Monday, 9 March 2015


Cardiff City 1- Charlton Athletic 2.

I have a great deal of affection for Cardiff as a destination, if not their football team. 
I went to university in South Wales and thoroughly enjoyed living in the Cardiff districts of Cathays, Riverside and for a while, right by the Heath hospital.

Carefree days and nights were often spent playing snooker (badly), taking in a few rounds (for about 50p) on the world's very worst municipal golf course, (where even the greens had various hazards more usually found on a farmers field), having a kickabout in Roath Park and of course reading texts associated with my course.
As well as the more active pursuits, I credit Cardiff with introducing me to the fine world of proper beer.

When I arrived in South Wales, I was a dedicated Foster's drinker. This was the late 80's so I also showed I had 'class' by drinking Grolsch.

After less than a week in my new environment, I worked out one of my most useful life lessons, - this of course being that I'd been drinking the most appalling pish throughout my learner drinker stage.

I became a dedicated fan of Brains beer products, especially the SA, (skull attack) and Dark.

Even now, all these years later, I still occasionally have a case of Dark sent to me at home.

The game yesterday had Guy Luzon showing his 'brains'. 
He made the changes and kept going for the win when previous Charlton coaches would probably have taken off a striker to pad out the defence, hoping to maintain what we already had.

The arrival of Luzon at Charlton was handled extremely badly, meaning he was going to have to work a minor miracle to win over most of the fans.

Five wins from six is probably that miracle and there's been a definite softening of hardened attitudes and a warmth from the support towards our new head coach.

A dire first half became a marginally better second, until Cardiff took the lead.

All looked lost but nobody had told Tony Watt who skilfully placed the ball into the net for the equaliser.

Simon Church was felled in the penalty area as the game neared the last few minutes. 
Buyens doesn't miss penalties, Charlton ran out 2-1 winners and the celebrations began.

We now have a week before the visit of Blackburn who will hopefully have one eye on their FA cup replay against Liverpool.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Happy Returns?

Charlton Athletic 3 Huddersfield Town 0

The Football for a Fiver lapsed fan / never been a fan but fancy a bargain, crowd packed out the Valley yesterday.
The only spaces I could see were in the Jimmy Seed stand where the Huddersfield fans had also taken advantage of the £5 offer. 
There was an air of anticipation pre game.

The return of Chris Powell to his spiritual home went as well as could be hoped for. 

We got to applaud him as he walked to his (unfamiliar) dugout, he paused to shake hands with many old friends and looked up to see a banner across the other side of the pitch in the East stand with the simple message, "Thanks Chris", then 95% of Charlton supporters stood to applaud him in the 3rd minute.

The people who consider themselves to be 'better fans' than the rest of us were free to keep their arms folded and scowl throughout the minute of applause and then we got on with the game properly.

Football for a Fiver has had a rather 'mixed' history.
What often happens is we invite lots of people back to the Valley, then remind them why they don't come anymore.

Yesterday was different. 
Chris Powell had a thoroughly miserable return while those Fiver Folk certainly got value for their money and were given plenty of reasons why they might consider adding a few more fixtures to their calendars.

Huddersfield started brightly and had obviously been given instructions to try and quieten the bumper crowd.
It was all very even until Cousins and JBG performed a rather obvious 'run over the ball, then your mate lashes it in' free kick routine.

The regular supporters and their Johnnie Come Lately neighbours rose as one and bobbed about like joyful dolphins.

The Ref for a Fiver was constantly being fooled by the rather pathetic Am Dram diving and rolling of Vaughn, who I remember as quite a decent player not long ago. 
Surely he doesn't need to add this cheating to his arsenal of skills?
On one occasion, just in front of us, he leapt forward, arching his back and snapping his head back, pretending he had been given the kind of nudge Giant Haystacks might have performed.
There was absolutely no contact whatsoever and he should be ashamed of himself.

Huddersfield were out of it almost as soon as the second half started when Tony Watt wriggled to make the space then doubled Charlton's lead.

The Charlton team then started to, (excuse my French), quite royally take the piss.

The ball was passed about, Huddersfield not really looking too keen on getting it back.

It got worse for them. They had a lifeline back into the game when Henderson managed to pull off a ridiculously good save, the Huddersfield supporters already up and celebrating the 'goal' he managed to deny.

They were still feeling crestfallen when Tony Watt picked up the ball, ran with it- showing strength to maintain possession, then wellied the ball high into the goal.

Three- nil.

Huddersfield then let their manager down. They really just wanted to go home. Charlton could have scored three or four more but we were all rather content with the score as it was.

One of their blokes, (Robinson?), completely lost his head, having 2 attempts to clobber whoever was nearby. He really had no interest in the ball. He went chasing madly, attempting to send people into the stands, completely disregarding any pretence of being a footballer.
This was just assault.

The Ref for a Fiver really had no choice. It was a red card all day. 
Oddly he called the player towards him who just shook his head and walked away…….

RfF then had to chase the naughty boy half the length of the pitch to wave a yellow card???
Surely, even if the original offence had only been worthy of a yellow, the additional petulance should have seen him getting first dibs on the shower gel?

The game ended with Charlton now really, really taking the piss.
The crowd shouted 'ole' as our team stroked the ball about, Huddersfield still not caring.

There was one passage of play when I counted over 20 passes, not going anywhere, just keeping the ball before a Huddersfield player attempted an interception.

So, happy days at the Valley.

A few beers were quite necessary after another 3-0 win.

What's going on?

If it's Guy Luzon I'm prepared to taste the humble pie and say well done. 
This of course doesn't mean I'm forgiving or forgetting the shambles and untruths surrounding his appointment but now he's here, we have to support the team, if not the regime.

So, see you on Tuesday. 
I'm predicting a crowd around 10,000 less than yesterday!