'Thou shalt not leave the match early...'
With no Charlton fixture on Saturday my son and me took the opportunity to go and watch our local side, Bishop's Stortford. Fellow relegation threatened Farnborough were the visitors. Stortford huffed and puffed but it was a woeful performance and a minute into stoppage time and with 'The Blues' trailing 2-0 I said to my boy (who's nose had gone blue in the cold) "come on, let's head home". He never argued and feeling despondent we trudged off alongside others who decided they'd seen enough. As soon as I got home I decided to check the league table only to discover goals in the 3rd and 4th minute of stoppage time had given The Blues a most unlikely point! In reality, I doubt I'd even gone 100 yards down the road and by that time I'd missed the most dramatic end imaginable.
I sat on my bed shaking my head wondering how I was going to break the news to my son! What an amazing game football can be!
|Allez Les Bleus! Image by @RedneckNath|
I've got previous with this, so you'd have thought I'd learn my lesson. Those with a better memory might recall Charlton's clash with Norwich at the Valley in February '97, when, with just a couple of minutes of normal time left plus stoppage and the Addicks trailing 4-2 I decided to beat the traffic and left early. As always, as soon as I jumped in my car I turned on the radio to get the classified check, only to hear James Alexander Gordon dropping the bombshell that two late, late goals from Jason Lee and the legend that is Carl Leaburn had given us a most unlikely 4-4 draw! I remember having to pretend to my mates that I saw the drama unfold as I was too embarrassed to admit the truth!
I guess both games drew a bittersweet feeling from me: gutted to have missed the drama and the euphoria of the moment, but ultimately immensely pleased that the goals came none-the-less, especially for my home-town club as they are teetering on the edge of the trap door in the Conference South and that point could well prove the difference between survival and relegation.