Warnock made four changes to the side that played against Sheffield Wednesday, bringing in, Drury, Norris, Green and Varney.
As soon as I saw Varney on that team sheet, I shit you not, I was pretty speechless....He's not good enough to come on as a sub, let alone start!! AND!! He refused to come over on Friday night and clap our support (I clearly don't hold grudges....) That horrible Tuesday night feeling reared its ugly head but I tried to suppress it and get ready to blast out Marching On Together as the boys came onto the pitch.
As I looked around just before kick off, the ground was SO empty....Marching On Together was only sang by me and about 3 others where I was, the Kop was strangely quiet too, it felt quite odd.
Right from kick off, Charlton were on us and we conceded a corner, Jackson took it but Paddy Kenny saved.
Another couple of chances for Charlton a couple of minutes later but luckily Kenny was alert....We were not playing well at all.
On the pitch, not a lot was happening, honestly, if you'd have gone for a quick pint after that last chance and come back on the 11th minute you'd probably think you were missing a cracker as that is when our first chance came to open the scoring.
Jason Pearce got his head onto Diouf's in swinging corner but sadly, it went just over the crossbar.
The reality of it was though, that if you had've gone for a pint....It would have probably been more fun than what we were all sat watching, the songs we were singing never got going and neither did either side.
It did liven up for just a few minutes though as the linesman's flag broke much to everyone's amusement. It took him and the referee a good two minutes to sort out and they were greeted with the Kop's rendition of 'we only get shit flags' - easily the funniest thing of the whole game.
On the 27th minute Harmer made a more than comfortable save when Drury sent a cross into the box, it never really threatened.
Luciano Becchio was making a run down the touchline but didn't manage to keep the ball in play, the linesman (who had sorted his flag out) waived his flag and Becchio kicked the ball away into the stands. He received a yellow card.
31st minute and play opens up, Green has the ball on the edge of the penalty area, we all stand thinking....hoping, this is it....Its in!! Green, for some massively unknown reason decides to pass it out wide and we lose the ball....I think I must have said WHYYYYY!!!! For about 5 minutes after it actually happened.
Finally though 36 minutes in, David Norris scores in the bottom right hand corner after receiving the ball from Luciano Becchio, turning and shooting. Well worked goal and we all really really hoped it would liven this terrible match up.
An almost immediate retaliation though from Charlton as Jonnie Jackson shot from outside the penalty area that just went wide of the goalmouth. Why do we always let teams pressure us when we've just scored?!
Another shot, this time from ex Leeds man, Rob Hulse goes begging for Charlton on the 39th minute, it was from quite far out, but it didn't miss by a mile.
Nothing of mega interest happened after that sadly and the ref ended the half, this really was one of the dullest games I had attended in a long time.
Just as the first half had started for Charlton, the second started with a corner for us, El-Hadji Diouf made his way over to the North-West Corner to take it, he sent the ball into the box and Tom Lees got his head on it but it missed just left of the goal.
Charlton were on the attack and Dorian Dervite scored thanks to some seriously poor defending on our part.
You'd think this might kick us both up the arse to go on and win the game right!? Wrong, it was still flat and either side were yet to actually get a hold of it.
On the 55th minute, Sam Byram crossed the ball in but it was cleared away by Leon Cort. Bryam was involved in another chance not two minutes later when he headed just wide of the goal.
For some reason we just couldn't close Charlton down properly and they really should have gone into the lead when a shot from close range by Kerkar went wide.
Warnock decided it was the right time for a couple of substitutions on the 65th minute and Tonge came on for Luke Varney much to a lot of our delight. Green was also taken off and replaced by White.
The next real chance we had was on the 66th minute when Jason Pearce got on the end of Diouf's corner but it was cleared by Cort.
It looked for all the world like this wasn't going to be our night, we weren't taking the chanced we had.
Andy Gray came on in the 77th minute in place of Luciano Becchio.
The game became interesting very late on, just before the end of normal time, Sam Byram was on the attack, he was then brought down by Jonnie Jackson who received a yellow card and we had a free kick, Kenny crossed the ball in but it was saved by Hamer.
Bradley Wright-Phillips had a volleyed shot in the 90th minute that was saved by Kenny.
Salem Kerkar just missed left of the goal with his last chance of the game before he was replaced with Danny Hollands.
Paddy Kenny literally saved us from losing when he pulled off an amazing stop at full stretch to tip a shot from Wright-Phillips over the bar. The corner came in but nothing came of it and the referee blew for full time.
We left the ground deflated and frustrated, it really was a poor game.
More than anything I think I was annoyed because Charlton were more than beatable. We might live to regret dropping points like that come the end of the season.
A lot of people blamed the front line, Becchio, Diouf, but in reality, they play SO much better when we're not hoofing it up the pitch and expecting them to get on the end of it!! We can't expect miracles!! When we play on the floor we really are a much better side, there is a time and a place for hoofball and that isn't the full 90. Don't get me wrong Becchio was poor, he could have done so much better and the yellow he received was stupid, but we know how to play to make him score so why all of a sudden switch tactics to HOOF....baaaalll....UGH!! Frustrating.
Which brings me nicely on to, tactics....They are so negative at the moment!! I can understand Friday's but tonight's.....We were at home and they were SO average it's not even funny. I wonder why Warnock didn't chose to bring Hall on, if he is as pacy as people say, why not bring him on and utilise the wings?!
Sam Byram is no right back either, I felt a bit sorry for him because he played to the best he could where he was.
Defending was terrible, where the hell were we when their goal went in exactly?! We look so poor at the back sometimes!!
Kenny was one of the only ones to come out of this game with any credibility, the last save of the game that he made really was something else, we were so lucky not to lose.
All in all, we were very lucky to gain a point from the match and we are going to step it up so much on Saturday against Birmingham, otherwise we're going to find ourselves 2/3 goals down.
I don't think it helped that there was only 17 thousand inside Elland Road and the atmosphere was really terrible, I think we managed about 4 songs all game. In a strange way, I think that put me in a bigger mood. I mean I can't sing on my own (I did try ha ha) and if you've lost or it was crap you think, 'well at least we sang the whole way through' but it was so quiet it was awful!!!!
BUT!! Saturday is another day so heads up, lets get the famous atmosphere back at Elland Road and hopefully 3 points :o)
MOT xx <3 xx