Sunday, April 29, 2007

And so, the end is near…

Blackburn Rovers 4 Charlton Athletic 1

Reflections and thoughts on yesterday…

I was proud to see the directors checking in at Gatwick alongside the fans who were on the same flight. How many other clubs would that have occurred at?

The Monarch Airlines cabin staff were very efficient.

The take off at Gatwick was a little bit hairy!

Did the pilot really try to give the left hand side of the plane a view of the Valley (albeit twenty miles away)?

Flying slowly over Luton, Coventry, Stoke, and The Wirral. Coming into land over the Mersey…

The amount of police waiting for us at the airport! Luckily, they didn’t seem too bothered once they’d seen the passengers.

Why did people complain at having to walk 300 yards to the coaches at John Lennon Airport?

Why did people moan when we were held for five minutes on the edge of town while other coaches caught up? We were lucky that the police didn’t insist we couldn’t get to the ground before two pm as they usually instruct!

The Fernhurst did a sterling job in catering (booze-wise) for several thousand thirsty fans.

It was too packed for me (and knowing how many more fans were to arrive), so I headed for the Bear Hotel up the hill; for some reason, they were not expecting anyone, so the hundred plus fans who drank there watching the lunchtime football match on TV really made their day!

Leaving the bar with Manyoo 2-0 down; why can’t we score four goals in the last half hour to win?

Being remembered as one of “The Blackburn 12” by Paul Winton…

The meat and potato (or potato and meat as they call them up there…) pies were lovely!

The crowd were fantastic; even better than last year against Middlesboro, and better than the glory-hunters who went to Forest a few years back on freebies.

Who was the blonde woman on the pitch introduced to the crowd beforehand? Growllll…

When the teams walked out, the response from the Darwen End was tremendous and breath-taking.

The tickertape welcome...

Thinking Blackburn missed far too many chances that they should have scored from, and that the game had no chance of finishing scoreless...

Thatcher was booked for a late tackle, though he didn’t actually seem to touch the guy…intent anyone?

How long does it take Marcus Bent to go in a game before he starts to hold his hamstring? Answer - slightly more than a fitness test session obviously!
The ball was changed after half an hour; prior to that, it seemed to be made of lead, as both teams (and mainly our defence) seemed to have trouble kicking it more than twenty yards!

Why did Luke Young go off for thirty seconds and sit on the bench?

At half-time, we could still do it; although they had the better of the half, Charlton finished the stronger, and looked to have settled. A win was not impossible at that stage…

Matt Holland should have shot across Freidel when he had the chance early in the second half; he probably wouldn’t have scored, but at least he wouldn’t have been slagged off on MOTD for aiming at the near post (and hitting the side netting). Holland provided a good balance in the game, and was possibly our MOM.

What, apart from the customary shirt holding, was Hermann appealing for (left) when he let Roberts turn and run away from him prior to his shot?

Carson’s fumbling Roberts subsequent shot into the corner of the net; I don’t know who was more surprised – 6000 Charlton fans wondering what had happened, or 18000 Blackburn fans who didn’t expect him to score!

Thatcher getting mugged into a late tackle and getting sent off. The ref seemed to be happy with just the foul, but the rigorous flag waving from the lino suggested a foul worse than it was, so no surprise the cards followed. On TV, the forward actually falls over Thatcher’s leg, and he doesn’t even kick him…who’s the mug now Ben?

What did Warnock think he was doing heading the ball back toward his own goal? Dazza did great to finish the chance, which wasn’t as easy as it may have looked.

The euphoria that surrounded that goal – false hope, false optimism.

The shock of conceding just a couple of minutes later – having seen the goal on TV, El Karkouri deflected the cross onto Hermann’s thigh, and he had no chance.

Carson diving over the ball for Robert’s second goal, just minutes later. The real killer…

Carson thumping the ball straight upfield to a Blackburn defender, who’s header went to unmarked Derbyshire, and he finished clinically. He looks like he may be a very good player in a couple of years time…

El Kak wandering (limping) off injured to leave us with just nine players for the last ten minutes.
Dazza heading against the bar in injury time from an excellent Rommedahl cross…
The final whistle...

One fan chucking his Operation Ewood t-shirt off the top tier into oblivion (I doubt anyone picked it up and took it home as a souvenir…).

The chaos trying to find the right coach to get on afterwards! (Well done stewards!)

The chant that went up in the bar at Liverpool airport when a barman dropped a glass – “Are you Carson in disguise?”

Being ushered out of the airside bar on the promise that the last plane was going to leave early - it didn’t!

The man berating his wife for not noticing that they should have been on the first flight out, as she thought it was gate 5 which wasn’t boarding yet, when he was equally responsible! Luckily, they were fitted onto the last flight, as it had about twenty empty seats.

A quicker flight home in the twilight.

The directors asking my wife where the car parks were on exiting Gatwick…

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Well done mate You deserved a better result and you dont sound all bitter and twisted about Blackburn, not like some of the other reports I have read.
A true supporter not a plastic like me, but I have my season ticket for next year ,just wish it was in the premiership
Don't write us off yet - we could still do it .. and pigs could fly
I think the moaning about being held at Blackburn services stemmed from the fact that we were anticipating being held for a lot longer than 5 minutes, which has happened on more than one occasion in the past.
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