Friday, 18 April 2014

What goes around....

I am not looking forward to this afternoon's Good Friday encounter with Bolton Wanderers. I am fearing a footballing repeat of Tuesday evening which hurt my eyes. I also have a long memory and have been thinking all week about the end of season match against the Trotters in 1983. 

There has been talk amongst Charlton fans of gaining revenge over Blackpool for the relegation thumping we suffered at their hands in the last match of 1972 which sent us into the Third Division for the first time since the War. As our fortunes have waned, there is a threat that the revenge could turn into a repeat performance. With that in mind, revenge may well be on the mind of the travelling Wanderers this afternoon. 

The older amongst them will remember their last match of the season in 1983 when they came to the Valley looking for the three points that would have kept them in the Second Division. Charlton also needed the points to avoid the drop and after 60 minute of nail-biting affair, Bolton took the lead. There was a terrible feeling of dread that day for seven minutes before the man, for whom it was always personal, levelled it up. Derek "Killer" Hales did what he always did and three minutes later Doyle brought him down in the box and he stepped up to send Bolton down. I remember the pitch invasion after the match and the taunting of the Wanderers fans behind the fence in the Jimmy Seed. They had been singing that we were going down after taking the lead and now we bellowed it at them. I remember seeing several of the younger ones in tears and  wonder whether they will be visiting today. If they are here they may well enjoy this match more than fans from a mid-table side ought to.

For our part, Jose Riga needs to ensure he sends out his best eleven today and we will need full commitment to get a result. Harriott has to be rested for the good of his sanity. I am pleased Marvin Sordell is match-tied. That may also work in our favour. I'd also proffer that a draw is almost worthless today and that we must go for the three points. There are a finite number of opportunities left and we have to win a number of games to ensure safety. Draws won't do it.

I am also wondering whether the folly of leaving so many players on expiring contracts may be about to bite. Professionals like Morrison and Wilson have battled on but they can't be blamed if in the final matches their heads are elsewhere. Their agents must be busy talking to other clubs to secure their employment beyond June. If you know you are on your way and you go a goal down, it's not going to affect you nearly as much as those Bolton fans with tears in their eyes for whom, like Killer, it was personal.

1 comment:

Red Face said...

This is not the last game of the season of course and 4 points from the next 2 games will keep us right in it.
Agree, we must play our strongest side but its about picking up points in whatever form or fashion.
I thought Wilson had another year on his contract?