Despite the RAF sending The Red Arrows to show the armed forces support for all those who play in red and white a horrendous journey of 4 ½ hours saw Charlton Park arrive 10 minutes prior to the kick off time of 3.00pm. Unfortunately for Charlton Park the referee deemed that, despite a generous offer from Tottonians of a thirty minutes warm up, the game was to kick off at 3.15 pm thereby allowing a limited period of time to clear the effects of the journey.
It was Charlton Park that had the better start of the two sides when following the opening exchanges they were awarded two penalties but following two attempts r any advantage gained was wasted by badly taken options that saw Charlton kicking for position and not for points. From the following line outs set up muscular driving plays but the Tottonians defence resisted the play and when the home defence held the drive Charlton were unable to recycle the ball and thereby ceded possession.
Having started brightly Charlton then proceeded to fall away and give away a series of penalties and it was from such a chance just inside the Charlton half Tottonians took the lead with a long distance penalty. It was following Charlton giving away a second penalty Tottonians doubled their lead with a second penalty kick from long range.
Charlton rebounded well from the setback and despite Tottonians attacking well Charlton’s defence was good with both Sam Naden and Tommy Nightingale making vital interventions to deny the home side further points or scoring opportunities Charlton finally gained some reward when following Tottonians, in their efforts to defence, collapsing a well-executed driving maul, Nightingale kicked the resulting penalty to score the visitors first points of the match.
This unfortunately was Charlton’s final flourish of the half as the remaining ten minutes of the first half saw Charlton implode as they were unable to retain possession of the ball or deal with Tottonians game plan. It was following an error at the restart Charlton gave away a kickable which Tottonians duly kick to restore their nine point buffer and this was the precursor to narrow the home sides lead to three points.
With the first half coming to an end Charlton continued to struggle against the general malaise brought on by their journey but it was slick interplay from Tottonians that saw them split the Charlton defence asunder as they scored the first try and to compound Charlton’s woes following another error when they knocked the ball on a similar offence, by Tottonians in gaining possession was missed, to the chagrin of Charlton’s travelling support, and the home side converted the opportunity into points as they scored their second try in three minutes. Two successful conversions completed the scoring for the half.
The second half saw a slight renaissance in Charlton’s play as finally they began to impose some solidity into their play against a Tottonians side that continued in the ascendency but Charlton’s defence improved immeasurably and with league debutant Alex Miller’s kicking to pin the home side back Tottonians were restricted to only Tottonians were on able to score one further penalty in the second half in a match at half time they looked to run away with.
Next week Charlton Entertain Gosport & Farnham at Broadwalk kick off at 3.00pm