The benefit of a small crowd meant that I got served at lightning speed in the Rose of Denmark. albeit that dodging tumbleweed is a sport that I am not used to, even in these third division days. If the pub was low key, then The Valley was no more lively, as two surprisingly strong teams took to the turf, Charlton with five men on show from Monday night's heroics, and Carlisle with nine of the men who had started against us in the league game, all in action in this second round FA Cup tie.
I also had the joy of a "bloke behind me", which is something I am normally spared, but got one today in the unfamiliar surroundings of B block in the lower west. I had forgotten how annoying they can be, and is it always the case that the person with the loudest voice, is usually the one that knows the least?
The fact that there was little of note in a quiet first half, didn't help the atmosphere, with only just over seven thousand in attendance. A very quiet affair indeed. The one thing that was clear, was that Powell was not going to risk a replay, the seven man bench stuffed with attacking endeavour, Wright-Phillips, Kermorgant, and Euell all made it on, Smith and Bover didn't. The man of the match for me though was there for the full ninety. Step forward Pritchard; industrious, and with attacking threat, he richly deserves the second year option on his contract being exercised on the basis of what I have seen of him this season. Yesterday will have done his longer term chances of future employ at Charlton no harm at all.
I was also impressed with Evina, covering left midfield in the absence of our captain Jackson, and an inelligible Ephraim. He showed some great touches, and I suspect that with more game time, we would see a whole lot more. After a quiet first half, the team came to life in the second, with Morrison getting a true centre back style goal from two yards out. After being thwarted once by the visiting keeper, the rebound was dispatched into the goal with minimum fuss. Euell then rolled back the years with a scrambling goal late on to seal it, and so we move on to the third round.
A nice tie against a strong Premiership or Championship side would be good, and if we can bow out at that stage to focus on the league, then yes please. For some reason though, I have it in my head that we will be drawn against Doncaster Rovers (16) away. We are the last ball number at 64, and below are some numbers to watch out for when the draw is made this afternoon.
24 Manchester City
25 Manchester United
28 Newcastle United
39 Tottenham Hotspur
45 Salisbury City or Grimsby Town
49 Chelmsford City or Macclesfield Town
51 Crawley Town
53 Fleetwood Town or Yeovil Town
61 Sutton United or Notts County
63 AFC Totton or Bristol Rovers