Thursday, April 06, 2006

Ten years ago: sell out at The Valley

It was a sell out crowd on Friday 5th April 1996 at The Valley when Charlton Athletic entertained Luton. Cheap tickets offered as part of the Target 10,000 initiative produced a crowd of 14,515 for this televised Good Friday fixture, the biggest since the return to The Valley. Lennie Lawrence returned to The Valley for the first time as a visiting manager, the match ending in 1-1 draw.

In the Midlands, Good Friday is a normal working day, but is usually observed as a holiday in the south. My notes recall, 'We started brightly enough, but errors by Stuart, Robson and Rufus gave Luton a goal. (There was some controversy about whether this was a Rufus own goal). We missed Mortimer, although Jones was good. We got back through a rather lucky penalty (taken by Bradley Allen).

[In goal] 'Petterson did quite well, but makes the whole team nervous.' With Ammann and Salmon both injured, Petterson had been recalled from Colchester where he was on loan earlier in the week for the 0-1 home defeat by Leicester. Petterson featured in the programme in a jersey that was a monument to bad taste as he stared with nervous confusion from the goal.

The Leicester defeat meant that the Addicks had had recorded eight wins, seven draws and four defeats both at home and on their travels


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