Last night I was in London's fashionable Borough area of London, there to meet Mr P Myland and assorted related chums for a second attempt at seeing the "mighty" Peterborough United play Charlton.
Our first attempt had been back in October, but the game was postponed so Mileage and I ended up spending most of the day at the Indie Daze all-dayer instead. There were to be no such distractions this time, and after a couple of pints and Generalised Chit Chat we got the train to Charlton and rolled up at The Valley with mere minutes to spare. Perfect!
If only the actual game of football had been so meticulously planned and organised. A lot of it was, I must admit, SURPRSINGLY good fun - I had gone expecting RUBBISH and so was DELIGHTED to witness several moments of PROPER FOOTBALL being played, like the sort of thing you see on telly. I was not alone in my surprise and delight, as all around me people leapt up and down with GLEE to see PASSES being made correctly and indeed GOALS being scored. it was all rather exciting, with us WINNING (winning!) 2-0 at half-time. The second half carried on in much the same vein, to the extent that everybody got a bit COLD because every time we stood up for an exciting bit our seats got cold (it was RIGHT CHILLY). With just 13 minutes of play left Mr Myland turned and was ABOUT TO SAY (I learned later) "I bet you weren't expecting to see us win two nil!" but then STOPPED himself, not wishing to tempt fate.
ALAS his self-control was all for NAUGHT as in the 91st minute Charlton scored from A Hotly Disputed Penalty. Now, I am by no means a TECHNICAL EXPERT when it comes to The Football, and am in fact one of those people who gasps in AWE at the DIAGRAMS what they do during Match Of The Day, AMAZED that it goes beyond just Hoofing The Ball About, but even I know that what you do at this point is bring on substitutes one by one to ERODE the remaining time. Our manager DID do this, but for some reason decided to bring on TWO players at the same time when the clock had been stopped anyway. When I related this tale to The Players In My Team this morning she said "So he brought on two defensive players?" She is better at The Tactics than me, but again, even I knew that that's what you're meant to do. HOWEVER what he did was bring on Ricky Miller, a player who a) is a striker who we got from non-league Dover b) hasn't scored yet all season and c) is not exactly even-tempered e.g. he has recently been in court for HITTING A POLICEMAN.
Needless to say he proceeded to run down the pitch and instead of going to the corner (like everyone was shouting at him to do, it is almost as if players don't LISTEN to the sensible advice provided by the supporters) had a SHOT at goal, made a complete MESS of it, and thus allowed Charlton to run down the other end and score an equaliser IN THE LAST MINUTE OF EXTRA TIME!!!
The final whistle blew seconds later and it was a DISGRUNTLED bunch of travelling Fenlanders who made their way home. In the LOO on the way out it was like the After Show at The Grand National, as approx 30 middle-aged men made the same WHINNYING noises to each other to express their discontent. Flipping heck! Flipping ruddy HECK!
When we reached the station the Charlton fans gathered on the opposing platform attempted to TAUNT us by singing "You messed* it up at 2-0" (*they didn't sing "messed") but to be honest this was an ENTIRELY FAIR ASSESSMENT. Flipping heck, I say - FLIPPING HECK*!!