Chants of "you're not fit to wear the shirt" confirmed that the game was up for City and all interest in affairs at Home Park evapourated. A small group of City fans were escourted from the East Stand before half-time when they realised there was no point in enduring any more. Norwich did manage to pull one back before the break when Alan Lee finally got a header to attack. Kelly Youga had been shifted into central defence earlier after Darren Ward had been stretchered off having landed on top of Youga's and underneath Alan Lee's not inconsiderable frame. Youga was an obvious weak aerial link and Lee managed three good second-half headers but it was always going to be too little too late.
Charlton extended their advantage soon after the restart when Lloyd Sam roared past the full-back and drove his low cross into the path of the back-stretching Burton who managed to get enough of a touch to score his hat-trick. Sammy Clingan netted an excellent free-kick in front of the Norwich fans but that was pretty much it. You felt Charlton could have got six or seven after going 4-1 up with 40 minutes to play but they lost interest in attacking after Norwich had made it 4-2.
It was a memorable day for Chris Solly, who made his debut for the injured Ward and, for my money, was the man of the match if you didn't have to give it to Burton. He looked solid at the back, was quick to attack and showed no fear or inexperience. Scott Wagstaffe and Tamar Tuna also got on before the finish and all three are likely to feature next season.
The official attendance was 22, 020 and I had hoped there might actually be something approaching that number in the stadium for the last game. Unfortunately, the vast gaps in the home seating was as bad, if not worse, than in recent matches; we really have driven some of our fans away and it will take a sustained promotion campiagn to get them coming again. In the short-term they are the thousands who will not be renewing their season tickets.
No big annoucement either of the rumoured takeover. Hopefully news for another day.
After the game we enjoyed an end-of-season drink at the Anchor in Hope on the riverfront where there were a number of old faces I first got to know during the 80-81 season. The talk was of next season and how much better it might be than the dross of the last few years. Let us hope.