Charlton Athletic 3 Hartlepool United 2
What a momentous day at The Valley it was yesterday, and how we milked it! The whole day will live long in the memory and in my mind it was a far more enjoyable day than the Ipswich game in 2000, even discarding the result.
That day though we began an exciting journey under Curbs, and yesterday a bigger crowd joined together to witness another exciting pilgrimage under a beloved leader.
The game itself was close to becoming a side show to all the other attractions yesterday. As the 2nd half progressed I and others around me were already turning their thoughts to the after show. This is Charlton after all I thought, we always lose these games don’t we? Not this Charlton vintage.
Bradley Pritchard was introduced for the ineffective Waggy and almost instantly the pace was picked up. Wiggins won a corner, took it himself and Danny Hollands, the man whose grass stained shirt I now have in my possession, swept home in front of the Covered End.
That was it, the crowd remembered there was a 100 point target to get and The Valley came alive again. Five minutes later Danny Haynes headed home superbly to put us in front. The Valley could hardly contain itself and nor could the Gaffer who sprinted down the touchline Ian Holloway style.
But the best was yet to come. Pritchard sent in a deep cross which was followed by Yann Kermorgant, who had already been given my man of the match. The best we could all hope for was for the Frenchman to put it back across the box for an incoming red shirt. Oh no, Yann found the opposite corner with a volley stunning everyone in the ground, including maybe himself. The Valley was in 101 point heaven.
Hartlepool, who refused to play bystanders and added to the day, just like their marvellous
smurfs supporters, pulled one thanks to another deflected goal. How many is that for the season?
No biggie, the game was seen out and the celebrations began with all four sides of the ground including the majority of Hartlepool fans staying to salute the champions, only one of nine teams in 124 years of Football League history to achieve over 100 league points.
A tremendous day that started for me at Gatwick Airport early and ended last night with a plate full of curry and glass full of beer, which wasn’t my first.
The in between, the atmosphere, the singing, the happy faces, old faces, new faces, my son’s face, goals, trophies, medals, presentations, the red and white mosaic in the stands, the red devils, the smurfs….. it was what memories are made of.
Addick Bloggers at a joyous Valley: I could be wrong, I could be right; God, Charlton and Punk Rock; Stickleback; Drinking During the Game; Deepest Darkest; Addicks Third Division Diary; Doctor Kish; Hungry Ted; Blackheath Addick; Charlton Casual; And Nothing Else Matters
Powell-ometer: The man who gave us our Charlton back.
Elsewhere: It was the massives who took the second promotion spot after doing what they had to do at home to Wycombe. United failed to win again, this time at Exeter and they enter the play-offs without a win in three. Stevenage made light work of Bury to grab the final play-off place pipping Notts County on goal difference.
For a very few alarming moments the thought popped in my head that we were about to do a ‘typical charlton’ and then I remembered how many times I thought that would happen this season and was happily proved wrong. Fantastic stuff and very well organised (I’d feel a bit churlish saying apart from the lap of honour, so I won’t say it). Who will ever forget the red devils? But more was CP getting the response from the crowd of ‘we’ve got our Charlton back’. I even managed to leave the ground without reminding the bloke next to me of an argument we had when CP was appointed. How wrong he was.
Have a great summer.
The lap of honour was a bit dishevelled and I had hoped that Glen Tilbrook might get on and do a stirring version of Cool For Cats for us 40-somethings as was rumoured but as you say Pat churlish to moan. Still buzzing!