Sunday, 24 January 2010

A Taste of the Orient

We welcome Leyton Orient at the Valley tomorrow evening for another game under floodlights and in front of the Sky cameras.

In recent years, our results while being broadcast 'live' have been as patchy as our record in the North West but it is clear we are witnessing an altogether 'different' Charlton this season.

There's likely to be huge banks of empty seats on show for the cameras which will only remind the viewing public how far our stock has fallen.
As far as League 1 crowds go, ours aren't bad at all but when there are 10,000 shiny plastic seats blinking in the lights it looks poor.

I thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Brisbane Road back on one of those warm, sunny, long shadowed evenings.
It was my first game of the season after returning from holiday.

We went behind but then came back to win 2-1, largely due to a moment of sublime skill from Shelvey and an atrocious back header, intercepted by Burton.

The sight of our large and loud away following bouncing around in celebration, and then seeing pockets of our supporters all over the ground doing the same sent me a message that this season might be a little better than the previous two shockers.
We had actually sold out an away allocation and then had groups of people attend on the sly.
We rarely sold out allocations in the bigger stadiums but at this level our support looked impressive.

It's likely that Orient will bring far more supporters than Hartlepool did last week.
I admire people who choose to follow Orient.
It takes a certain kind of character to decide Orient are their team and dismiss the heady local delights of West Ham or any of the other more 'glamorous' London sides.

We are of course playing them at a time when we are unlikely to be picking up many 'new' fans ourselves.
We can at least hark back to recent successes against Arsenal, Chelsea etc etc and kid ourselves that we are experiencing a 'blip' while playing in Tier 3.
What can Orient fans look back at?

My own, (admittedly unresearched), memories of success for Orient go no further than remembering them in the 1978 FA Cup semi final.
Surely there's more?

I salute the Orient fans and I am going to add them to my ever increasing list of 'real football supporters' we are meeting this season.

It's another of those, (ahem), 'MUST WIN' games.
There are lots of points still to play for and there will be many more twists and turns at the top of the league but it would make everyone feel good to keep up with Yorkshire and Norfolk.

.................................Now where did I put my mankini?

1 comment:

ChicagoAddick said...

What was the fine for smuggling in a mankini into a football ground Marco?

I agree on what you say about Orient supporters. I think they played one season at the top level in the 60's but way before my time.