Last time we made the short journey to Vicarage Road, back on New Years Day, we saw one of those classic encounters that will live long in the memory culminating in a glorious and unexpected 4-3 victory to Charlton. This time around the common consensus pre-match was that we'd gladly take a draw. Watford are highly fancied for promotion this season and are well capable of playing attractive free-flowing football (when they're not throwing themselves on the floor) whereas Charlton, on the other hand, are still finding their consistency and form after a disappointing start to the season. In the pub before the game, some of us were bracing ourselves for the worst!
We needn't have been quite so pessimistic; Charlton thankfully delivered the sort of spirited and committed performance that returned in abundance a fortnight ago against Leicester. Quite why it was strangely lacking in those first few games remains a mystery...
Wood replaced the injured Cort, but otherwise it was an unchanged line-up from the last game, with Powell sticking with a 3-5-2 formation. I thought Wilson and Wiggins looked good in the wing-back roles, although the latter had less chance to get forward when the impressive Ikechi Anya came on for the hosts early in the second half. It was Wilson's determined surge into the box that won us the penalty and with no obvious protests from Jackson, Kermorgant stepped up to give us the lead. Pritchard was outstanding again and Stephens' battled well despite picking up a silly booking inside the first 5 mins.
So despite leading the game for 20 odd minutes, we ended up with a point and the 1800 travelling Addicks rightly gave the players a standing ovation at the end. No complaints. I'm happy with that. Excluding that bizarre game-that-wasn't against Doncaster, that's Charlton unbeaten in 3 after a shaky start. What we really could do with is a few clean sheets now.
|Charlton Bloggers Union: Left to right, Marco, Rob & me!|
Before the game I met up with Marco and Rob from the excellent 'Wrong Side of the Thames' for a couple of beers in The Moon Under Water and that continued after the game at the same venue and then back at Mabels Tavern midway between Euston and King's Cross. Going out for a drink on a match day is still a novelty for me as I normally drive to the Valley and I don't get to anywhere near the amount of away days as I'd like, so it was great catching up with the chaps for a good few beers. In fact, I met a lot of faces inside the M.U.W that I see regularly on Twitter and it was nice having a chat with them.
So on to Tuesday against Huddersfield before our noisy neighbours arrive at the Valley next week. Millwall got hammered 1-5 at home by Derby yesterday and they sit firmly at the bottom of the league table as things stand. I think it's fair to say they will not be in the best of moods and a lively afternoon is in store. A good time to play Millwall? It should be, but a wounded animal sometimes bites back hard. Traditionally, and sadly for us, it's a pretty one sided derby game, but sooner or later that has to change. God willing, it will turn next Saturday.