Sunday 22 November 2009

Yeovil Town 1 v Charlton Athletic 1

This was an away-day that will live long in the memory of Charlton fans. The sending off of Sam Sodje for a professional foul before the break and the fact that his brother Akpo scored a screaming equaliser and did everything but win the game single-handedly will be forgotten over time but the atrocious wind and rain will not.

To be fair, it had been forecast and we knew what we were in for. Having said that, when we tumbled off the train at 10.30am, it was not raining and there was no wind. I felt over-dressed in my full Berghaus outfit and began to regret the acres of fleece and goretex as we got comfy in the first pub, a depressing chain house relatively close to the ground. They had forgotten to tap the cask ale the night before, so at least one of our party was not happy and we had to taxi it back into Yeovil before Midday. That proved to be the best decision of the day because we found a real pub that ticked all the boxes.

As 3pm approached we arrived at the ground but by now it was raining heavily and the wind was up. Time for a quick one with dozens of familiar faces in the Yeovil marquee which was shuddering and creaking in the gale. As we took our places on the terraces it was a sea of hoods tightly drawn around grimacing faces. This looked a lot worse than the Portsmouth, West Brom and Swindon of yore, and it was.

The game itself was, not surprisingly, a mess. Yeovil must have won the toss because we had to play into the storm. Football was virtually impossible as the conditions made it a complete lottery and a struggle to watch. Carl Ikeme's goal-kick attempts summed things up perfectly. The ball was boomeranging out up and around before coming back at him. Yeovil did at least do their best to capitalise and Charlton were wounded before the break as Sam Sodje was left with little opportunity but to commit a professional foul outside the area and he had to see red for it.

Yeovil duly took the lead before half-time when Spurs-loanee, Okiba, broke free to beat Ikeme and all of a sudden the second period looked daunting. The weather of course, came to our aid second-half and a re-jigged Charlton side playing Llera at the back and Akpo Sodje upfront took the game to the hosts and fully deserved the draw if not the win.

The feel-good factor on the train back to the Smoke was palpable. In addition to the drink purchased to celebrate, there were plenty of people in new clothes, bought at Asda after the game to replace their sodden ones. The £4 jeans seemed to go down particularly well. I am just pleased that the Berghaus get-up did it's job and I didn't have to do the same.

All-in-all, it was a good result. With MK Dons getting beaten at Southend on Friday night, Colchester losing a two goal lead to draw at Oldham and Millwall losing at home to bottom-placed Wycombe, we reamin in second place, three points clear. I think we can be confident of getting stuck into Bristol Rovers on Tuesday and if Akpo Sodje is as determined as he was against Yeovil, then he might show Chris Dickson how it's done in a red shirt.

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