As the sage that is Sir Chris indicated after Preston, there are 2-2 draws and there are 2-2 draws. There are times (Scunthorpe at home) when you blow it late on and the cat takes another pummelling (OK, I was on holiday at the time, but somebody suffered, just ask my partner Suzanne). Then there are times when you are already promoted, champions, and suggestions of the pain of being deprived of 100 points just somehow doesn't cut it. Well, I wasn't there. I'm sure for those that were the journey back was that bit less sweet, even if we did seemingly afford Alexander the sort of send-off that Powell himself enjoyed not that long ago (thinking of which, can he name himself as one of the subs for the last game?).
Flicking through the season's stats, I thought there would have been more 2-2 draws than just these two. But no. Rather when it came to stoppage time goals we don't have a lot to complain about. Usually they've involved us nicking wins and those around us dropping points at the death. The Bournemouth away stoppage time was the finest example - even if the turnaround left the gap at the top such that we felt obliged to take only one win in the next five to try to make it interesting. So basically no carping from me.
And we weren't alone yesterday in sharing four with the opposition. It seems that Lyon Duchere shared the spoils with Bourg-Perronas in the top-of-the-table clash in France's CFA Groupe B. That much is confirmed (by France Football) but my less than reliable source informs me that Duchere were reduced to nine men and were trailing 1-2 at the end of normal time only to fire in a glorious equaliser. The goal can't prove decisive in the promotion race, but it's got to come in bloody handy. Assuming that the other Duchere-supporting Addick is correct and Olympique Lyonnais B cannot get promoted from this league (they have gone to the top with a weekend win), it's a straight fight between La Duche and B-P for the one place to go up. Duchere are still three points ahead of Bourg-Perronas but they have a game in hand (and in this league you get four for a win as you get a point for turning up).
Four games left for Duchere and it could get tough. The next round sees them away to Chasselay Monts d'Or - who are second-bottom - while Bourg-Perronas are at home to Jura Sud, who prop up the league. I've never had much time for the wine of Jura, which seems to be more of a cooking additive than to drink, while as was pointed out in comments to a post some time back Chateau de Chasselay, with its Monty Python connotations, has to be a different matter (have to say I've never tried any but I'll make a point of trying to dig some out). Following this, Bourg-Perronas play their game in hand, away at Villefranche-sur-Saone, deep in Beaujolais country. Then while B-P entertain SochauxB Duchere have to take on LyonB in what passes as the local derby; perhaps they can lend their neighbours a helping hand, but I doubt it. The penultimate round sees Duchere at home to Valence (the 'gateway to the south', which is another way of saying you have to go to and through it to get to the good bits - the Rhone vinyards and then Avignon etc) while Bourg-Perronas are away at MetzB. The final round of matches sees Duchere travel to take on NancyB, while B-P are at home to Moulins.
There's still all to play for and hopefully Duchere's spirits will have been as lifted as B-P's deflated by that last-minute equaliser. Whether Duchere are ready for a step up to a national league is an open question; and I'd be a bit sorry to see them have to travel to far-flung places in France that possibly don't even make wine. But that's the price you pay. Next season we'll be visiting at least two places that would be right down there on my list of grounds not worth a peep. I don't know how others feel, but for me it's still too early to be thinking about reviews of the season, where it went right, and where we need to strengthen for next season. No doubt it will come, but I think I'm still just enjoying pondering on a season in which we've blown away expectations. Congratulations to all the others that have gone up in our wake, we've still got a party to come.