Charlton sneak back in to the comforting surrounds of The Valley tonight. The 3 point booty ‘stolen’ from Bournemouth securely stashed away in Sir Chris’s handsome black leather Hugo Boss man-bag ready to be handed over to the beaming, open-armed Mr. Slater. I envisage our heroic manager being flanked by his most bravest of foot soldiers, Kermorgant and Morrison, as Charlton’s leading men meet in the plush, refurbished boardroom. “More of the same tonight, please” announces Slater: his grin gaining width across his face as he speaks. “We’ll do our very best, as always” proclaims Sir Chris confidently – chest puffed out like a pigeon - before looking up at Big Yann beside him. The sizable Breton returns the glance with a reassuring glint in his eye and his nostrils begin to flex like a disgruntled bull. “Now if you’ll excuse us, Mr. Slater, there’s some lads coming over from Essex…".
If I’m bluntly honest, I can’t quite get my head around why so many Addicks appeared embarrassed to have gained 3 points last Saturday via what Powell himself referred to as ‘smash and grab’. Personally, in order to get out of this division, I’ll take the points however which way they come and without wishing to drag out an overused footballing cliché, you do make your own luck after all. Unfortunately, work stopped me from joining the travelling Addicks on the South coast last weekend, but my own celebrations following Yann's goal (image above) would have been every bit as euphoric despite being on my own! I felt the pressure-cooker feeling of 6 years of agony lifting slightly. God willing, He will allow it to continue...
I will be at the Valley tonight as always for the arrival of an in-form and improved Colchester United. In recent years CUFC have proved a stubborn obstacle to overcome, and at one stage were a bit of a bogey team to us. Of course, the last time we met at the Valley, in February 2011, we won 1-0 but it was a truly bizarre refereeing decision by referee, D. Sheldrake, that stole the headlines that night. Steven Gillespie looked to have given CUFC the lead, before the ref disallow the goal for what appeared to be offside. Seconds later he changed his mind and deciding it should stand, before the fourth official intervened and following a lengthy discussion between the officials, the ‘goal’ was finally chalked off. Charlton got lucky that night, as we did on Saturday just past.
I end on a word of caution. The law of averages suggest Charlton are due a stumble at some point and don’t be surprised if there’s more than the odd freak result between now and the end of the season. Something tells me tonight could be a very tough night, but perhaps I'm just guarding myself against getting carried away. Surely Chris Powell’s brave charges can’t keep on with this relentless push to the finishing line?
Or can they? Come on you Addicks!