Sunday 12 January 2020

A Whole New Ball Game!

Along with many others I travelled to The Valley with an extra spring in my step following the recent events surrounding the club. A renewed air of expectation and anticipation permeates around S.E.7.

New year, new owners, new hope! The last remnants of the previous poisonious ownership apparently gone and the Duchatele era an unpleasant footnote in the club's history.

Numerous stay away fans returned yesterday demonstrating their faith in the new owners. The attendance was just under 20k boosted also by a sell out in Jimmy Seed stand as you'd expect for opposition that has spent most of the season in the top two places in the league.

I arrived at The Valley just after 11am and with Crossbars not open and not meeting up with others until later I had time to make a long overdue visit to the museum.

What a fantastic job all concerned have done with it. I met Ben Hayes and a couple of his fellow trustees and they were all keen to show me round and point out particular items of interest.

As closely as I've followed the club I had not appreciated that our first England cap was awarded to Seth Plum. The museum has been able to track it down and it now resides there.

It is one of the many unique items housed in the musuem. Aside from the club memorabilia there is a separate fans section that accommodates all manner of things from programmes to old tickets to protest posters. I was told that a section containing protest items is now being organised.

Until March the museum has the Play Off final trophy and Ben kindly photographed me with it for which I was very grateful.

I can highly recommend a visit and will certainly being doing so again as you could happily spend a good few hours there and still not see it all!

Post museum and intoCrossbars for a couple of post-Roland beers to celebrate! Matt Southall passed through and again got the derserved round of appluase that resembles the one Del and Rodney in the Nag's Head when they became millionaires. Thankfully for us Matt and his colleagues have a lot greater busineness acumen than the Trotters!

On to the game and it was good to see a return to the league squad for Williams, Forster-Caskey and Hemed and a league start for new loanee Green.

The Addicks started brightly and could have gone when a stray pass went to Gallagher but sadly he put his shot just wide of the post.

It was the Baggies who went ahead though when Lockyer was dispossessed out wide and the subsequent shot fell to Zohore to tuck away.

A few minutes later and The Addicks won a corner and an Albion player thought he delay it by throwing the ball into the away fans. They then decide it would be a good idea to play keep ball. Karma is wonderful thing sometimes and when the replacement ball arrived it seems that the Baggies suffered with a loss of concentration.

Eventually the ball was headed home by Davison for his first Charlton goal.

The second half didn't start well with Albion regaining the lead when Sarr deflected a shot past Phillips.

West Brom continued to have the better of things but The Addicks kept battling away and the introduction of Forster-Caskey, Hemed and in particular Williams brought a greater threat.

On 76 minutes Lockyer's header went in off the post having hit the keeper before settling in the back of the net. This has been given as an own goal to the keeper but it's Tom's goal in reality and he should be credited with it.

Bizarrely the Addicks' second equalizer followed antoher bout of primary school keep ball from the fans behind Phillips' goal. Thanks folks!

Both sides kept attacking with the home side pressing for a third as much as the away team. It remained level though and the ref finally blew the final whistle.

All things considered The Addicks would have been the happier with their point. No doubt Albion played some good slick football at times but a depleted yet spirited Charlton team pushed them every inch of the way and were good value for their point.

It would be remiss of me not to mention the wonderful tackle in the second half from Naby. How wonderful it was and perfectly timed as it could so easily have ended in disaster. However, all credit to the big man and he was spot on and denied a clear threat on our goal.

It was great to see some players returning especially Williams as i said, how much have we missed him.

All the players deserve a mention for yesterday's efforts with particular praise to our younger players. It all bodes well or the future.

This being the Championship the games don't get any easier but with displays like yesterday and players returning with the possibility of new arrivials there is plenty of room for optimism.

Preston await next week and I'm sure the lads will be chomping at the bit to go again.


1 comment:

  1. Well I was glad all them exenophobes stayed away, they all mostly boo boys n King Roland done great dahn our gaff with the trainin grahnd wot e still owns, the players n appointin King Lee as gaffer. All them things your exenophobes forget but less the club take action the news owners will get abuse from the likes of your ilk n all.