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06 October 2009

Charlton 4 Barnet 1

Charlton's PR team did their best, selling this as a historic match, the first time Charlton have played in the Johnstones Paint Trophy, but it didn't really work. Less than 5000 turned up, including a small but noisy band of Barnet brothers, who kept singing till the end, to their enormous credit. And their team wasn't bad. They took the lead after 12 minutes and it seemed that Charlton's inability to do anything in any cup was present again. The team was quite experimental, and you could see there wasn't the understanding between players that was so marked in the early games of the season. Anyway, we prevailed, and while the scoreline is flattering, the win was well-deserved. As always, other blogs will give a more detailed report of the game.

I specialise in mood and atmosphere, and I found the game hard to follow simply because I was sitting in a different position from usual - still in the West Stand but close to the south end. The PA is barely audible there, there was really bad internet reception on my phone, and a group of North Stand refugees behind us were chanting throughout the match with their usual lack of wit (but with admirable stamina).

But the benefits of a small crowd became apparent after the match. I'd driven, for the first time in ages, and parked easily reasonably close to the ground. And lack of traffic meant I was home half an hour after the final whistle. Let's not get promoted, huh?

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