27 November 2013

Charlton 2 Doncaster 0

There weren't many of them, but the Doncaster fans who made the trip to London last night must surely hate the place more than they ever did. First, of course, it was a trip they shouldn't have had to make. As we've seen again recently, there's something badly wrong with the pitch drainage at the Valley, by which I mean there doesn't appear to be any. The pitch is looking in bad condition already even after a fairly dry period and by February it is likely to resemble the famous Chelsea Beach.

Then the combined farces of Southeastern Trains and Network Rail treated the travelling fans to an exact and accurate version of the London Commuter Experience, with London Bridge station closed for a couple of hours before the game. People were still arriving at the match at half time. Actually, there probably were loads of Doncaster fans who got no further than London Bridge, but took themselves to a pub where they could moan happily about pissy southern beer and London prices.

But the few who made it then had a pretty miserable display to watch. It's hard to say if Charlton were as good as some people thought, because Doncaster didn't offer much. Ben Alnwick, making an unexpected debut in goal after an injury to Ben Hamer in the warm-up, was almost not needed, but looked fine when he was.

In total contrast to the rained-off game, Charlton were in total control for the whole match and only some sloppy finishing prevented a big lead by half-time. But the first goal was worth waiting for. This youtube clip will probably not last long, so see it while you can.

The second half was similar, and after Charlton's second goal - Church finally converting - the team put their feet up on the mantlepiece and smoked a meditative pipe.As did I.

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