What a guy ! He'd cost more than a penny though eh !
Fortunately the weather forecast proved as accurate as my prediction for the game. There was little rain and we witnessed a stunning performance from the Addicks with plenty of goals.
A good day all round started with an excellent journey from MK and once parked up, it was swiftly into the York Cafe for the usual excellent breakfast or more approrpriately brunch shall we say.
The first 10 minutes suggested we might be in for the difficult game I had anticipated, however, it was not to be. The old saying of " beware Greeks bearing gifts " proved to be as wide of the mark as Green's free kick at the end of the first half. Arestidou was very giving yesterday and we were happy to receive. Initially I was annoyed he didn't get sent off but then I thought no, I'm happy for him to stay on ! Ironically he does have a reputation for saving penalites as he did save a couple recently in a paint pot trophy game for the Lilywhites but clearly no homework had been done by him or any of the Preston staff as Skip hammered the ball down the middle.
Of course none of us takes any pleasure in seeing Phil Brown suffering on the sidelines. I couldn't believe it, no half time team talk on the pitch. I know the Valley's not the City of Manchester Stadium ( AMEX ? whatever it's called now ) but surely it cried out for a repeat of that masterstroke. Never mind the orange one made up for it at the end by sending the Lilywhites back out before most of us had left our seats.
What a great run and shot from Green for our first goal and I was very impressed with Skip's finish as that wasn't easy at all. His coolness in despatching the penalty was equally good. I thought he, amongst most other of course, had a good game yesterday. For me he's clearly not a left winger whatever anyone says, however, with Wiggins overlapping so effectively ( exhibit A - goal number 5 me lud ) it works okay for us.
Credit to the Preston players who kept battling away and were rewarded with two goals. Rarely for me I applauded their second goal from Daley...........what a piece of class that was.
It's hard to fault anyone yesterday and Wiggins and Hollands along with Jackson were the stand out ones for me. In addition, Hughes had another good game. I had alluded to Stephens not playing too well prior to his omission from the team and we've improved since he's been out of the side. I'm not saying he's not a good player because clearly he is but his performances were below par of which of course he is now one !
Never mind their keeper's shortcomings, Hamer had some dodgy moments yesterday. He does worry me at times. I hope he can become more assured.
Sir Chris looked very smart yesterday and seemed to enjoy every minute of the game. He had long discussions in the second half with the fourth official ( ex-West Stand lino ). No idea what that was all about.
The crowd was healthy yesterday ( in numbers at least ! ) with 17,000 Addicks fans and that is another reason that it's a crying shame that the Huddersfield game has been moved to the Monday night. We could surely have expected a bumper crowd for that one on the Saturday and without the cheap tickets too.
I was pleased that Sir Chris didn't get the manager of the month award given that it is the poisoned chalice. In any case it has little meaning over a bit of recognition for doing well for 4 weeks. I'm sure the only reward and recognition the Boss wants is that which comes from promotion at the end of the season. Let's hope that comes to pass.
Well done to Huddersfield for their remarkable run of unbeaten games, however, for all that they are not top of the league and I know which I prefer.
A break from the league for cup action next weekend before the awkward visit to Brentford. I hope we can come through the Halifax game successfully followed by a home tie in the second round as there's precious little footie at the Valley from now until the new year. I won't know what to do with myself and I'm quite enjoying it all at present.
Apologies for the dearth ( I had a near death experience when I looked that up in the dictionary ) of fireworks puns.