Just the sort of friendly (or league game) that we love. A trip to the seaside in the sunshine!

We sold out the away end, 900 or so tickets, possibly one of the bigger away attendances we will experience this season … although it would be nice to think it is a sign of things to come.

Day started well, got to Victoria well in time to get the train down to Brighton before midday. Obviously Southern Rail’s cheap ticket policy that groups of 4 can get a ticket for a fiver return paid off dividends as the train was ram-packed on both legs of the journey.

Walked down the hill from the station, looking for somewhere to eat, and chose Wetherspoons as a first stop … big mistake. Crap pub, mediocre pub-grub menu, surly staff … and being told it would take 40 minutes for food to arrive. Couldn’t be bothered to wait so we carried on down the hill and went into Walkabout … always a good option.

Despite the bar being packed with Aussies and Kiwis watching TV, we were served quickly and had our food in the garden at the back within 10 minutes. Coming back into the pub later for a refill, I recognised a few other Addicks in the bar.

Decided to go to for drink nearer the ground and used the free ticket that Brighton provide for the train and bus … train took less than 5 minutes to Preston Park. Then a quite surreal work to the ground … along a winding path through a forest eventually arriving at the Withdean stadium. And, it was very welcome on a very hot day … a pub at the ground! A bloody good pub too, serving an excellent pint of Guinness.

Having cooled down, we went to the away end, and joined the Charlton hordes. Pards got a good welcome when he came out as did the players.

Best way to describe the game is that it was a work-out … not too serious … and that’s the way the fans seemed to take it as well. Not a lot of noise from our end to be honest … although that may have been more to most of us being semi-comatose from the sun and the beer!

The anti-Palaaarse songs from both Charlton and Brighton brought a smile with Brighton insisting that they hated Palaaarse more than us.

Team announcements made it known to us that Weaver was injured and Callum Christie deputised … not a name I know.

Positives …
Shelvey looked ok but we should be careful of over-hype. Also I was concerned to read in the programme that he is being touted as one of the best talents in England and expected to be in the Premiership in a year … hope we haven’t got another Bostock here. Gonna be a strange situation where we want him to do well, but do not want anyone outside Charlton to know !
Youga and Racon did well, and I thought Sam looked good when he came on, as did Dickson who as well as scoring, caused a few problems. Only worry is that near the end, Dickson came off seemingly troubled by a slight limp. Prior to this, Dicko should have earned a penalty but the ref ignored the claim. Basey also looked good.
Wasn’t too impressed with Bougherra and Semedo … although perhaps I am too hard on them as they are two players I like a lot, and expect a lot from them. Varney definitely did not look on-form.

All in all, a good day out, and it looks like we will be invited back to their new ground when it is finished. Something to look forward to!

Team: Christie, Semedo (Moutaouakil 66), Youga, Bougherra (Fortune 54), Hudson, Wagstaff (Sam 54), Racon, Shelvey (Wright 66), Thomas (Basey 54), Varney (Dickson 54), Gray.


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