Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Once more into the Lion's Den

Depending on you point-of-view, the most anticipated or most dreaded fixture of the season is upon us. On 'Good' Friday we travel slightly further as the crow flies than Upton Park to play our south-east London rivals Millwall.

We all know the history of this appallingly one-sided fixture. Every time we play them our hopes rise. If we are in the ascendency, as now, there is usually a swagger that 'this will be the year.' Ironically, if we aren't playing well and carrying injuries, there is also hope that we have nothing to lose and invariably we do whatever the form of the respective sides.

I missed the fixture last season because of the 6 Nations but this year I have no excuse. I was going to go, rather reluctantly but did not prioritise getting tickets and was surprised when we sold out so quickly and when we didn't get any more. If I am honest, I am not too bothered as it isn't a fixture I look forward to because of the number of times we have had to suffer there and because it's never a great day out - drinking locally is a no-no and wherever else you find a watering hole there's always the threat of trouble you don't want. 

In the last few seasons, some of our more deluded supporters think it's time to start mixing it with Millwall and are trying to turn it into an opportunity to wind the mindless majority up and then have fight-night across south-east London. That's not making it an easier match to attend and whilst I welcome the spirit, I think it's pretty short-sighted and likely to end fairly predictably at some point. 

Anyway, I was pleased to hear of a beam back and would much rather watch the game locally for £8, enjoy a relaxed pre-match drink and be free to leave for home at any point during the 90 minutes if I feel like it. I will be at the Valley then for the game. 

Form, of course, suggests we should record our twelfth win from seventy matches and the prospect of pushing Millwall a huge step nearer league One would added a certain sparkle to the result but this should be one of a number of D-Days for them and I expect them to come out fighting. This is one of those where the first goal could be decisive. If we get it their heads could go down and the crowd could get on their backs. If they get it the volume will lift and ours may think about the Valley on Tuesday evening or their plans for the Summer.


Bazza said...

Dave - Pretty much sums up my feelings about the real South London Derby and one that I too was too slow to get a ticket for this year. I hope the players are up for this game and give the 2000 away fans something to be proud of that will merit the 30 minute lock in after the game.
I have also missed out on tickets for the beam back so cant even take that option but my heart will be there.
Let us hope it will be a win for the Addicks and that the locals behave themselves

ThamesmeadIrons said...

Boleyn Ground!

Dave said...

ThamesmeadIrons - I thought that was the pub on the corner where you all watched the game on a dodgy feed?

Dave said...

Yes, the first goal proved decisive. It spurred Millwall on to score twice.....