Written by William Perrott
Many Charlton fans thought it couldn’t possibly get any worse than last season, but on the opening day they have been proved wrong after a poor display at Gigg Lane against Bury FC.
Over 1,000 Charlton fans made the 466 mile round trip to not so pleasant Bury, and after a break away from football the hopelessly addicted turned up with a positive attitude, and got behind their team from the first whistle, but the passion in the stands didn’t seem to be replicated on the pitch as Bury dominated in the opening 20 minutes.
It was a very quiet first half and Charlton seemed to be on the back foot from the off but they did show some glimpses of quality through new signing Ricky Holmes on the right side of midfield.
Bury continued to attack and come at Charlton on the left side of the pitch but Jason Pearce put in some vital tackles to stop new number 1 Declan Rudd from being tested and as time ticked on both sides sat back and seemed as if they wanted to go in to half time on level terms.
The second half was amongst us and I think everyone inside Gigg lane was hoping for an entertaining 45 minutes as the first 45 was very average from both of the sides. The second half started brightly after a few chances for both sides the game died down and both sides continued to sit back and try and catch the opposing side on the break.
Johnnie Jackson and Morgan fox didn’t combine much on the left side for Charlton but they did create one chance as Jackson played a great ball in to Fox and he then slipped the ball to the back post where target man Lee Novak was lurking but unfortunately for the Reds he couldn’t slam it home in front of the travelling fans. That looked to be costly as a couple of minutes later Bury’s Anthony Kay looped a very good header over the defence but Declan Rudd rose to tip it over the bar.
The Charlton fans were still applauding Rudd as Bury floated the ball to the back post from the following corner, and Pearce took down Tom Pope, penalty awarded much to the discomfort of the valley faithful who could only watch in horror from the away end.
Neil Danns converted, 1-0 to the Shakers. Chants from the away end didn’t stop there, the red army were getting behind Russell Slade’s men but after some missed chances the game was becoming more frustrating by the minute.
Bury shortly doubled their lead as Kelvin Etuhu smashed the ball past Declan Rudd only to be cleared by Solly but the Linesman judged it to be over, 2-0 to the shakers, Gigg Lane was rocking as the away end started to dismantle as many fans couldn’t bear to watch the closing moments of such a gutless performance from Slade’s men.
The final whistle blew and the away end was toxic, but it had every reason to be. Charlton are traditionally a family club and a passionate club but that has not been the case since Belgian entrepreneur Roland Duchatelet took over in 2015. Charlton’s centre half Roger Johnson even told fans to “fuck off” after the game which should not be happening especially when they have travelled 466 miles to see that poor excuse of a professional player
As always there was a few positives to take from the opening day defeat, Ricky Holmes and Chris Solly were fantastic on the right side for the addicks, as well as that there was glimpses of quality shown from the likes of Nicky Ajose but not enough to get the Charlton fans off their feet.
The red army are set to turn up yet again next week against Northampton town in SE7, and I’m sure everyone around the Valley is hoping there will be a few new faces on the pitch this time next week as even Russell Slade has said himself that the squad is light of a few faces, but until then the addicks will try to shake off that defeat to the shakers and move on to the first home game of the campaign against the cobblers.
My man of the match: The 1,000 Charlton fans that made the trip.
Charlton fans, do you agree with the points made here and how the game went? Let us know below!