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Monday, September 18, 2006

Dowie Stars as "The Cincinnati Kid"

So the old geezer with the twitch wins again over the brash youngster. The old movies always used to got it right and it was just like the film “The Cincinnatti Kid” where Steve McQueen and Edward G Robinson faced each other over the poker table. Now it was the 59 year old Cockney against the young 41 year old Monica from Hatfield. And at the Valley on Saturday the outcome was exactly the same.

The early play belonged to the experienced head of Harry and his players demonstrated why they are so well placed in the Premiership. Confident and always able to find one another they really should have gone ahead when, after a cross from the right, Kanu rose higher than Kish at the far post but saw his header flash just wide. The youngster was riding his luck all right.

Forced into the desperate measure of playing three forwards due to the morning injury to midfielder Brian Hughes and now seeing that his midfield was under too much pressure, at half time Monica showed his coolness, removing Marcus Bent and bringing on Jonathan Fortune, a defender with a broken toe, but thereby allowing Amady Faye to move up to midfield.

Faye came more into the game and began at last to show the skills and determination that had persuaded Monica to part with a cool 2M during the summer. He started to control the midfield against his former South Coast teammates and the home side started to look strong and were forcing Portsmouth back into their own half.

The broken toe of Fortune seemed to be coping with the fewer attacks that Portsmouth could generate in the second half and the longer the game when on the more the play belonged to the Addicks.

On 57 minutes the Uruguayan Omar Pouso was withdrawn and replaced by Matt Holland and with an hour of the match over there seemed to be only one possible winner. Panic started to show in the Portsmouth rearguard, crucial blocks were having to be made and a shot by Rommedahl flew inches wide.

The pressure was now on the old geezer to do something to rectify matters and on 64 minutes he responded by switching his cards, exchanging one striker for another. Ten short minutes later and the game was over.

A low drive from the substitute and the ball ended up in the back of the net diverted off Scott Carsons clawing fingers. A quick Lua-Lua and the old man was taking home the spoils. A low pair had secured the points.

Suitable Quotes from the Film/Game
Lancey played by Harry: Gets down to what it's all about, doesn't it? Making the wrong move at the right time.
Cincinnati Kid played by Monica: Is that what it's all about?
Lancey/Harry: Like life, I guess. You're good, kid, but as long as I'm around you're second best. You might as well learn to live with it.

Charlton: Carson; Kishishev (Lisbie 80), Young, El Karkouri, Faye; Rommedahl, Pouso (Holland 57), Hasselbaink, Ambrose; M Bent (Fortune 46), D Bent.
Subs (not used): Myhre, Ashton.

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