Addicks 3 - Spireites 1.
Since I last posted anything on here there have been three games.
Firstly, there was a League cup game, at home, to PNE that was another run out for the fringe players.
This ended with 'disappointment' though very few people were in fact 'disappointed' to be out of the competition.
The players who had seemed more than a match for Reading in the previous round came unstuck against a bigger, stronger and more direct Preston side.
As I walked home I wondered if I had seen the last of Simon Francis in a Charlton shirt.
He had been magnificent against Reading but had a complete stinker against Preston. He only lasted until half time but was lucky not to have been red carded and quite frankly was a bit of a liability on the night.
A game up at Rochdale came next.
I wasn't there and relied upon a couple of genial Northerners who somehow had managed to get the gig commentating through the Charlton website.
Strangely, when Charlton had a 2 goal advantage wiped out they seemed quite upbeat about our chances to go on and win it.
Anybody with more experience of the Addicks would have feared the worst but Compo and Clegg were proved right when Charlton ran out winners.
Yesterday, the biggest crowd seen at the Valley since last seasons Exeter game witnessed a bit of a cracker.
Football for a Fiver backfired last season.
We packed the Valley with people who perhaps hadn't been in a while and then reminded them why they don't come anymore.
Yesterday those holding the cheapo tickets might just be thinking they'd like to see some more of this particular Charlton side.
The game started with Chesterfield taking command, using their bigger and more powerful players to make inroads into the Charlton half.
Soon Charlton took over and it became a bit of a procession towards the Chesterfield goal.
At half time, if Charlton had been 6 goals up it wouldn't have been flattering.
We had to be content with the dreaded two goal advantage after Hayes had deflected the ball into the net and Jackson had scored from inside the penalty area.
The second half was completely different.
Chesterfield came out believing they could get something from the game - perhaps they'd been told about our record with two goal advantages?
Chesterfield manager Sheridan was sent to the stand for throwing his toys out of the pram when a very hopeful penalty appeal didn't go his way.
Later, Waggy wasn't given a foul - (he seemed to be involved in a personal battle with the East stand lino) and the ball was ushered up towards the Charlton goal.
Morrison missed his challenge and a soft, though correct, penalty was given.
Clarke walked off in a huff as he wanted to take the penalty but Whitaker got the nod and scored with ease.
This seemed to wake Charlton up. After hardly troubling the Chesterfield defence for around half an hour suddenly the team came to life.
We were feeling jumpy as Chesterfield were still pushing forward but we got the chance to relax when Taylor was brought down in the area for the most obvious penalty.
It was at least as strong a case as the one given to Chesterfield but amazingly Taylor got up to be shown a yellow card for diving!
It was an appalling decision.
Having believed we got the benefit of some 50:50 decisions at the last home game, it did seem to me as if there was a little bit of payback going on.
Chris Powell may have been very angry, (I know we were), but he showed Sheridan how to react to a setback.
Our team got what they deserved when BWP scored to finish off a fantastic team goal, diving at the far post to end a magnificent move.
A 3-1 home win to keep us top of the league, with a game in hand.
We've experienced a steady spiral of decline for so long it feels really, really good to be doing well again.
You have to experience the lows to really appreciate the highs - something supporters of the Sky endorsed 'Big Clubs' will never know about.
An Arsenal supporting friend has been almost suicidal over his team due to losing a few games!
I feel we as Charlton supporters can trump that with bells on having had two relegations, falling crowds, financial problems and having to become used to visiting teams where you've barely heard of a single player.
Yesterday, it was a little reminder of what it used to be like.
A nearly full Valley watching our team play well and looking forward to what is to come rather than dreading it.
I'd say I was more than satisfied with the way things are going.
A Casual Rating.
I enjoyed the game yesterday and I believe the majority of the just over 22,000 crowd would agree.
Chesterfield didn't come to defend, they played their part in an open, entertaining game.
The Lacoste polo is going to the marketing team who managed to get around 8,000+ (my estimation), extra people into the ground who probably wouldn't have been coming anyway.
A five pound offer is good enough to get bums on seats for a tier 3 game and hopefully many of those bums will be returning.
(No offence if you are one of those bums).
The Primark novelty slogan t- shirt is heading towards the East stand linesman who most certainly was making some decisions against Wagstaff for personal reasons rather than what he had seen happen.
He also must have had a fairly clear view of the 'dive' for our non penalty but didn't seem keen to get involved.
Started off well but got progressively worse as the game went on.
Perhaps, as a tier 3 referee, he wasn't very used to larger crowds?
Finally, in non football matters, I cannot believe it's now 20 years since Nevermind by Nirvana was realeased.
It became one of my favourites very quickly and an album I used to play very regularly.
It will always remind me of mad rushes to Heathrow airport on Friday evenings to head to Amsterdam to visit my ex wife for the weekend (before we were married).
I was actually in Holland visiting her when I heard Kurt Cobain had died which only added to the time capsule feeling of the album.
In Bloom will always be part of my Friday evenings on British Midland to Schipol, being played through a Sony Walkman!