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Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Valley Exploded!

Can any other phase do justice to Tuesday night? Seconds from the end of Added Time, El Karkouri dramatically curls a 22 yard free-kick into the bottom corner to snatch possibly the most valuable 3 points the Addicks have ever earned. Its a first win for Les Reed after 4 games and it takes us off the bottom for the first time since September.

Forget the importance of the win, savour the moment for this is what it feels like to be a Charlton fan. After the appalling stomach-renching heartache of Saturday comes the absolute euphoria of a Tuesday night. Can anybody else serve-up such a roller-coaster ride? You may not enjoy it all the time but hell this is sport, this is how it's supposed to be.

I said a few weeks ago that I was felt sad for Manure fans and now doubly so. All they ever do is win for Gods sake.

And if its heroes that you want, step forward the Elk, Talal El Karkouri, our man from Casablanca, who we all thought, Mr Curbs included, wasn't good enough. That his 4 goals in a month back in Dec 2004/Jan 2005 was a fluke never to be repeated. It takes a brave man to stand up in such circumstances, in a game that had to be won and with seconds left push aside our very own Puskas and then have the coolness to curl the ball around a wall of defenders.

And Les Reed? Already taking stick after only 3 games for his team selection, choice of formation and substititions, and being accused of being too cautious by many. He also showed his metal by dropping Rommerdahl, Ambrose and Holland and in came Kish and Hughes and Lloyd Sam was handed his first Premiership start.

Perhaps we were forgetting that stressful times produces heroes and people with the stomach for hardship. And for all those still harping on about Monica, who do they think was responsible for grabbing Scotty Carson, finding Diawara, persuading Traore and Faye to come and turning Andy Reid into a midfielder? Probably the very same people who have now brought back none other than the old war-horse, Mark Kinsella, to the fold. Boot Room or what?

And after all the euphoria on Tuesday perhaps Les's most apt remark was "You don't like the pupil putting one over the teacher," he said.

The papers were also full of our spirit and good football, with "commendable spirit" and "enthusiasm" from the independent while the always pessimistic guardian calls the win deserved but refers to a series of glaring misses. Yes, that happens in football.

But the telegraph doesn't go overboard either, pointing out that we had "aggression and sporadic penetration but there were still so many sloppy mistakes", although they don't elaborate. But they do again give Andy Reid the man-of-the-match award. And a rather bland report from the times says we deserved victory over a weak Blackburn.

We said we wanted Passion last night and the sportinglife says we got it and talks about our "fierce endeavours" and "plucky showing".
So what better adjectives can you ask for in a team at Rock Bottom - Spirit, Enthusiam, Plucky, Fierce, Aggressive. But can we carry it forward to White Hot Lane on Saturday?

Charlton: Carson; Young, Traore (Diawara 26), Hreidarsson, El Karkouri; Kishishev (Holland 89), Faye, Hughes, Reid; Sam ( M Bent 72), D Bent.
Subs (not used): Myhre, Rommedahl.
Goals: El Karkouri 90
Booking: Hughes 33 (foul on Pedersen).

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