Simon double his tally for the evening.
3-0 then and for once we could relax a bit and I was hoping that Cousins and Jordan would get at least 15 minutes each. Sadly we only got a 5 or 6 minutes cameo from Cousins who managed to win a penalty in that time as he was upended in the box.
Fortunately for those of a nervous disposition or long standing Addicks as we're other wise known we were to witness only this one penalty and not the usual ten that results in us going out of the cup !
There was then a bit of a bun-fight over who should be taking it between the legal sounding trio of Pigott, Green and Sordell. It was unclear as to who Sir Chris wanted to take the penalty although I think we can safely assume it wasn't my mate Clive whose Club Day penalty wasn't the best to grace the Valley !
I'm pleased to say that Pigott won the argument and he dispatched the spot kick to cap a very good evening for the young man. Well done sir !
We can look forward to Thursday's draw. I'm hoping for a Prem team at home with Everton being my team of choice. In the meantime, we have Boro on Saturday..........I'm looking forward to that.