Sunday, 2 December 2012

A South London Love In.

Millwall 0 - Charlton Athletic 0.
Sometimes, as the calendar swings into December, you are forced to acknowledge the neighbours you try to forget for most of the year.

You may even find yourself having to visit them, if only to remind yourself what it is about them you find so repellent.

They of course think of you as soft, well spoken nerds, only concerned with the minute details of life.

You look down on them for still having that pile of dog crap on the living room carpet, 3 weeks after it was dropped.

On a totally unrelated subject, yesterday Charlton went to Millwall.

Now Millwall have a reputation for being pricks but yesterday, before kick off at least, they seemed to be making the right noises and had decided to call the game Jimmy's Day.

Millwall had their biggest crowd for a generation, (remember families have a quick turn around in those parts), and there was barely a gap to be seen at the Tool Box beyond the areas forcibly kept empty.

Before the game started, I noticed there was something 'different' about the Charlton support.
Nobody seemed even remotely intimidated by the feral locals.

When they sang "No one Likes Us" we joined in, pointing out exactly why.
When they did their "Miiiiiiiiillllll" chant, we joined in, adding Joey Deacon style hand movements.

Charlton are a family club.
We pride ourselves on having women and children as part of our support, as well as welcoming new comers from everywhere.

Yesterday, there was barely a woman to be seen near me and certainly no children.
Around 3,500 mostly blokes, all intent on giving it back.

This Charlton crowd were not going to be a push over.

The teams came out and I realised i was in the thick of it when a few seats away a red smoke bomb went off.
The taste stayed with me for a while.

I'm not a fan of smoke bombs but I can't deny it looked absolutely magnificent.

Yes, it's childish and dangerous and copying the Italians, (not to mention those from Norwood ) but for 40 seconds or so, it was the focus of the entire ground.

The Millwall fans were livid.

The game itself is easy to summarise.

Millwall, as the home team and on an unbeaten run were in command for long periods.
Charlton, without the suspended Morrison and injured Fuller had set themselves up to 'not lose'.

Many would say Charlton parked the bus and it wouldn't be too far from the truth.
The Charlton performance was all about solid defending and this was done in spades.

Charlton rarely threatened the Millwall goal.
Millwall were by far the better team yet ended it with just a point.

A point away from home is never a bad result and when our previous diabolical performance at the same venue is added into the mix, it felt like a win.

We could have nicked it of course with a couple of breakaways but they came to nothing.

With around 8,000 day trippers added to the regular Millwall support they had to learn quickly what to shout.
They seem to have decided upon "Handball!" which was bellowed with gusto whenever the ball went off the deck, near a Charlton player.

Their players seemed to have a problem with gravity too.


When the game ended, it felt good.

We hadn't crumbled and could leave with our heads held high.

A few more coloured smoke bombs were launched at the pitch which seemed to wind up the Danny Dyer wannabes to our left.

We had green laser pointers shone in our eyes, bottles and coins thrown at us as well as a few seats.
Needless to say, there were missiles returned and for a while it got a bit lively.

Last time we went to Millwall, we were penned in after the game.
This time there was no such event.

We came outside the ground, into the darkness with the Charlton support bellowing "We're the Red and White Army".

This was no time for shrinking violets.

As the two sets of supporters converged, I bumped into Jim and we hastily decided upon a drink.
We snuck away from the main body of Charlton support, heading directly into the mass of Millwall.

We kept our eyes down as we went by a self styled Millwall 'general' commanding their support to "Stick together" and seek out the Charlton.
He could barely focus he was so full of anger.

Silence from us as we walked through the hundreds of Neanderthals, all hopping mad that Charlton had come to their patch and forgotten to break down and cry.

Eventually, we jumped on a bus on Old Kent Road, heading for a drink near London Bridge.

Some pints of Doombar, Sambuca, a telling off from the bar staff for singing loudly and a good laugh ended the evening in time to fall asleep in front of Match of The Day.

An old school football day.

I wouldn't want it every week but it was fun yesterday.

Casualty Rating
Millwall were on top for most of the game but didn't really make Hamer work too hard.
This was due to the immense defending from our team, especially Solly and Cort.
Both were stars for me, though I also appreciated hearing about defender Michael Morrison being in with the Charlton support along with John Sullivan.

Good work fellers.


Anonymous said...

Charlton support was immense yesterday. Perhaps because of all the newboys the Millwall support never got going.
The atmosphere was good but at no part was the famous hostility of the Den too much for Charlton.

I worry about the return fixture though. Millwall have never really bothered about us as a serious rival (off the pitch).
Maybe by coming to their place and lobbing smoke bombs and flares we may have upped it a bit.
I'm sure they'll remember it when they come to the Valley.

Anonymous said...

Fair appraisal of the game completely one sided with Charlton unable to have a single shot at goal in 96 minutes Survival is all that is on the agenda.

Anonymous said...

I was proud to be Charlton on Saturday.
For the first time in my 30 plus years of meeting Millwall we didn't get intimidated.
We didn't go around smashing skulls or attacking innocents, we just stood up for ourselves & out sung them on their own patch.
When they tried to get things going we took the piss.
I didn't really like the flares on the pitch but at least the game was over and nobody was ever going to get hurt.
Our support was fantastic. To best Millwall at the Den isn't something I'd ever imagined to see.
Some Millwall have said today we've called it on and they're going to be treating us like West Ham in March.
They seem to think we've really pulled their tails by not running away!
Well done Charlton. For the first time I can recall we stood up to the bullies

Anonymous said...

I have to agree. The number of supporters we took this time meant even if you wanted to get away it was going to be tough due to the squash. Outside afterwards when the bully boys were trying it on we laughed at them and that made them so angry.
I was proud that we stood up to them for once.