Who’s for the drop then?
There must be 626 Donny fans sat at home tonight still shaking their heads because that was how many were sat in the Jimmy Seed Stand on the afternoon of Saturday, 24th August looking on in disbelief as their own players took to sweeping water of The Valley turf with brooms, whilst Paddy Powell leant on his fork.
With Donny leading 3-1 at half-time, a half that lasted almost an hour and twenty minutes, referee Lee Collins finally abandoned the game. Paul Dickov called the whole affair “shambolic” and he was right.
I remember a couple of mates saying that with the way the game swayed before the break, we would have come back to win. This was August remember, before most of us had come to realize how rubbish we were to become.
Charlton of course won their ‘get out of free card’ as the OS described it when the game was replayed under clear skies in November. Those 3 points would if added to Donny’s total would tonight make them safe, whilst we would be going to Blackpool in a very different mood.
I saw Charlton win at Birmingham in November. It was a great day out but what was unusual was that we dominated the game, and I wrote in my ‘match report’ that “Birmingham’s performance was one of the worst I have seen from a home side in many years.”
The St Andrews’ atmosphere was also a shadow of what it has been and could be. Lee Clark’s Birmingham haven’t won at St Andrews since, and in fact the wretched sequence goes all the way back to October 1st. That is how team’s get relegated.
It is five defeats in a row for the Blues and after following Lee Clark’s comments for a number of weeks, there has been a very negative vibe coming out of the club. The tide has to seriously turn tomorrow at Bolton, otherwise the Blue Noses are facing League One for the first time in 20 years.
Conversely Millwall haven’t lost since March, when funnily (we can afford to laugh) they lost to Birmingham. I have long held a view that Millwall excel in the big games and fall flat on their faces in the lesser ones.
Over 15,000 will be at The Den tomorrow as Yann Kermorgant’s Bournemouth come with nothing to play for except the role of party-poopers. They have had an excellent few months coming within touching distance of the top six and reminiscent of us last season.
Finally there is Blackpool, who have long since been the team we have kept an eye on as they fell like an autumn leaf down the league table. Three wins since November, but the Tangerines had 31 points then, the Addicks had 17 and maybe Paul Ince didn’t do as bad a job after all?
Blackpool’s win at Wigan last week was absolutely huge and now they just need a point tomorrow to not have to rely on anyone else’s fortunes.
Doncaster go to Champions Leicester, who are intent on breaking the 100-point barrier, last acheived by Reading. A point will satisfy Leicester so I can see Donny getting a point, but can Birmingham win at Bolton, who have also had a strong finish to the season?
A point for the Blues maybe enough if Donny lose, and I really can’t see Millwall messing up at home. A lot of things have to go wrong for Blackpool to drop, but I think it will be Birmingham, who in recent weeks have taken over that look from Blackpool, of a team destined to fall.
As for the Addicks, well we are staying up, say we are staying up!