Oops, that wasn't meant to happen. Our second string was supposed to demonstrate our strength in depth and blow away lower league opposition, or at least outscore them (Stockport). But as is evident from Pardew's comments and other blogs, nobody is going to lose any sleep. The cobbled together team couldn't be expected to be a coherent unit, those in the wings and returning from injury got some useful match practise, and maybe the result will help to keep any complacency away from the door. And we have yet another goalscorer.
Let's hope so, because for obvious reasons Saturday is going to be interesting. I don't know if there's any lingering animosity between Dowie and the board; I hope not as life's too short - and there's a mutual support society when it comes to putting one over on Jordan (for what it's worth I really felt that sending them down wiped the slate clean with Palace, but every time Jordan opens his mouth ...). But Dowie wouldn't be human if he didn't badly want to turn us over. We're still on a roll and it mustn't be derailed up there.
I have been to Coventry twice in my life - trips which together make me think of the place as one of the most depressing spots around (only just edged out by Burnley on a Saturday night).
First, a party for a former mate which ended with some lame-brain reversing his car up the drive and into other cars and the garage, just because he hadn't been invited. Apparently this guy also had a habit of carrying around a hammer to hit people over the head with. This must have been over 20 years ago and I'd love to see the BBC find him to do some sort of 'where do you think you come from' programme. A guide through morons and criminals of the ages might provide more entertainment than the grim sight of psuedo-celebrities moping over some long-lost great-great-grandfather who somehow managed to write his name. Just what is it with family trees/history? We're all related to Henry VIII and Shakespeare so what's the point (unless there's unclaimed money involved)?
Second, the journey back from that cup win, with the joy of the comeback tempered somewhat by the antics of another lovely Coventry chappie. We were relaxed and feeling good, waiting in the queue to turn onto the motorway back to London. Nearby car looked like it contained other Charlton fans driving back. I did a little jig on the back seat to demonstrate our solidarity. The driver of the car suddenly got out, kicked in our headlight, ran back to his car and drove off. It was all over in a few seconds. Lovely place, Coventry.
This is all prompted by an email from the driver of our car saying that he is getting tickets for the game and that he is happy to drive. I just don't know. After all, these things go in threes so if I went the trip is hardly going to pass off without incident (I'm not superstitious, except for the Charlton underwear, lucky shirt etc).
Then again, due to my complacency if I don't go it may be Plymouth before I see us play again. If left to my own devices I would make travel arrangements, including holidays, about five minutes before departure. My partner plans ahead, especially as she often works weekends. So when she says 'is the weekend of .... good for you?' my answer is always 'yes'. I assume she has checked the website and has picked a weekend when we play away, usually somewhere nobody in their right mind would want to go (Coventry). So the tickets to France for next weekend were booked a while back.
Is she trying to tell me something? Has she concocted a devious plan to wean me off Charlton? Will there be a third visit to Coventry? I think I've been watching too many repeats of Dallas on UKTV Gold.