In a game of little consequence, two goals from French forward Yann Kermorgant and a six minute double thanks to the two John’s; Obika and Jackson, sandwiched Bristol City’s neat reply which came through the energetic Bobby Reid.
In a lethargic first half, there was little to excite the Valley crowd. Obika flashed a header past the upright in the first minute before Bobby Reid’s snapshot was blocked by Michael Morrison. Further chances came in form of a Sam Baldock free kick and a Johnnie Jackson header towards the end of the half, but neither ‘keeper was troubled throughout. With no clear cut chances for either side, it appeared little more than a routine exercise for the two teams on the pitch. A disrupted half of football is best described by suggesting that the most notable moment was the substitution of left-back Rhoys Wiggins through injury after only 13 minutes.
However the half-time team talk served it’s purpose, at least for the Addicks. Chris Powell sent out his side roaring and it paid dividends after only two minutes. Loanee midfielder Mark Gower found himself in space on the right side of the pitch and sent in a flat cross towards the direction of cult hero Yann Kermorgant. With an emphatic swing of his right boot, Kermorgant sent the ball sailing past the goalkeeper Tom Heaton and as it proved, provided the spark that the game needed.
Four minutes later and it was that man again. Yann Kermorgant fired a bullet header after an impressive cross came in from the left hand side from another fan’s favourite, Chris Solly. At this point, the end of season party was in full swing. Charlton began wave after wave of attack, brimming with the confidence of the recent run of results.
Unfortunately though, a collective lapse in concentration let Bristol City back into the game. Starting with the break down of a move deep into Bristol territory, a collection of misplaced passes, headers and slip-ups allowed Bobby Reid a free run on goal and with David Button scampering back to his line, the youngster coolly lifted the ball up and over the Addicks stopper to halt the celebrations. For the next fifteen minutes, at least.
In games gone by, the Addicks may have invited further pressure as Bristol City pushed for the equaliser, but with little hanging the results, the team continued to express themselves despite the setback and it wasn’t long before Yann was again grabbing the headlines as he picked up the ball 30 yards from goal and hit a chip, on the turn. Tom Heaton was bamboozled as he back-peddled but to no avail. The goalkeeper was beaten all ends up but the Frenchman was denied his hat-trick by the crossbar. Thankfully his striker partner was on hand to head in the rebound and the impressive Jonathan Obika made it 3-1.
Perhaps most fittingly of all, the scoring was rounded off by the skipper. Mar Gower played a delightful ball through the eye of a needle and set Bradley Pritchard free down the right wing and as he bore down on goal, the entire Covered End expected a shot on goal. He decided instead to roll the ball along the face of the goal however for the onrushing Johnnie Jackson to slot in his final goal of the season. It was a fitting end to a fitting final game of the season. It was a celebratory culmination of the entire club’s work over the course of our season. Personally, I cannot wait for August and the start of next one. Come on you reds!