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Saboteur

03 April 2016

Charlton 2 Birmingham 1

A comeback from a goal down, an injury-time winner, and all the fun of another brilliant protest made this the most enjoyable day at the Valley for a long time.

I had heard that people were being searched and having their balls seized on entry, but that ownership tactic worked about as well as the appointment of Karel Fraeye. No sooner had the game started than the pitch, particularly the penalty area in front of the covered end, was covered in the things and three sides of the ground were chanting for Roland out.

Oh, it's just those negative individuals who want to see the club fail, Katrien might have been thinking. But once again a strong and vocal protest was followed by a strong and committed performance from the team. You could tell things were different from Birmingham's first corner. Surely by now everyone knows how to take a corner against Charlton? Not Birmingham. A stupidly elaborate play quickly lost the ball and led to a Charlton attack.

It was slightly against the run of play for Birmingham to score first, but the result of familiarly bad defending. Probably everyone feared a collapse, but within six minutes Johan had scored the equaliser, setting up a rather exciting second half.

Both sides went for it, but Charlton - supported loudly - finally got the goal and a deserved three points.

The win was celebrated joyously. It may not be enough, but it was a rare moment of exhilaration in this terrible season.

But Charlton are still six points plus goal difference off safety, with seven games to go. Just imagine what this season might have been if Karel Fraeye had never been allowed near the team. I go on about it, I know, but that appointment was a truly terrible decision. The kind of decision that Roland will continue to make as long as he's in charge. So we mustn't ease the pressure. Eventually, he's got to realise he's not welcome and has to go.

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