Sunday, 5 May 2013

That's All Folks...

Charlton Athletic 4 - Bristol City 1.

So, another season ends.
Aretha has entertained the crowd and nipped off home for a snack.

Season 2012/13 can be chalked up as a success.

As I've told anybody who'd listen since last August, anything other than a swift return to League One was fine by me.

To finish in 9th, (and crucially above Millwall), is way beyond most of our hopes and expectations.

The momentum gained from promotion this time last year had a handbrake applied due to financial constraints.
The core of the team have been those same players who outclassed tier 3 last term.
Well done to everyone involved.

Even though we didn't have the matchball delivered by parachute and foxy opera singers wearing skirts a little too tight, the final game served up plenty to talk about.

Bristol City had already been relegated and chose to play some of their squad members who are likely to be used next season in League One.

Charlton fielded a strong side that showed Chris Powell was hoping for a powerful performance, despite the slight chance of a Play Off place evaporating last weekend with a draw at 'Boro.

Unfortunately, the first 45 minutes were as dull as any half of football could be.
Other than Wiggins going off with a hamstring and haircut injury, there was precious little to comment upon.

The second half was a completely different kettle of Haddocks.

After only 2 minutes, Yann scored his now traditional last game of the season screamer.
The technique and timing to volley the ball into the top of the net from near the penalty spot was as the pundits say,

"blah blah blah for any kids watching".

We'd only just regained our composure when Yann rose at the far post to power home a second.

Charlton were running riot and it looked as if Bristol City were going to have to start preparing the white flag.

Charlton shot themselves in the foot when Morrison made a complete hash of it and gifted City the opportunity for a consolation goal.
Despite the chance being gold plated, it was converted calmly and with skill.

With Hamer injured, Button was in goal for the Addicks.
While trying to deny the City goalscorer, Button injured himself, ending tied up in the net, leading to youngster Pope having his first team debut.

At 2-1, Bristol lifted themselves and they looked quite lively for a while.

Unfortunately for them, Yann Kermorgant fancied his hat trick and chipped the 'keeper, hitting the crossbar.
John Obika was alive to the situation and followed up to head the ball over the line, into an empty net.

At 3-1 we started to get rather excited.

Crispy had bet on a 4-1 win and my bet was for a Charlton win with Jackson to score.

If Jackson was to score our 4th we'd be both sitting on some very tidy sums of cash.

With around 5 minutes of play remaining, a killer pass from Pritchard bypassed Kermorgant and Jackson slid in at the far post.


To say we celebrated is rather the understatement!

Those last few moments of the season had a very odd feel as we were willing there to be no more goals.

City had given up by this point and it looked as if we could score at will.

Late substitute Waggy looked to have poked the ball into the net in a frantic goalmouth scramble but despite our affiliation, (and high regard for a player who may have been playing his last game for the club), we were relieved when the score remained the same!

When the referee put his whistle in his mouth to end our season, we were as delighted as anyone could be.

The players ambled around the pitch, (accompanied by tots in replica kits and well kept women in spray on jeans and oversized sunglasses), while we applauded their efforts over this season.

Chris Powell consolidated his reputation as a club legend by again speaking to the crowd, his voice cracking with the two way exchange of love between himself and the supporters.

The seeming inability to win at home on a Saturday is now barely worth a mention after the 4 home wins 'on the spin'.

A gentle stroll to the Rose of Denmark, then The Pilot, then the Southwark Tavern, then The Old Kings Head.... then?.. were enough to celebrate a fine day.

Enjoy the break everyone and see you at Welling for that first pre season friendly.