Charlton Athletic 0 - Derby County 2
I've never witnessed a training session at Sparrows Lane but I've come to believe the players are regularly to be found herding black cats, stepping on the cracks in the carpark, walking under ladders, opening umbrellas indoors and smashing mirrors.
There must be some reason events continually conspire to poke us in the eye.
Yesterday, 'Shteve' McClaren and Derby were the glad recipients of Charlton's woeful luck.
Derby had been expected to give Charlton a right hammering, and those not at the game might look at the result and think that's what happened.
What actually happened was Charlton gave as good as they got and were looking towards edging it all over the pitch, (except in front of goal of course).
The turning point for me was when the referee gave Charlton a free kick.
It wasn't a free kick - it wasn't even close.
Obviously, it came to nothing.
That's the way it's gong for us lately.
Almost immediately, Derby also received an extremely soft free kick.
Our Christmas present from the referee just a minute earlier had turned out to be the wrong size, wrong colour and a bit of a let down.
Derby ended up opening their dream gift, only to find the shop had mistakenly put the days takings inside while wrapping it beautifully.
A rather feeble free kick deflected off a Charlton player and the ball rolled over the line.
The second half was very little to do with Derby. They were on the back foot for huge periods (whatever McClaren may say) as Charlton marauded forwards time and time again.
Unfortunately, we never really looked like scoring.
How many of 'those' days do we have to endure?
Morrison managed to squeeze a header past the post that 99 times out of 100 he'd have buried.
Yann was grabbed around the neck in the penalty box and pulled to the floor, yet somehow he conceded a free kick.
It went on and on.
The referee gave Yann Kermorgant nothing all game.
When eventually he was forced to award the Frenchman a free kick, we all cheered sarcastically and Yann gave the official a small round of applause, -and promptly got booked for his efforts!
Whatever he said to the referee he thoroughly deserved it.
He was crap.
Derby started wasting time as they knew Charlton were getting a grip on the game.
A player being substituted almost pigeon stepped off the pitch. If he'd left any slower they'd have put the stretcher on for him, assuming he'd collapsed.
On chances created Charlton should have been comfortable with at least a point but it just wouldn't roll for us.
A final throw of the dice meant chucking on Sordell to go three up front, which obviously left a gap in defence.
I'm ok with that as I'd rather lose another goal while chasing the game than just sit back and wait for the end.
Unfortunately, that's exactly what happened.
On 87 minutes Derby scored the killer goal and that was that.
It's been a poor time lately to be an Addick, especially as Laurel and Hardy seem to have blown our chances of getting any cash to spend before the end of the season, when we could already be scanning the fixtures on the League 1 page rather than the Championship page, if things don't turn around.
Chris Powell tried something new against Derby and it didn't really come off for him.
Pritchard tried and tried but he's not really suited to the role of playing in the hole.
We all have to realise that we are now stuck with this group of players. That's your lot, there's nobody else arriving unless the greedy clowns find a suitcase of cash behind the sofa.
I can't see any white knights on the horizon.
If you constantly try the same things, how can you expect different results? I'm pleased Powell was brave enough to have a go at something different, even though it somewhat backfired.
I became more and more irritated as the game went on by the fat bloke next to me, (taking up a seat and a half), talking rubbish and abusing the players for lack of application.
He was your typical once a year bloke, who moaned all game, probably because he wasn't seeing Charlton cruising to victory in the Champions League.
In my opinion, the players could possibly be spoken about with reference to lack of quality but NEVER lack of effort.
Don't come back Fatty.
Your presence is not required or requested in future.
I forgot to mention the Charlton Upbeats who were the highlight of the afternoon.
Those kids are amazing.