Hartlepool United 2 Charlton Athletic 2 (5-4 on pens)
I hadn’t had previously bothered with the Pizza 🍕 Trophy but in recent days the pepperoni started to stir and we could all see that arch in the close distance, but another collapse at the quarter final hurdle. We can’t even beat League Two opposition to make our first semi-final for 37 years.
It’s not losing in the Cup though, and we’d probably have fallen in the semi anyway, but it was the performance. It was woeful, truly woeful. Those poor 300 Addicks that made the over 500-mile round trip on a Tuesday January night deserve an apology.
There was enough first-teamers and senior pros in that line-up to win the game. Hartlepool are 16th in League Two, and thoroughly deserved to win. They outplayed and outfought us. They were technically and tactically better and ran us ragged and peppered our goal all night. And they rested some players!
We were even 2-1 up thanks to Burstow and Gilbey, the 2nd half should have been managed by players of the experience of Pearce, Watson, Matthews and Gilbey. Yet, we were appalling.
Some, many of those players showed us their true level and commitment tonight. Heaven help us if we have another summer clear-out, but it is what is needed. There is nothing to believe in amongst this lot.
So season over, although there is still the real possibility of a relegation battle. Oh joy.
Final word to those that went. They don’t deserve you. Safe journey home 🔴⚪️