Sunday, November 11, 2012
A day to remember
This is the commemorative five pound coin produced by the Royal Mint for today, remembrance Sunday. One of the most important days of the year in my estimation, as we remember those who fought and fell for this great country and also those left at home that lost loved husbands, brothers and fathers.
It puts football into perspective a little doesn't it. However, the world keeps on spinning and although we all stopped for a minimum of two minutes today, there was still the small matter of a Championship fixture to fulfill.
I had a couple of reasons for choosing this picture over a more conventional poppy. First up, Bristol City blogger Paul, aka The Exiled Robin who invited me to answer some questions on his site prior to the match works for the Royal Mint, and secondly i won a fiver of someone for the subsequent Charlton victory.
The game was on the back of Tuesday's stunning home win over Cardiff, we were relying on the players to recover from that epic in time to carry the momentum forward down at Ashton Gate.
Chris Powell had dabbled in the loan market during the week and brought in a couple of fresh faces in the shape of Dan Seaborne and Eggart Johnsson. Seaborne, a left sided full back from Southampton went straight into the starting eleven in place of Dervite, thus allowing Solly to revert to the right hand side and Morrison back to partner Cort in the heart of defence. Other than that the Addicks were unchanged. Johnsson, an Icelandic midfielder from Wolves will have to wait a little longer to get his chance under Chris Powell.
An impeccable minute's silence was observed after the sides were led out of the tunnel by members of the armed forces, City quite rightly not ignoring the importance of the occasion.
The home side lined up with Sam Baldock up front, a player we had been linked with a lot during the summer transfer market. With six defeats in a row, the natives were desperate to see a change of fortunes yet failed to get behind the side as a '12th man', a tactic we discovered works wonders in the week. In fact it was very similar to some darker days at The Valley with a chorus of boos being their most vocal moments.
Danny Haynes was returning to his old hunting ground and therefore almost guaranteed a starring role. Word perfect with the script, his pace caused the Bristol defence all sorts of problems and he got his opportunity with a rebound after Dale Stephens had hit the upright after twenty minutes.
The one thousand travelling supporters were bouncing and even let off a smoke bomb as the party atmosphere continued where it left off Tuesday. My twitter timeline entertained this 'ultra inspired' spectacle with mixed emotions, it was interspersed with praise for the balti pies on sale at the ground. I've yet to decide which topic is the more important.
A second half goal from Michael Morrison just before the hour did in all honesty seal the victory although City rallied for a period after our goal as they 'enjoyed' their best spell of the match.
Matt Taylor saw a long awaited cameo appearance towards the end, as did Ricardo Fuller - a very welcome return to the match day squad! Fuller got a ten minute run out replacing Rob Hulse who once again did his reputation no harm at all as he continues to attract prospective clubs.
How different it looks for the two managers now. Chris Powell has had his critics but with back to back wins is once again the man of the moment. Derek McInnes still has the respect of the bulk of the City fans but you have to wonder if seven straight defeats mean the writing is on the wall.
Charlton are now sixteenth in the table, seven points clear of the relegation zone below, and an identical number off the last play off spot as we look up. Things appear much brighter now, especially as players slowly start to return.
Have we got through the worst of it? I really do hope so. Come on you reds!