After Charlton's scintillating demolition of Plymouth on Tuesday evening, we now all look forward to the arrival on Saturday of the next sacrificial lambs - Cambridge United.
(WARNING: Football doesn't always work like this !)
The "U's" have made a solid start to the season by winning their first two home games (1-0 v Milton Keynes and 2-1 v surprise package Exeter) but losing 0-1 at Oxford and 1-4 at Portsmouth on Tuesday despite taking a first half lead. This latter defeat seems to have been a personal nightmare for former Charlton youth goalkeeper Dimitar Mitov, who firstly dropped a free kick to allow Ronan Curtis to bundle the ball in and then allowed a Michael Jacobs shot to squirm through his legs into the net. The fourth Portsmouth goal came from a Reeco Hackett cross.
Cambridge have only beaten us once at The Valley. It was a wet Tuesday night in March 1979 when a crowd of 6,119 saw them take a 3-0 lead in the first half hour. Second half goals from Keith Peacock and Steve Gritt were not enough to rescue a point. Manager Andy Nelson bemoaned the fact that he had been without striker Mike Flanagan who had walked out on the club after his sparring partner Derek Hales had been reinstated. Nelson said that he had been unable to trace the striker and that the only member of the Flanagan household he had been able to strike up a good relationship with was the family dog.
Last season we did the double over Cambridge. It was shortly before Christmas and the Foodbank van was in the car park when two Conor Washington goals brought us the three points at The Valley. It was one of the games for which season ticket holders were encouraged to bring three friends and the crowd was published as 24,866. There is a similar initiative this Saturday (one free friend) and the Foodbank van will again be behind the East stand for your generous contributions. What could possibly go wrong?
If you weren't at the Plymouth game on Tuesday you really should try to be at The Valley on Saturday.
Come and wonder at the precocious skill and speed of Jesurun Rak-Sakyi. Find your jaw dropping at reborn Albie Morgan. Admire Sean Clare and George Dobson taking it up a gear. Witness Charles Clayden and Miles Leaburn breaking through. See Charlie Kirk turning it on at last. Marvel at our defence pinging the ball between themselves and Joe Wollacott to try to tease out an opening rather than hoofing it hopefully up for Jaydon Stockley to chase.
It is a joy to behold.