Regardless of how often we've actually met in the last 18 years due to our mixed fortunes, a victory against our nearest and least dearest neighbours still painfully eludes us. At least today we never rolled over in quite the same abysmal and gutless fashion as the last two Valley fixtures, but that's scant consolation, we wanted the win so badly, there's no point pretending otherwise.
And it could have been such a glorious end.
Oh George! I can imagine that you, like me and many other Addicks, will struggle to sleep tonight, tormented by what could have been. So close...
Having seen it again, I wonder if Tucudean thought the job was done when he chipped the ball over Forde deep into injury time. Instead of simply walking the ball into an empty net and carving his name in Charlton history forever, the much-maligned Romanian was chased down by Millwall defenders before being left face down in the Valley turf. Perhaps if we'd scored from the resulting corner nobody would have thought about it again.
But we didn't. Our best chance had gone. Yet another disappointing derby result.
Perhaps the draw was a fair result. The stats would certainly suggest so. And yet I can't help thinking that this was an average Millwall side who were there for the taking. Both sides grafted in the manor in which you'd expect for a game of this importance, and at times it was decent enough to watch, but ultimately neither side could find that bit of magic in front of goal. I do wish Big Bob had started with two up front. I'm never keen on five in midfield at home, especially when the lone striker is still not 100% fit.
Sadly, tonight at least, this draw feels pretty close to a defeat. As I said earlier, we wanted the win so badly.
Maybe tomorrow the positives will make things a little easier to accept. Gudmundsson, Solly and Coquelin were all superb. In the case of the latter, I can only hope we can secure the services of the Arsenal loanee for longer, especially with a busy Christmas period fast approaching. Young Pope stepped up from the bench in Henderson's absence and dealt with everything that was thrown at him, claiming a number of dangerous high balls into the box in the process. Harriott came on for the injured Buyens and proved once again why he can be both exciting and excruciatingly frustrating to watch. His desire to make something positive happen outweighs the downsides for me...just.
I wonder what might have been had the ref played the advantage when Igor managed to shake off a heavy challenge to put Wilson through on goal late on. It was a poor decision from the official, and very bad luck on Charlton. We just don't get the luck in these games, do we?
Charlton remain unbeaten at home and despite dropping a place in the league, remain within touching distance of a play-off place. I would imagine Big Bob will be on the blower to Mr. Duchatelet tomorrow to gently remind him about our need for a new striker...