I've not posted much recently. In fact, it's been three months. A lot has happened in that three months, but a lot has happened in my personal life too and that has been the main reason for my absence. Sadly it looks like my own 'problems' are not going to go away, but Charlton's future, however, looks a lot more positive.
December was a bit of a disaster, particularly in light of what we saw in the six weeks before, but the fantastic win at Watford on New Year's Day puts that month behind us and sets us up very nicely for the run in. I am still a little torn between getting excited about the possibility of making a late run for the payoffs and being worried about being dragged into a relegation battle - one that could well end badly for us!
I'd take mid table safety this season and would consider it a huge success. I know that at the start of the season I was rather bullish about a potential promotion, but after the first ten games, and especially how we went from seven games unbeaten to not winning for a whole month I think we are not strong enough to finish top six.
Anyway this meant that the distraction of the FA Cup was welcome, and I was looking forward to seeing us tested against a team that we probably ought to consider a peer. They finished a few places below us in 2012, half a dozen paces above us in 2011 and three places below us in 2012.
The dynamic of the game was, I decided retrospectively, changed with our respective results on New Year's Day. We managed a fantastic fightback at Watford while they lost 6-1 at Leicester and hadn't won a game since 10th November.
They needed (their manager really needed) a result against us and they must have known that we would field a number of reserve team players. Under normal circumstances they would have done the same but, as I've already pointed out, they needed a result, they needed a win!
We started sluggish, and made two, obvious, individual mistakes at the back. One led to a goal the other would have until Dervite brought down Beckford and earned himself a red card in the process.
Ironically we were drawn against Huddersfield shortly after we'd played then in the league and it was hardly a 'Magical Tie'. In fact I would have preferred a lower league team. Obviously I really wanted an way tie to a top side for a fun day out, but the luck of the draw had given us that for the last two seasons, so it wa a bit much to ask for again.
Anyway we dropped three first team stalwarts, Huddersfield didn't and they went through.
Dervite's suspension with Cort being injured does demonstrate why the cup games are more of a hindrance than a benefit. My Dad and I have attended just about every home cup game for the last twenty years, but this year felt like a milestone. He was quite angry that were watching a reserve side, again.
The club made all the usual noises about genuinely trying to win the game - they do have tickets to sell, after all. However, in the end it was the same as usual. The proper description should be that we will pay a few first team payers and the players will play, but they know it doesn't matter to the cub, and it might just show.
Anyway, we lost and after the draw for the 4th round I'm pleased that we did.
Now we can concentrate on the league.
Up the Addicks!