Charlton 0-0 Wigan: Espinoza Comeback Special

Charlton Athletic The Valley Stadium

Wonder if anyone has purchased a season ticket for one of those apartments? (c)Nanonic @Flickr

What with inflation due to the amount of two pence pieces lost behind sofas, there isn’t an awful lot of quality product five quid can buy you in this day and age. You could invest in 254 shares of my ailing stock market project, JWAWDAQ, or perhaps a six hundredth of a Vauxhall Corsa. Without an engine or petrol tank.

You could visit the local bank, exchange your fiver for five hundred shiny pennies and run them through your fingers until they smell of that vinegar they use at motorway service station sausage butty stands. Entertaining perhaps, but only until you realise you can’t buy anything more expensive than 20p with them. And don’t even think about destroying them, or you could become the newest long-term resident at Her Majesty’s Holiday Camp, Dartmoor. That page is great for silly little QI-esque facts, incidentally.

Nope, keep your crisp five pound note and use it the next time one of these entirely worthy Football For A Fiver days comes along. Especially considering it may be of great benefit to a charitable organisation such as Help a Capital Child, as was the case at Charlton this afternoon. It restores my dwindling faith in humanity. Ahh, I believe I shall take a stroll through the park and throw the odd penny to my favourite assortment of vagabonds and beggars this evening! But enough about [insert most hated football side here] fans.

An Athletic contest

Lee Nicholls warmup

“It’s yer big chance, Lee.” “Crumbs, Owen!”

Would you like to sign my petition to ban pre-match warmups? I’m raising awareness for Scott Carson, whose place in the starting line up was cruelly stolen from him just minutes before kickoff. Oh sorry, Mr Nicholls, didn’t mean to disturb you this afternoon…

*Ahem* Latics’ last-minute stand-in ‘keeper had a comfortable opening half an hour as neither team found their rhythm. Hey, you have to give the players a chance for their Sunday lunches to settle – I know mine was still working its way through my digestive system as the players took to the field.

Charlton’s attacking play soon increased in intensity. Bradley Pritchard fired just over the Wigan bar to awaken any remaining supporters from their slumber, even if it was to avoid taking a ball to the face. As Gary Walsh might have said while pointing to his eyes, “watch the game!”

Nicholls, on the other hand, looked sharper than a coffee-fuelled super-secretary at 5pm. He filed Richard Wood’s 45th minute header under ‘Seaman-esque reaction saves’ to ensure a reasonable 0-0 as the sides retired for a decidedly uncomfortable half time team talk. Ho hum.

“Oh dear, I missed the game because I put my clock forward instead of back…”

Roger Espinoza

Second coming: He’s not the messiah… (c)Warrenfish

Thankfully, the second half brought more positive signs. Sordell fired precisely 2.8 centimetres wide before McCann provided a timely reminder there were two teams in this contest, tickling Ben Hamer’s crossbar just moments later. An indication we might still be in for some piping hot Sunday teatime action, perhaps? Which reminds me, must pick up a pie from the 24 hour supermarket for supper.

Ben Watson went close with his side’s best chance to date some fifteen minutes into the half, while Powell was flagged offside for an opportunity he really should have converted. Though it wouldn’t have mattered. But this match was now infinitely more flavoursome, and a trio of substitutions (McManaman, Fortune and… Espinoza?!) were to add extra seasoning.

Though a counter-attacking Charlton threatened, the visitors hurriedly chalked up some blueprints for another late pantry raid. They initially promised to bear fruit, but the errant finishing of Roger Espinoza ensured another chance sailed away on the more-than-gentle breeze. A lone voice called for Jordi Gomez, but it was too late – all substitutions had been made.

And anyway, referee Steve Martin was already signalling an end to the game. At the snap of his finger, a gust of wind carried him home in time to catch Songs of Praise while sipping some extra strong hot chocolate in front of the fire.

Would you like a Championship point, or would you prefer this service station sausage sandwich I saved? It’s a bit soggy and I think the sausages have been stolen, but it’ll take your mind off the game. Ack, I’ll buy you some budget brand Maltesers on the way home then.

Second opinion

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  1. Lee Jones |

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