03 May 2009

Charlton 4 Norwich 2

So at least we took someone down with us, and two unfamiliar emotions were aroused. First: sympathy for another set of fans. The Naarj fans were terrific. They'd sold out their allocation and a few undercover canaries were in the west stand among us. For about 10 minutes they were strongly behind the team - responding at last to Delia's 'let's be having you!'. And word clearly went round that Barnsley were losing and the shouts got louder before Charlton's first goal silenced them. By half time Charlton were 3-0 up. Just after halftime should have happened, Norwich got a goal back from a corner, defended in the way that Charlton have built into a trend this season. Second half saw Charlton mentally sitting around the pool after the 3 goal lead had been re-established (Deon Burton getting an implausible hat trick), and a better team than Norwich would have taken advantage. Fortunately, Norwich were only as good as Norwich. The haunted look on the canaries' faces among us was like a mirror.

Second unfamiliar emotion: joy. We'd taken a three goal lead and against all the odds, won. It was probably a very important result for the club, financially. It must have made a few waverers (me included) decide to let hope triumph over experience and renew the season ticket.

Norwich were bookies' favourites to win today, on the basis that when a team really really needs to win they can play better than they've given any evidence of doing all season. So forty quid on Charlton at 5/2 puts a profit of £100 in my betfair account.

All in all, a good day. Now I need something else to blog about. If not, catch up in August.

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