Saturday 16 February 2008

Valley Afternoon

So today was my big afternoon out watching Charlton v. Watford. Despite my poorly legs and rubbish balance I made it down to the Valley in time to enjoy a beer on the North Stand Concourse before the game. Enjoy indeed. The beer hasn't improved any but the new smoke-free atmosphere (first time I've been to the Valley since July 1st when the ban came into force) was an absolutely delight.

I was very pleased on arrival at the ground to be spared the trauma of the turnstiles as the kindly stewards called me and my stick through the main gate. I dread to think the chaos that might have ensued tangling us up in the turnstiles!!!

The first half of the game was pretty good. Especially the highly amusing own goal towards the end of the half. Oh how we laughed. Too soon it turns out.

More poor beer followed at half time (the beer has gone up 5p since last I was there too!)... the general organisation of the beer queue hasn't improved any either. Back in the day (before the North Stand covered concourse was built) when beer was served from Portakabins the good ladies who tended bar used to have stacks and stacks of beer waiting. The early birds could just queue up and collect pretty much. Now you have to wait and wait... as though the advent of half time catches the concessions stands by surprise! Funny, it happens every game.

The second half of the game was poor. I was inclined to mutter "Plus ca change". To early goals in the second half left us with a 2-2 draw... which was pretty disappointing. The team were booed off at the end (which I approved of) as was the referee (which I didn't approve of). Poor he may or may not have been... but Charlton weren't up to much either.

All in all I'm not regretting the demise of my season ticket based on that performance!