Monday, January 09, 2006

O's a Lucky Boy!

Charlton were drawn at home to Leyton Orient in the fourth round of this seasons FA Cup earlier today.

I remember two previous cup ties against The O's - one a dire 1-0 defeat at Brisbane Road in 1982, where Ian Moores scored the only goal of the game. Moores was a true enigma - he had a reasonable career, playing for Spurs in the season they got promoted (1977/8 I think), but he did have the habit of playing some truelly awful matches, and missed many a good chance, including several when we beat Spurs 4-1 that season. Of course, on that FA Cup day, he scored - I seem to remember he rose to meet a corner at the far post early in the second half and seal the win. Mervyn Day was in goal for Orient that match, and two other players with Charlton connections - Tommy Taylor and Nigel Gray also played.

The other tie was a two-legged League Cup affair in 1990 played at a near empty (well, under 4000 crowd) Selhurst Park. Charlton went two-nil down late in the first half, only to get one back in injury time - Gordon Watson the scorer. Scott Minto equalised late in the game, although I don't remember that goal, rare though Scottie's were. The second leg at Brisbane Road was equally dramatic, with ref Alf Buksh awarding a dodgy penalty to Orient well into injury time. The feeling was he didn't fancy another thirty minutes running around, so gave a handball against Darren Pitcher in order to get home early! Charlton "legend" Kenny Achampong, who had played for us a few times the previous couple of seasons played in both the Orient teams that we met. He did have a great song sung to him - "Kenny Ach-am-pong, Ooom bie ahhh! Kenny Ach-am-pong, Ooom bie arrrr!" etc - one of my all time favourites!

So Charlton meet another lower league team at home, and another upset could be on the cards. As fans, we worry hugely whenever we get drawn against lower league teams, but the reality is that we beat most of them eventually (OK, let's forget Walsall twice), however tough we seem to make it. I'd much rather have Orient at home than Villa or Boro (or similar) away...

Counting chickens, and I am very aware that that is not a good thing to do, I would be very happy to meet the winner of six of the other ties (home or away) in the fifth round, which is a 40% chance of a favourable draw. There you go, once in the quarter-finals anything can happen!

My dream is that Charlton do get to the final this season, and Luke Young (left) may well get an opportunity to lift the Cup, but you know what will happen - Wembley won't be finished and we'll therefore have to jump the train down to Welsh Wales for a Cardff FA Cup final.

"Disappointment always in my dreams" as someone once sang...

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