Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Swindon away

There's nothing quite like a First Round Carling Cup draw to bring you back to earth with a bump. I'm not sure why they needed to remind us that we were no longer in the Premiership fully two months before the tie will take place, but nonetheless it's Swindon away.

The County Ground has fond memories for me - I took a lucky girl to her first Charlton game there on 1 Mar 1997, and she subsequently became my wife. Poetically perhaps, Charlton lost 1-0 and played horribly, before we headed back to Bath where we were spending the weekend. My insistence that it was a mere coincidence that Charlton were playing nearby, sounded as hollow then as it does now. Moreover if I had told her then that in almost exactly ten years time she'd be fathering my child and giving him the middle name Charlton, she'd have headed back home down the M4 quicker than you could say 'Wayne Allison' (and rightly so).

The last time we played away to Swindon in the League Cup was in the Second Round in Sep 1994, an impressive 3-1 victory sealed by a stunning David Whyte volley in the 85th minute. In true Charlton fashion however, we screwed up the second leg at the Valley.

For those keen to compare and contrast the depth and quality of that Charlton team compared to today's, we lined up as follows: Petterson, Brown, Sturgess, Balmer, Chapple, Walsh, Garland, Newton, Robson, Whyte, Nelson. A number of those players set the foundations for our subsequent decade of overachievement, and having just returned to the Valley, it was a special time to be a Charlton fan, for me at least.

I'm intending to be back in the UK for most of August, and was hoping to attend every game that I could home and away. It was thus with childlike excitement that I was leafing through Great Western Train timetables to plan the trip (an easy one in fairness), conscious that the likelihood of Sky TV coverage might test my supposed commitment.

I will also be observing the release of the Championship fixtures tomorrow keener than most, hoping that our August away games are a balance between those clubs that are easy to get to, and those that I'll be able to get a ticket for (Colchester for example probably fails on the latter count).


At 9:51 AM, Blogger Blackheath Addicted said...

I do remember the last time we played Swindon in the league: March 2000. We had won 12 on the trot and were sailing to the title; Swindon were preparing for relegation (they finished bottom). We somehow managed to lose 1-0 with the forwards firing blanks and Deano managing somehow to fumble an innocuous cross over the line. To add insult to injury we had to endure Willie Carson wittering on about something.


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