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Saboteur

01 February 2012

Charlton 1 Bury 1

What a disappointing game! In the first half, Charlton looked a bit shell-shocked, and there was no clear pattern to their game. But in added time, Dale Stephens scored a super goal - a scorching shot from about 25 yards out that flashed through a crowded penalty area - that restored the fans' spirits a bit. This was a game everyone expected Charlton to win and it looked like they would.

In the second half you could see that the goal had given the team confidence, and they played some of the best football we've seen for a while - passing the ball smartly and creatively. But there weren't many real chances, and those that came along tended to be blasted high and wide. You felt that the team believed that if they just kept playing like this, more goals would come. Perhaps there was a certain smugness to their play. With just three minutes left, Bury grabbed an equaliser in a swift passing move that left John-Lewis in a one-on-one partnership with Charlton's keeper, who should have saved the shot, but just grabbed two handfuls of air about this far from where the ball now was. A smallish crowd of Charlton fans grumbled away into the bitterly cold night, while the tiny band of Bury supporters, hardy northern types, celebrated jubilantly.

Actually, it wasn't like that. That's what happens when you let the ghost of J B Priestly guest-write a blog post. Him and his experiments with time. You see what he's done there? He's imagined how the game would have felt if the two halves had happened the other way round. Same result, totally different emotions.

In fact it felt like a kind of triumph to grab a point in the end, in a game that everybody expected Charlton to win. Above all, the importance of not losing was what we cherished after the match. This is a team that doesn't give up. And with MKDons and Sheffield Wednesday drawing, the position at the top of the table improved: 10 points clear now.

Why not look at those goals (bizarrely shown in the correct order)?

and here's the club website report.

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