Charlton Athletic 2 Doncaster Rovers 3 (AET. 4-4 on aggregate, 4-3 on penalties)
At some point this afternoon I had stopped shaking. I have to admit I hated every minute of the game. Watching in a pub with sympathetic work colleagues and random strangers concerned to why this bloke staring at a TV for what seemed hours was going through a somersault of emotions and odd facial expressions, and ended in a tearful heap on a bar stool.
Had a bloody headache this morning though. Jesus what a night, what an achievement and the end, the pitch invasion, the unadulterated joy. The pride. Roland and his evil ownership not even the slightest regard.
It had been a long and nervy day, I didn’t sleep well, but we had the start that we had all hoped for. Bielik heading in a 2 minute free-kick. Game over. Oh no, nowhere near.
Doncaster dominated after that. The lip and acerbity aside, they are a good side, a footballing team, with goals in them. And I became increasingly worried as the game progressed. Our passing more sloppy, potential match winners Aribo, Cullen, Sarr, Taylor, Bielik unable to spur us on despite tremendous noise raining down from the stands.
Yet, we had reached the 88th minute and the end was in sight, but we couldn’t hang on as Rovers scored yet another late goal against us. Extra time and we looked spent.
Nonetheless we started the first half of extra time like we started the match an hour and a half before. Then quickly Doncaster broke and an unmarked Marquis headed in. Suddenly we were behind. But not beaten. Darren Pratley on at half-time and literally everywhere equalized almost immediately.
There was no keeping the boys in red and white down. It was always going to be penalties and when Rowe put their 5th penalty wide Addicks everywhere danced for joy and I could watch videos of those lucky Addicks streaming onto the pitch like a tide of red for absolutely ever. Allez, Allez, Allez.
More thoughts tomorrow.
Addicks at The Valley: Doctor Kish; Albury Addick;
Bow: “I was okay with the shootout because you can’t control that. It’s just the luck of the draw.”
Elsewhere: In a scrappy and tetchy game on the south coast it ended goalless on Thursday night meaning Sunderland go through winning 1-0 on aggregate.
What a night! One side note was the police intervention to rule out penalties being taken at the Jimmy Seed end on safety grounds. Never witnessed this before. Is there an official law stating you can’t take penalties at an end containing two sets of fans or were the coppers just Charlton fans… I guess it’s irrelevant now “Wem-ber-ley”!
I think you summed up all i felt and went through CA with one big difference. I could at least do something for 120 minutes, just keep singing. You had to just sit there, which is just so tortuous. Odd thing was time simply had no meaning when you were locked in the Valley for those 4 hours. The only time that meant something was that poxy one by the Jimmy Seed which was so so slow. When we came out it could have been mid day or mid night. I hope that next weekend will be a little easier, but I doubt it
A real rollercoaster of an evening…when Bielik headed in I could feel the North Upper shake under my feet. All we had to do at that point was play sensibly, maintain the momentum and keep pressing but instead bit by bit we fell apart. Donny are not a bad side – they made the playoffs after all but we allowed them to get back into a match when the door should have firmly shut and locked. Bauer allowed Butler to get goal side and the non-marking on Marquis was like he was invisible or something. Nevermind it worked out in the end, it wouldn’t be Charlton if we made it easy for ourselves and the pitch invasion at the end though was something that will become a Charlton I was there legend, even if I was not on the pitch.
I am so glad we managed to scrape through in the end because we were only the best team for part of the games Doncaster were on top for most of the game at the Valley. Their manager out thought Bowyer in the second game their pressing tactics stifled us. The critical factor in the end was their goalkeeper should have prevented Aribo’s goal at Doncaster and Pratley’s goal at the Valley. Thank you Dillon!! you proved once again you are worthy of the 1st team jersey. Lapslie again disregarded this time for Williams who was ineffective.
The game at Wembley will be difficult as Sunderland will adopt similar tactics but they have a good goalkeeper.