Who would have thought? Wembley not once but twice and in the same season.
Monsieur Salut is old enough to have been at the famous Bob Stokoe/Jimmy Montgomery/Ian Porterfield FA Cup final on May 5 1973. Sadly, the promised ticket didn’t materialise so the game was watched with plenty of beer to hand in a first-floor flat in Uxbridge.
Mme Salut heard the goal while walking back from shopping, unable to avoid my reaction (through an opened window) from some way short of our place. That night, I joined supporters from Shildon, where I and Pete Sixsmith grew up, to celebrate in a workingmen’s club in Wealdstone.
I have seen us several times at Wembley since but missing 5573 means I have yet to see us win there. Will that now change? I am back from France that week, by chance, and have hopes of a ticket. We’ll see.
But I do want to say this: it has been a torrid season, with so much necessary change at the club making promotion nowhere near a certainty. I share everyone’s disappointment at the rotten run-in that kept us out of an automatic slot. All that said, the owners, Jack Ross and an honest, passionate squad have done a grand job that, if completed on May 26, will represent an undoubted success for all of them.
Against Charlton Athletic, we have taken four points this season, Against Doncaster Rovers, we took all six. Playoffs are levellers but we have nothing to fear. Late update: Charlton have won on penalties .
Sixer’s train back from the Deep South pulled into Bank Top a little while ago. You should not have to wait too long for his account of last night, building on his immediate reaction – “Done it” – and his seven-worder, “Disciplined and controlled form start to finish”. It was not a classic, Pete added later, “but who cares?”.
Now we prepared for Donny or, much more likely, Charlton (again) in the playoff final.
Ha’way the Lads.