Sunday, 17 April 2011

22 Years On

Normally I would write about Charlton Athletic but, for a change, I'm writing about something that affects my adopted city of Liverpool. It doesn't matter which team you support, or even if you don't, the Hillsborough Disaster affects the whole city.

Pretty much everyone knows that on 15th May 1989 Liverpool played Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup semi final and, for reasons which may be made clear in the future, gates were opened, fans streamed in and 96 fans lost their lives and countless more were injured. At 3:06 that afternoon the game was stopped. To late to help those trapped at the front, early enough to save more lives. The footage is still haunting to this day.

This weekend has got me thinking. Rightly a lot is said about those who died and the families who want answers, but what about those fans at the back? They were the ones blamed by the press and the government of the day. And I wonder how many of those wake up on a regular basis feeling guilty about what happened? How do you go about your life knowing that you were part of that? Unfortunately we will probably never know.

RIP 96

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

First One Up

Brighton and Hove Albion became the first team to be promoted from League One this season, and well deserved it is too. In Gus Poyet they have a young, ambitious manager who, if Brighton don't get there, will most certainly end up managing a Premiership team within the next few years. They will also have a new purpose built ground and I'm sure every Brighton fan is eagerly awaiting the first game at the new stadium. 

I hope that Gus Poyet gets some funds to strengthen the team and that they are reasonably successful next season. After the last few years Brighton fans deserve to have a few good times. And I guess it would make it even sweeter for them if a certain South London club were to be relegated to League One.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

A Point Gained

A point today at Oldham. A point when so many, including me wanted three. And it was a point gained after Christian Dailly was sent off in the 34th minute for retaliation. It was a high boot by Rueben Reid but also disappointing that Dailly retaliated. This meant that Therry Racon was sacrificed to bring Jon Fortune on.

Now as I don't see Charlton very often I have to rely on those on Twitter and the website to tell me how the players are doing. So these are the players who stood out for me:

John Sullivan - kept a clean sheet and looked more than capable. Thought he dealt well with everything thrown at him and apart from one ball across the area I didn't think Oldham would beat him. My Man of the Match.

Chris Solly - first time I've seen this young man and was pleasantly surprised. He's got a lot to learn but kept his shape with the back four and didn't appear to be worried about anything thrown at him. Definitely one for the future!

Jose Semedo - Lost his partner in crime in Therry Racon when Dailly was sent off, but that didn't deter him. He bossed the midfield and made runs to support Wright-Phillips and Benson as well as being his usual tough tackling self.

Michael Stewart - I was impressed by Michael and hope we can sign him permanently. Although he was set for centre midfield, he seemed happy enough to play wide. Looked determined.

Scott Wagstaff - I'm a big Waggy fan and he didn't disappoint today. Started off on the right wing, but moved across to the left when required. Helped Chris Solly out when needed.

Paul Benson - I reckon Benno covered virtually every blade of grass today. Ran non-stop and linked up well with Bradley Wright-Phillips. Good to see him back in the team and he got more service than last time I saw him! 

One last note: a person highlight for me today was getting to meet the very lovely Sue Gallop, known to her friends on Twitter as @suzysue8. 

Saturday, 2 April 2011

41 years and Counting

This weekend sees the anniversary of my first match at the Valley way back in 1969. Unfortunately I was unable to make the match at The Valley today, but the Reds are back to being mighty with a cracking 3-1 win over Leyton Orient. From what I gathered from fellow fans on Twitter the first half wasn't much to write home about. However the second half was a different matter with goals from Paul Benson, Bradley Wright-Phillips and Jose Semedo. I'm looking forward to seeing Bradley's goal as it sounds like a real comedy effort. 

Now while the Leyton Orient match was on I was happily walking along the bank of the Mersey as part of my new fitness routine. As I'm walking along I suddenly starting sing "Benno! Benno!" to myself. No reason for it, but it was there.
 A little while later the song in my head changes to "He's better than Shaun, he's better than Shaauuun....." Again, no reason for it. And that was it. I had this thought that we'd won and they had scored. So I finish my walk, get home, checked Twitter and lo and behold, not only had we won BUT Benson and Wright-Phillips had scored! Unfortunately I had not thought of Semedo scoring - probably given his previous history of scoring for the Addicks.

I'm happy with the 3 points and hope we can repeat the result next weekend at Oldham. Talking of Oldham, it's close enough for me to get to the game with ease. So next Saturday I will be in with the Charlton fans singing and shouting. I'll also be taking my husband, so anyone who hears a scouser in the away end don't worry -he's with me!