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21 August 2011

Charlton 2 Scunthorpe 2

The last couple of years I haven't really been paying much attention to football. I would turn up to the Valley on a roughly fortnightly basis, watch the game, go home, write a blogpost, have a drink, forget, forget, forget. It was nice. I didn't have to put up with Match of the Day or the Football League Show. I almost forgot who Steve Claridge was.

As a result, I didn't know that Scunthorpe had just been relegated from the Second Division. How can that be? Not the relegation, but how did they ever reach those heights? Their results so far this season seemed mediocre, while Charlton had been imperious. So how could anything go wrong? I predicted a 4-0 win on www.charltonpredictor.com.

Turns out Scunny were much better than I'd expected. It was one of those times when I wished I could be the famous "neutral observer" - it was a cracking match, with both teams playing a nice passing game, and chances happening at both ends. The result was fair, even if you could (of course) point to a few mistakes by the referee: he got completely conned at one point by a Scunthorpe dive, and added 5 minutes of injury time to a game where there was only one time the physio was on the pitch. It didn't make a difference: the final goal was scored in legitimate added time, and the game was so open and evenly balanced it could have gone either way.

The most shameful incident was when Charlton got a corner with five minutes to go, and, at 2-1 up, decided to play it short, presumably intending to hold the ball there for the rest of the match. They managed it for about 20 seconds. For that alone, they deserved to forfeit a goal.

So, an odd feeling after the game. Disappointment that Charlton couldn't hold onto the lead, but no sense of injustice.

I've started watching Match of the Day and the Football League Show again, and I've remembered who Steve Claridge is. He's the man who was sacked as Millwall manager without leading them into a single competitive game. He must be worth listening to.

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