Season 2005-06 Result
Charlton Athletic 3-1 Newcastle United
 D.Bent 24 (pen),
 L.Bowyer 37 (og),
 Bothroyd 89.
 S.Parker 35.
Date: 26/03/2006  Venue: The Valley  Competition: Premiership
Crowd: 27,019
Match Report Submitted on 04/04/2006 by Smike
Widely Respected and Admired
Charlton away always rekindles nightmares of Wilf’s scalded head weekend back in 1999. Fortunately Carso now has a new flat and Wilf had opted not to attend this Charlton weekender. I was hoping for a much less stressful time.

It’s fair to say that we all owed Greavsie a pint for booking the ‘cheap’ tickets and then re-booking them when the game was put back. With trains booked, that only left the accommodation to sort out. Carso and Morvan (who were absolute stars all weekend) agreed to accommodate Me, Greavsie and George, while Johnny, Ian and Passy stayed at Dirks. That left Greeny, Roy, Chrissy & Craig. After preliminary enquiries it turned out that there was a B&B available close to Carso’s, so I booked a family room for 4. Further enquiries revealed that it was in one of the roughest areas in South London and that 2 people had been shot dead there recently. Perhaps Steatham Hill wasn’t the place to send 4 unsuspecting strangers, however everywhere else was fully booked – we opted not to tell them!
I’ve had difficulty compacting everyone’s contributions into one single report. Keeping track of all of the individual stories and ‘goings-on’ is hard enough with out having to recall them. (I’ve received nearly 70 photos from various sources). There were, however 2 obvious ‘dead certs’; Dirk would know all of the train/tube routes and times to the nearest second and Greeny would have a smile on his face the whole of the time.
Auf Wiedersehen Durham

George had taken a weeks holiday!

The ‘young’uns’ provided some outstanding quotes that set the stall out for the weekend;

Chrissy, ‘Brain food? What’s that?’

Chrissy again, ‘I’m as sure as the day has gone’

Johnny, ‘You shouldn’t eat with your mouth full’

We all assembled at The Bridge with Passy sporting his new MP3 player, predictably he went straight on the bandit.
After a swift pint we trudged up the bank to the station comparing the weight of our overnight bags. Turns out that Greeny’s Burberry bag wasn’t the only one laden with Tesco’s best snakebite mix. Basically we’d all brought enough for everyone, which consequently meant that we had enough booze to open our own Off Licence. It was a nice to have Johna see us off, he gave Greeny a kiss as we departed. We promptly found our seats and settled down to enjoy the comforts of first class. It must be said that GNER were nearly as precise as Dirk as we set off at exactly 2.42pm. It rapidly became obvious that we weren’t your stereotypical first class traveller as the rest of our carriage started to empty.
Like father like ‘Punj’

Nowt for a pair in this game?

Passy (with MP3 player)
Things really did start to get rowdy as we played ‘Chase The Ace’ - £1 for 3 lives. As people boarded the train they found their seats, took one look at us and promptly continued on to the next carriage. The other 2 first class carriages were absolutely choka block – ours had only 1 other passenger!! By Peterboro Geavsie had to spend some of his vouchers on more Cider, followed by, to George’s delight, 2 bottles of wine.

‘Another one bites the dust’
We arrived at King’s Cross spot on time and headed for West Norwood. A chorus of ‘Going Underground’ developed as we descended to the Victoria Line for the journey which Dirk predicted would take ‘37 minutes’ if we took ‘the Victoria line for 5 stops to Victoria, then the train for 5 stops to West Norwood’. It took exactly 37 minutes! As we boarded the tube at King’s Cross things sobered up as we realised that this was where one of the bombs had gone off on 7th July. What was left of the grog Passy promptly distributed among some teenage girlies on their way to see The Oridnary Boys, they in return nicked his MP3 player. It wasn’t until we reached The Horns in West Norwood that he realised it had gone.
Roy, Greeny & the lads survived their checking in at Streatham Hill and arrived at The Horns by taxi, realising that the train station was a no-go area after dark. Dirk arrived spot on time closely followed by Carso and the other Primates. After the sound check we were pleased to get rid of our bags at Carsos. No time to freshen up however as George insisted that we got back to the pub as soon as poss. It had started to fill up and, as usual with a pub in London, there were fans from various different clubs: Spurs, Chelsea, Palace and Millwall so the banter was pretty good.
That’s Entertainment

Roy, Greeny & Passy (without MP3 player)
Once the music started George had more dancing partners than a Bollywood film star. The Primates were excellent if not unconventional with their office suits, lack of footwear, netty roll and monkey jock straps!

With jugs of beer at 4 pints for the price of 3 it would have been a shame not to try one or two, wouldn’t it?

‘Everything on please’
The night concluded with the compulsory visit to the kebab shop.

Suddenly Greeny decided to start looking for a taxi to avoid having to visit Stretham Hill train station. Eventually he managed to flag one down,

‘Where to mate?’

‘Don’t know, but don’t move from here, I’ll go and get my 3 mates – they don’t know either.’

He then managed to fall over in the taxi before they some how made it back to the hotel. Our short walk back to Carso’s nearly took as long as it takes to get some enamel badges made. We took a couch each, not realising that one was a pull down bed and started knocking out the ‘zeds’.

The morning came around all too quickly. Young Stanley woke us at 7.30am (which was really 6.30 as the clocks had moved forward). In a haze I headed for the bathroom to find Trev, the guitarist from the band asleep in a sleeping bag in the hallway. Apparently he was supposed to sleep with us but there was ‘no room’ when they eventually got home after packing up the gear. Carso was quick to point out that giving us the front door key was a big mistake as, in our determination not to wake Mauvan and the kids we had managed to leave the front door wide open. George was as ‘fresh as a daisy’. He was showered, changed and was ready and raring to go by 8 o’clock. I must confess that I was devastated to find that Greavsie was also as ‘right as rain’ as he is renowned to be a lightweight.
Georgie Pie – The Rookery, Streatham Common

Try as I may I couldn’t pull myself together so when a walk to the park with the bairns was suggested I jumped at the chance. The fresh air on Steatham Common soon cleared my head and I started to feel a lot better, however Greavsie’s health on the other hand was starting to deteriorate. Morven had cooked us the biggest breakfast you’ve ever seen, the smell hit us as soon as we got back to Carso’s. It was just what the doctor ordered. We took a cab to The Wellington at Waterloo station where we’d arranged to meet the others at 12 noon. After leaving our bags at the left luggage deposit at Waterloo we headed for the pub. After the taxi journey Greavsie was getting greener by the minute – he disappeared to the toilet for 10 mins after one sip of London’s finest snakebite.
Passy drooled over the previous evening’s kebab ‘The best I’ve ever had’ – even without the beer mats. We then heard how he had come out with a pearler on the way from Dirks at Ealing.

‘Hang on a minute, there’s something going off in my bag!’ He said referring to his deodorant. A certain way to empty a tube train compartment.

Our numbers swelled to 15 as we now had Carso, Trev, Dirk, Donald & Glenn from Stafford on board. We discussed and compared breakfasts – no competition, ours had been by far the best.

The ‘Puke of Wellington’ with Craig
Picture this; according to Craig & Chrissy, Roy and Greeny had slept in the spoons position all night. While over at Ealing Ian, Johnny & Passy were woken by the ‘German Bomber’.

‘What time will we need to leave here, Dirk?’ someone asked.

‘If we get the 1.02 from Waterloo East, we’ll be there for 1.26’ He replied. Needless to say – he was spot on.

We elected to enjoy the pleasant southern weather outside the off licence on Floyd Road rather than go to the pub. By this time Greavsie was on the Lucazade Sport!

Discussing how the 3 points were there to be taken we headed off into the ground. I don’t mind Charlton at all. Never any chew, plenty of tickets and an end in which you can make plenty of noise. Indeed, Alan Curbishley’s programme notes proclaimed; ‘The Newcastle fans will be out in force. They always get behind their team.’ To which Tom Watt added; ‘Those fans are the one sustaining reason the club remains so widely respected and admired’. Shame the same couldn’t be said for the group of players we’d come all this way to see.
We started off quite brightly and Solano had a great chance early on which he pulled wide when it seemed easier to hit the target. On 24 mins Ramage made a pigs ear of a clearance that that fell straight to Jerome Thomas. Moore’s lunging challenge left the referee with little option but to award a penalty. Bent put the resulting spot-kick beyond Given. 1-0. Ten mins later came the moment of the game when Shearer laid the ball back to Parker who then unleashed a fierce 30 yard drive that nearly broke the net. What a goal. We were right in line with it and knew it was destined for the net as soon as he kicked it! He promptly ran the length of the pitch to celebrate – right in front of us! Unfortunately the calamity that followed was typical Newcastle United. We’d barely finished celebrating when we contrived to concede a bizarre goal. Charlton pumped a free-kick into our box, a scramble developed and when the danger had seemed to have passed Moore’s attempted clearance ricocheted off Bowyer and into our goal - another farcical defensive moment. 2-1 to them with 37 mins gone.
I must confess that despite the best efforts of the PA announcer, I managed to doze off at half time. By full time I wished the lads had left me asleep, we were dreadful in the second half. I can’t understand why it always has to be Solano that comes off. He’s one of our better players and a free kick around the opposing penalty area is nearly as good as a penalty. Yes Emre can also take a free kick, but not with Solano’s precision. Any way recent home performances have shown how well Dyer and Solano can link up, why not take off Ameobi? Nevertheless Solano didn’t come out for the second half. A half-hearted shout for a penalty was turned away by the referee after Bowyer had taken a tumble in their box and this was closely followed by a dubious off-side when Charlton looked destined to score. Their third goal came right at the death when substitute Bothroyd scored with his first touch. Boumsong backed off, Rommedahl crossed and Bothroyd headed home. We didn’t deserve anything from this game on our second half performance and on the strength of the three points Charlton leapfrogged above us in the league. We always seem to defend too deep, inviting the opposition to have-a-go. The midfield, at times are so deep that it’s impossible for them to support the attack if we break quickly. The main plus-point had to be Parker’s goal and celebration. Bowyer was full of running and gave 110% without really creating much and Moore looks reasonably fit considering he hates training. At least he gets stuck in, tackles with conviction and looks and acts like a centre half, unlike some of our other defenders. However I do realise that he’s probably not the answer to all our defensive problems.
We left the ground desperate not to let the poor performance take the shine off the weekend. We reassembled at the train station. Once Passy and George realised that they were on the wrong platform the police had stopped people getting onto our side; they had to wait outside. Johnny and Ian on the other hand, were totally lost and no one could contact them. We waited ages for a train, nearly as long as you wait for a housewarming at Johna’s or a BBQ at Sturdy’s. Once on the train Dirk received phone calls from both Passy and Johnny – they were both on separate, wrong trains. He promptly gave them directions back to The Wellington.

We were charged £5.50 per bag for storage (The Greatest Cockney Rip-Off) just as well we’d managed to put 2 or 3 bags into one. Passy and George eventually arrived after about 30 mins, which left just enough time for Passy to have 5 mins on the bandit before we headed back to King’s Cross.


Back to the pub!
What time do we need to leave here, Dirk?’

‘No later that 5.42!’

We purchased some refreshment for the journey home from the off licence opposite King’s Cross and at 6 cans of Stella/Strongbow for £5 no one complained. The journey home was no less lively that the previous day, only this time the carriage was full of tourists heading home after a weekend in London. They winced every time one of us spoke or indeed, lost a life at Chase The Ace.
The train arrived back at Durham at exactly 9.30pm – Dirk would have been proud! Beat generously agreed to pick us up at the station and he rounded the weekend off perfectly,

‘So who was sitting in the empty seats next to you at the match?’