Sunday, 17 January 2010

The Mist Rolling in From the Trees

I had a fairly convoluted, though enjoyable journey to Wycombe yesterday.

I left South East London and trundled my way towards the impressive St. Pancras International station, then headed north, thereby making my rendez-vous with Crispy who has just moved into his new home at St Albans.

We then motored to Wycombe, listening to Liverpool making a hash of their lunchtime fixture.

We drove past, though didn't stop at the White Horse pub. It seemed to be quite a distance away from Adams Park so anyone who had a few drinks there and ogled the boobs, then managed to walk to the game must have really wanted to see the fixture.
We managed to satisfy our hunger and thirst at the Brewers Fayre adjacent to a Premier Inn.
It's all glamour in League one isn't it?

We kept driving towards the ground and eventually, due to a lack of any kind of decision making, ended up parking within 50 metres of our destination. Not bad for only £5 I thought.

Adams Park is a small, though well maintained ground that is unfortunately miles from anywhere.
An out of town ground is all well and good but with only one road to and from it, it's just as well they get such piddling crowds or you'd have to sleep in your car before getting out afterwards.

The Charlton support were there in numbers but were fairly quiet throughout the first half.

A massive let off early on brought the Addicks players and supporters to life when Stuart Beavon had a head in hands moment, missing a sitter of Andy Gray / Luke Varney proportions.

Lloyd Sam was getting plenty of stick from some boo boys near us but I felt he looked dangerous, if a little fancy pants, in his bright yellow boots.
It was good work by Sam that lead directly to Jonjo Shelvey tucking the ball into the Wycombe goal after 11 minutes.
1-0 and the chance to take the game away from the Chairboys.

It didn't quite turn out to be the easy victory that our early goal had hinted at. At half time the score remained 1-0 with Charlton having made plenty of inroads into the final third but with nothing to show for it.

I'm almost ashamed to admit it but the half time entertainment of an under 8's spot kick competition might have been the gentle nudge our support needed to become a little more lively.
The young kids, who started their run ups on the edge of the pitch, must have been shattered by the time they made contact with the ball.
Crispy commented that they were like Russian dolls, as each child seemed to be smaller than the one before, (with the exception of the fat kid who had been made to go in goal but had worked out a rather 'grime' goal celebration when it was his turn to kick).

The Addicks attacked towards us in the second half and much as we willed the second goal, the ball kept skidding across the six yard line or tamely into Shearer's hands.

As is nearly always the way, our failure to put the game to bed came back to haunt us and Wycombe equalised through a well worked passing move which gave Rob Elliot little chance.

We Addicks roared our encouragement to get back on top and Parky sent on Richardson, Dickson and McKenzie.

The winner came after yet more good work by Sam.
There were two shots that were blocked but the determination of Nicky Bailey to reach the ball and smash it past Shearer was a case of the captain leading by example.
The elation shown by the players and supporters hinted at a real 'togetherness'.

Personally, the goal arrived at just the right time.
 I was beginning to get that 'Charlton feeling', -I'm sure you know the one.
It's the one where despite dominating against inferior opposition, I'm convinced we are going to concede again and then have plenty of opportunities to contemplate all the missed chances as we return home with nothing.

The final minutes vanished in the fog but it was a good win on the road and sets us up nicely for our game on Tuesday night.

Unfortunately, due to having to sit in the car park for an eternity and problems on the M25 it was over 2 hours before I found myself waiting for the train back to London at St Albans.
I had to turn on my iPod for the final part of the journey as I was stuck on a '4 table' with three young women who were dressed for a night out and were loudly appraising everyone, both famous and otherwise, as their 'fantasy partners'.
(Barack Obama was in the lead when I could take no more).

A Casual Rating
The first 'twenty ten' style Lacoste polo shirt is being awarded to the Ginger Pele, Nicky Bailey, for his leadership and determination to score while all around him were faffing about.
The Primark novelty slogan tee shirt is being awarded to the doofus in the Buckinghamshire planning office who thought a football ground with only one small road to access it was a good idea.


Dave said...

Marco - two hours to get to St Albans? Ouch. I may have missed the first half but was back in Charlton before 7pm courtesy of a Le Mans start a minute before the final whistle.

Anonymous said...

Excellent summary, Marco. Sound as if your journey barely improved after I dropped you off at St Albans!


Hungry Ted said...

Good post, Casual. I don't wish to rub salt in to the wounds of those numerous Addicks who appeared to have a nightmare exit from Adams Park, but as I parked I spoke to a steward about the reports of hideous bottle-neck traffic jams and he gave me an exit route through the woods that was not freely published (as they didn’t want football traffic using it…blah, blah). The only problem was whether I trusted him (I was wearing my colours), knowing that any time lost would leave me at the back of the queue if I needed to turn round. Thankfully, he was spot on! I was on the M40 inside of 10 mins, not a delay in sight. Whatever trouble was on the M25 I must have missed as well as a result of my quick escape. The power of local knowledge…

Anonymous said...

Piddling crowds?
Wycombe have managed nearly 10,000 in the past.

Marco. said...

Not a strong argument!