It may not have been a classic, but it did have it's talking points. Two goals that stood and, by all account (I've not seen either repeated on the box), two 'goals' which should have also been given. So it was 3-1 then! Either way, a Charlton victory. Any sympathy I may have felt for Exeter was negated in part by the sheer stupidity of Nardiello in getting himself sent off. If Charlton were also robbed of a perfectly good goal a short while after Nardiello's effort, then young Solly showed the Exeter front man just how to react to such an injustice.
I've always felt a sending off, no matter how you feel the numerical advantage may be advantageous at the time, ruins the game. Exeter got behind the ball and defended, relying on the chance of a counter wherever possible. They never really threatened, but it took Charlton far more patience to break them down than some fans present were prepared to accept. This disappointed me, if I'm honest. I have to say, there are growing sections of Charlton fans that are sounding more like Spurs fans as the games go on, like it's our God given right to roll teams over because we've got 'history'. At present, I'm putting this undercurrent of irrational thinking down to the sheer frustration of being in League One and a desire to get out of it, but it really bothers me to hear this sort of attitude from Charlton fans. It's as if there's a growing number of 'fans' who want the wheels to fall off just so they can tell us they told us so!
In my book, Saturday was all about staying calm, sticking to a game plan and getting up and over a very stubborn obstacle - which we did. 3 points won.
Anyone who read my previous post will know that I took my young son, Thomas, along Saturday to what was his first Charlton game. In reality, the young lad done far better than I'd hoped, with a good 40 mins passing before the first "can we go home now". At times throughout the first half he genuinely looked like he was watching wide-eyed, and he pulled out a couple of sensible questions. One of which I could well have done without, following Nardiello's sending off. I had to explain the chap had been very naughty and was sent from the pitch to have a think about his actions. I thought I'd prepared myself well, with a pocket full of sweets and a fully charged DS should he get bored, but what I hadn't even considered was the noise. He was clearly a little unnerved by the volume inside the Valley. The only downside to the day will have been the 3 blokes who sat behind us in the first half who shouted and swore repeatedly throughout the first half. Firstly, I'm so thankful I'm not that negative. Secondly, what a shame you have no respect for your fellow Addicks. We moved to the Northern end of the East Stand in the second half and my boy managed to see out the game, but it was a shame we had to compromise our position for such ungentlemanly people.
In hindsight, I think the whole day was just too much for him to take in, but I'm glad my Mum and me took him. At least he knows now what Daddy does every Saturday afternoon and over time I'm hoping he may ask to come again.
A special thank you to Charlton who added a note in the matchday programme about my lad's attendance for his first ever game. That was a great bonus for me and he was chuffed to bits with seeing his name in print.
So back to my usual seat on Tuesday night, and hoping for a repeat of the excellent performance shown by the 2nd 11 against Reading.