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Review - Game 15: Charlton Athletic 4-1 Barnet
I was back in South East London with trusty sidekick Mac to watch unfancied Barnet take on Charlton Athletic at The Valley in the less than impressive Johnson`s Paint Trophy. Like the League Cup it is only teams without a chance in the league or who actually win it that care about this particular competition but at £5 I couldn`t pass it up! Despite the low price the take-up of tickets was low with only the West Stand being full and a couple of dozen Charlton fans in the East Stand. Barnet`s contingent was also fairly small but they were enjoying every second and made a great racket the whole game. I quite liked the stadium as it still feels quite small despite being bigger than some Premiership teams grounds but the Charlton support were absolutely dire. Only on two occasions did they actually get a chant going and even then it would die out fairly quickly, much to the amusement of the away fans who mercilessly mocked the home contingent.
The first ten minutes saw a midfield battle with Barnet working hard at closing down every Charlton player and Charlton in turn not finding their passing game much to Addick`s fans frustrations. Then some of the sloppiest defending since Derby were in the Premiership gifted Barnet a goal. Charlton captain Nicky Bailey lost the ball on the edge of the eighteen yard box and as the ball bobbled around two Charlton players were guilty of trying to dribble the ball to safety rather than find touch or the halfway line. They were caught out and Barnet number 9 John O`Flynn placed a low shot under Rob Elliott in goal from six yards. Charlton hit back a few minutes later after a decent run found Izale McLeod in the Barnet area however ex-QPR keeper Jake Cole had no chance after the forward`s shot took a big deflection off of a defender.
Charlton looked very poor, both in defence and midfield. With cold rain falling the defence were being outmuscled and outpaced, by left midfielder Albert Jarrett in particular, and at corners were barely getting off the ground. Barnet were unlucky not to capitalise after a number of corners were not dealt with at all. Charlton were proving to have a lucky night however as towards the end of the first half the ball luckily broke for the home side after a tackle leaving Barnet stretched, Tama Tuna slid the ball past Jake Cole to make it 2-1, a scoreline that in all honesty had come from nowhere. They then had a chance to bag a third but Izale McLeod managed to miss kick from inside the area after some could work from Bailey and Tuna, a chance any granny would have buried.
During the half time break we debated how Charlton were doing so well in the league and were glad to see that the rain had stopped. The second half saw Charlton improve a little, especially defensively but there were still far too many passes going astray and Barnet were working tirelessly without seeing any end product. 41 year old striker Paul Furlong was not an option as he was being rested but had he been playing then I think Barnet may have had more luck, with his strength he could have opened some gaps in the defence allowing the pacier players to capitalise.
All hope for Barnet was lost however, after a fantastic piledriver of a free kick from Bailey. A silly foul around twenty to twenty five yards out was sent like a rocket into the top right corner, blazing above the wall and beyond the despairing leap of Cole. Barnet and their fans never let their heads drop however but try as they might they couldn`t fashion a decent opening, although more than once they had Charlton`s defence all at sea with crosses and overlaps. Charlton`s icing on the cake came with only a few minutes to go. A Barnet attack broke down and McLeod broke quickly with the ball, he passed to David Wagstaff who in turn did very well to take it in his stride as it was a very poor pass. Wagstaff belted the ball past Cole and despite being 4-1 to the good it was the Barnet fans we could hear singing "4-1, and you still don`t sing".
A flattering scoreline for Charlton, and it is hard to explain how they are doing so well in the league, Barnet did very well and with Furlong rested should prove more adept up front in their next league match.
Build Up - Bonus Game B: Kingstonian v Beckenham Town
As AFC Hayes v Cirencester Town has been postponed due to Cirencester`s continued success in the FA Cup I am going to K`s again to see them take on Beckenham in the Senior Surrey Cup. Beckenham have also recently drafted in ex-England player, Teddy Sheringham!
Kingstonian has a proud tradition dating back to 1885. The club had a lot of success in the 1930s winning the FA Amateur Cup in 1933 along with numerous other competitions in that decade. They also enjoyed a period of great success more recently, winning the Isthmian League in 1998 and the FA Trophy in 1999 and 2000 at Wembley Stadium under renowned manager Geoff Chapple, and then nearly managed to reach the fifth round of the FA Cup in 2001. Entering the competition at the Fourth Qualifying Round, they beat Devizes Town before beating two Football League clubs - Brentford 3-1 away in the first round and Southend United 1-0 away in the third round, either side of a win over fellow Conference team Southport - on their way to the FA Cup fourth round proper, where they were seconds away from beating Bristol City before succumbing to a late winner in the replay.
Relegation and financial problems saw a sharp downturn in the club`s fortunes between 2001 and 2005. However, in February 2005 Khosla stepped down as Chairman, selling the club to Jimmy Cochrane. While this did not save Kingstonian from relegation that year, the 2005-06 season saw Kingstonian Football Club revitalised. They only narrowly missed out on the promotion playoffs after an excellent run of form after Christmas and finished their season by beating AFC Wimbledon in the final of the Surrey Senior Cup at Woking FC`s Ground by one goal to nil.
Changes continued during mid-2006 with Mark Anderson and Malcolm Winwright taking charge of the club, installing Stuart McIntyre as successor to Ian McDonald in the role of head coach. However McIntyre`s stay in the role was brief and unsuccessful, with he himself being replaced by Alan Dowson at the start of 2007 after a run of extremely poor results. Under Dowson the club has stabilised and has seen an improvement in its fortunes. The 2007-2008 season ended with a 2-1 defeat to Eastbourne Town and coupled with a win by Dulwich Hamlet, Kingstonian ended the season in seventh. The 2008-2009 season saw Kingstonian win the Isthmian League Division One South, gaining promotion to the Premier Division.
Due to an administrative error Kingstonian were expelled from the 2007-8 Surrey Senior Cup final for fielding an ineligible player. Ironically their opponents Tooting & Mitcham United, who had lost the match 4-0, were also thrown out of the competition for a similar offence that could only occur in the semi finals and finals of this cup.
Kingstonian`s Dean Lodge was voted E.ON Player of the Round following his four-goal haul against Braintree in the Second Round Qualifying of the FA Cup 2008/09. FA Website. Lodge had left the club for Northwich Victoria, but has now rejoined.
The season drew to a close with promotion up to the Isthmian League Premier Division, and the league title.
FA Trophy winners 1999, 2000
FA Amateur Cup winners 1933 Runners up 1960
Conference League Cup runners up 2000, 2001
Conference Charity Shield winners 1999 Runners up 2000
Isthmian League Premier Division winners 1934, 1937, 1998 Runners up 1948, 1963