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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Watford 1 Charlton 1

Back in the 20's, eight of our first 10 games against Watford ended up as draws and nothing much seems to have changed over the years. With more drawn games than wins between the two teams, yet another draw, this the third running, means we slip another place to 6th and now have only 1 win in the last 9 games, if you include our Cup exploits.
To make matters worse, the team overtaking us is Warnock's Palarse, who have now taken an impressive 34 points from his 18 games in charge. And as we continue failing in our attempts to get the better of Watford, the only saving grace is that Warnock, after his cup exit at Vicarage Rd, can't beat them either and has lost to them twice already, including a 2-0 league defeat back in October.
Meanwhile, Pards has staked all on an improved strike force and has finally persuaded Burnley to part with Gray in a deal that could cost us 1.5 big ones. After recently lamenting the lose of Toddy and coming clean about his reasons for chasing Andy Gray, Pards said, 'I feel our home form has cost us a top two place in the first half of the season, and it's not a surprise to me that, without Svetoslav Todorov, we have struggled to unlock defences who have sat very deep at The Valley. That was what we brought Toddy in to do, but we've not had him and won't have him in the second half of the season, so we have to replace him.'
Strange then that for all his scoring feats, Andy Gray, with 11 from 25 fizzy starts, has only managed 3 of them at home, while our own Big Chris has only scored 9 from the same games, but with rather more of them at home with 5 scored at the Valley...
Anyway, back to the disappontment of dropping further down in the table. Of the fans, frankie and drinkingduringthegame made it to the game, with the latter making the point that the Play-Off final is on May 26th.....So take a hint from an eye witness and keep the weekend free from any possible family committments and persuade the wife that a late holiday would be better this year.
On a rain-swept evening, apparently the only paper to brave the elements yesterday was the posh_murdoch. After seeing early Watford pressure and two missed chances in the first 5 minutes, they've obviously been to Vicarage Rd before this season as they then noticed that, 'not for the first time this season, Watford appeared to run out of ideas as the first half progressed and it was Charlton who began to dominate.'
And after going behind, 'Charlton, playing in their third game in a week on the road (?), refused to give up with Zheng Zhi and Matt Holland particularly deserving of credit for the way they drove the team forward and combatted the physicality of Watford in midfield.'
The sportinglife were there as well and include a few words from Pards, including the surprising news that Darren Ambrose 'is as good a finisher as we have at the club.'
There's more on watfordfc if you're really desperate, and they do make the surprising comment that 'Ambrose controlled the game for Charlton throughout' and admitted that 'their goal came just when Watford looked to be buckling under Charlton's relentless, fluid attacking.'
We now have a 10 day break before Stoke on Tuesday week and the team selection for that game will probably see the debut of new-boy Andy Gray, who replaced Iwelumo for the last half-hour, but who will start beside him? It definitely won't be Chris Iwelumo or Izzy McLeod so its between Varney and Dickson to play the second striker. Varney never stopped running yesterday so its probable that we will see the start of a new partnership of Gray/Varney with Dickson on the bench, once again.
The Addicks: Weaver; Moutaouakil, McCarthy, Bougherra (Fortune 89), Youga; Sam (Dickson 81), Holland, Zheng, Ambrose; Iwelumo (Gray 68), Varney.
Subs (not used): Randolph, Semedo.
Booked: Ambrose 6 (foul on Smith), Moutaouakil 34 (foul on McAnuff)
Goals: Ambrose (78 minute)

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