30 April 2014

Charlton 3 Watford 1

Thank goodness that's over! The season, I mean. The game was terrific entertainment and for once I could have watched more. Watford were surprisingly competitive (by which I mean violent) given their league position, but Charlton finally put together a decent, full-length performance and thoroughly deserved the win.

It was especially good to see Callum Harriot get two goals. He's been so unfairly scapegoated this season by some individuals that you sometimes had to wonder if it would affect his confidence. But he doesn't seem to lack that commodity at all (by which I mean he's cocky) and he got a standing ovation when he was taken off with about five minutes to go - presumably the substitution was made precisely so that he got that ovation.

And once again Johnnie Jackson scored a vital goal at exactly the right time. Watford's equaliser - a rather lovely goal itself - might have a trigger for the kind of collapse we've often seen, but Jackson seemed to use sheer willpower to get the ball across the line.

After the game Jose Riga probably won over any doubters with a simple and moving speech, while Jackson embedded himself deeper into Charlton folklore with his few words. He specifically thanked the crowd for not getting on the team's back during bad performances. And it's true that the support has been exceptional even during the worst times. There has been a real connection between the fans and the team. Comparing this to the Pardew times, it's been clear this season that, to use a tarnished phrase, we're all in this together.

The past is awful, the future is doubtful, but last night was a time to live in the beautiful, glorious present.

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