Friday, November 26, 2010

Luton Arrivals

Charlton’s 2nd Round FA Cup tie against Luton Town must be at some risk of postponement due to a frozen pitch, so we may find ourselves in the 3rd Round draw by default.

However notwithstanding the fact that I might secretly yearn for a replay as it would be a short 25min drive from my house, the tie undoubtedly represents a golden chance for a shot at possible 3rd Round glory. We could do with the money.

Speaking of money, Hatters boss Richard Money has continued where he left off last season, his free scoring side sitting just two points behind the Blue Square Premier leaders, with 41 goals from 20 games.

After managing 84 goals last season (including 24 in just four consecutive March/April home games), they represent a clear and present attacking threat, regardless of the level at which said goals were accumulated.

Luton has had two spells in the limelight, firstly in the 1950s (culminating in an FA Cup final appearance in 1959), and then in the 1980s under the stewardship initially of David Pleat.

Their achievements on the pitch during this latter spell were often overshadowed by ongoing debates about away fans and artificial pitches.

I actually attended the high point in the club’s history, their famous 3-2 win over Arsenal in the 1988 League Cup final.

2-1 down with just 8 minutes remaining, goals from Danny Wilson and Brian Stein secured the club’s only major trophy. Addicks assistant boss Tim Breacker wore the No.2 shirt that afternoon.

However within just a couple of decades, they would join the 1986 League Cup winners (Oxford United) in experiencing non-League football, although their fate was not helped by a harsh 30-point deduction in season 2008/9.

They are comfortably the best-supported club in non-League, average crowds of over 6,500 attending games at the uniquely awful Kenilworth Road stadium, about which little good can be said except for the fact it’s close to an international airport.

Talk of fantasy ideas like the indoor Kohlerdome are history, but the club continues to seek an alternative that would give them a genuine shot at long-term stability, conscious that in the meantime MK Dons have plonked themselves down in a brand new stadium just 20 miles up the road. Ground share anyone?

The clubs last met in the 2007/8 League Cup, a strong Charlton side (including Therry Racon) embarrassed 3-1 after extra time in Bedfordshire.

It was almost a similar story in the same competition in 2003/4 at The Valley, a storming 4-4 draw followed by the Addicks scraping through 8-7 on penalties. Jonathan Fortune played that night and will probably play tomorrow again.

The teams regularly did battle in the 1980s and 1990s, whilst the most painful memory of Luton for Addicks fans would be the 7-1 defeat at Kenilworth Road in September 1977.

As mentioned in my previous post, Charlton did not lack for endeavour on Tuesday night and demonstrated some real quality in patches too, but Parky will likely utilise the full squad with more important League One fixtures on the horizon.

I think we will line up as follows: Elliott, Francis, Fry, Llera, Fortune, Reid, Racon, McCormack, Wagstaff, Benson, Sodje.

For my charity bets, I am tempted by the possibility that an exciting game will transpire, resulting in a 2-2 draw, the worst-case scenario for the Addicks.

Meanwhile, 3 goals in his last 5 games suggests Therry Racon is too long at 6/1 to score anytime in a home game against non-League opposition.

NY Addick bets £5 on 2-2 correct score (at 16/1)
NY Addick bets £5 on Therry Racon to score anytime (at 6/1)


At 11:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fry is suspended

At 1:02 PM, Blogger Philip said...

Wow Brad, you hit your charity bet! You demonstrated the magic of asymmetric payoffs.
Or, you simple proved that a broken clock is right twice/day.


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