Writer: Red God
Date:Tuesday April 26 2011
25 April 3.00pm
The classic 1976 track from Gladys Knight and The Pips included the line, 'So sad the song, of what might have been,' yesterday, those words had a haunting ring to them.
Unfancied Rochdale arrived at The Valley nine points clear of their more illustrious hosts and on the edge of the play-off zone. By 5.00pm, a Charlton team missing several regulars had extinguished Dale's bold bid for promotion.
Next season the heat will be on, automatic promotion expected, an expectation that brings its own kind of pressure but Tony Jiminez told me the club are confident of achieving that target and will be bringing in 'quite a few' new players to aid the cause.
The Valley did not escape the ravages of Saturday's tropical downpour, the malfunctioning big screen having been struck by lightning.
Chris Powell was critical of the referee's performance on Saturday, this time it was his opposite number, Keith Hill, who was left to bemoan his luck as Dale had two decent looking second half penalty claims turned down.
Therry Racon and Bradley Wright-Phillips returned to the fold in olace of the suspended duo of Reid and Semedo with Wright-Phillips handed the captain's armband.
The match did pose a few questions. The midfield looked more fluid without cult hero Semedo and Eccleston's second fine performance of the holiday makes you wonder why he has been a peripheral figure for so long.
The Addicks took the lead just past the half hour mark when skipper-for-the-day, Wright-Phillips, teed up Racon to drive home left-footed, from just outside the area.
Charlton's continuing inability to defend set-pieces was, again, their undoing just after the break. A fine save by Sullivan initially thwarted Marcus Holness but Holness reacted quickest to head nod the rebound.
The goal brought a jig of delight from Keith Hill in the visitors' dug out but his joy was to be short lived. Less than a minute later the Addicks were in front again as Dean Parrett drove in a shot from outside the box.
There was a role reversal for Charlton's third goal. On Saturday, Eccleston's cross set up Benson perfectly to give the Addicks an early advantage. This time it was Benson's peach of a cross that was headed home by Eccleston to seal the win.
Hill was left to rue the penalty decisions that went against him, while Powell will feel his side deserved the rub of the green after not getting it on Saturday.
Date:Tuesday April 26 2011
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