Charlton Athletic 1 - Tranmere Rovers 1.
A well drilled Tranmere team came to the Valley and did a job on us that could have grabbed all three points.
They were by far the better side all through the first half, creating swift attacks from the opening minutes while Charlton never really got going at all.
The goal they surely deserved, had a touch of good fortune when a shot from the left deflected off Chris Solly, giving Hamer no chance.
Crispy had another of his Nostradamus moments, pronouncing that he could see them scoring soon, only about 4 seconds before they did!
At the time, it looked like a wonder strike as we couldn't see the deflection from our angle.
Whatever the method of the ball entering the net, it was just the kick in the pants the Addicks needed to raise the energy levels.
Unfortunately, the much called for improvement didn't materialise.
Despite their vastly superior efforts, Tranmere had obviously decided that should they sneak an away goal, they were going to kill the game with time wasting, niggly fouls, pushing off the ball and generally being annoying gits.
Half time came and Chris Powell had an opportunity to lay into his charges.
Green and Kermit had been given the nod over Wagstaff and Hayes. Other than these two players, it was the same side who had weathered the first half storm at Sheffield, before running away with it in the second.
Green still seems to be suffering from his virus but I was quite impressed with our Breton boy. He won header after header and is gradually forming an understanding with BWP.
Could we have another good second half to grab the 3 points?
BWP didn't have one of his better days. He was clobbered early in the game and visibly jarred his back. He wasn't running too well afterwards and perhaps this effected his game.
Our team tried harder in the second half, the crowd woke up and there was more of a buzz around the Valley.
Unfortunately, the blatant time wasting and Tranmere gamesmanship was ruining any kind of tempo.
I had my own Nostradamus moment when I announced I thought we'd need a penalty to score as we didn't seem to be creating enough.
Within 5 seconds we had one!
I had little idea what the penalty was for, - there was so much pushing and shoving going on in the area I missed the incident but I was very thankful.
Jackson stepped up but I became more and more convinced he was going to fluff it as the Tranmere players performed their well rehearsed jiggery pokery to put him off.
They had players stand in the area blocking the ball, they then started a long discussion with the referee, they also tried to start conversations with Jackson.
The referee could and should have yellow carded at least 5 players, not least the goalkeeper who refused to retreat to his line but he seemed to have lost control.
Once the ball had finally been placed, it was picked up and taken away by the keeper...... it went on and on.
Never have I wanted a penalty to be scored more.
Jackson stuffed the ball in the net and surely we were up and running?
Charlton created more, were more lively down the wings after the introduction of Waggy but Tranmere's time wasting was getting everyone so frustrated, it was making our team rush when in reality there was plenty of time to score a winner.
BWP had a glorious opportunity to stuff it to the cheating Tranmere but scuffed his chance from only a metre out.
We could have lost the game of course.
A calamity at the back, involving a Norman Wisdom style collision, left the ball spinning away goalwards but luckily none of the Tranmere players were able to reach it, to tuck it into the unguarded net before it went out for a corner.
I left the Valley feeling a little flat.
Then I remembered we are still top of the league and unbeaten. There will be many, many teams who would love to swap places with us.
I'm hoping next weekend at Stevenage will be a game when our team 'click' and give the opposition a bit of a lesson.
Whatever happens, it'll be better than my last (only?) visit to the town.
I ended up at the Lister hospital with snapped ligaments when 'helping out' at a campsite event for kids and falling in a rabbit hole!
I shall watch my footing carefully.
A Casual Rating.
My Lacoste polo is going to Jackson for keeping his cool to convert the penalty while madness seemed to be going on all around.
Well done JJ.
I'd like to add another award to Kermit Kermogant who is adding touches of class. Once his team mates work out where his flick ons are going, our attacking play will have another dimension.
The Primark novelty slogan t - shirt is going to the whole Tranmere team (except the impressive Showamuni) - but especially the goalkeeper Fon Williams.
What a horrible, horrible cheating team.