Saturday, 28 April 2012

Heading south to Preston

No.1 Iceland Addick Olafur Johnansson makes a rare return to these pages to report on Charlton's 2-2 draw at Preston:

Seeing my beloved Addicks return to a higher level of the game was something I had to celebrate in person. I was able to get a flight to Edinborg, recalling that is where Wyn Grant first met our president (and my distant relative) Olafur Grimsson in 1976. From there I got the train to Preston.

Now here is something that is confusing for an Icelandic person. Some of you may remember that when I was living in England I went to an away match in Tranmere thinking it was a Lake District club, so I overshot my target by a long way. I knew today that it was the North End club of Preston we were playing. But here is the confusion. The South End club is called just that or even Southend. Why not have not have Preston in both names or call them both just Northend and Southend: everyone would know it was Preston as no one else has clubs with such geographical titles.

Anyway I knew that I had to get to the Deepest Dale ground which I thought was in a valley just like The Valley but it seemed pretty flat thereabouts. When I got to the ground an Addick asked me if I was dressed as a fisherman in honour of the haddock origin of the Addicks name, but I explained that oilskins were my normal working wear in Grindavik. At least I was not dressed as a pussy cat!

I was hoping to see Mr Benjamin Hamer and assess him as a keeper, but his assistant, Mr Sullivan, was in goal, also some of the other players seemed to be changed around.

It was very nice of the home players to form a guard of honour to welcome the Charlton players on to the pitch. Charlton made the early running. Mr Daniel Green fired wide from outside the box then Mr Andreas Arestidou in the Preston goal had to make a diving save from Mr Daniel Haynes. On 11 minutes Mr Haynes ran through on goal. His progress was halted by a tackle by Mr David Gray, but the ball spun loose in the box. Haynes got to it before the keeper and managed to get it past two covering defenders and into the net to make it 1-0 to the southern side. However, the North Enders responded with a 25-yard daisy cutter from Mr Coutts who was wearing the armband of captain. I did not think that Mr John Sullivan dealt with this very well, but he managed to fumble it past the post.

Mr N'Guessing shot straight at the keeper who then had to race from his box to kick clear after a back pass fell short, almost letting in Haynes. However, Mr N'Guessing made it 2-0 to Charlton before the break on 35 minutes, taking advangtage of some poor play by Mr Gray.

Mr Nicholas Hunt pulled one back for Preston on 53 minutes. On 84 minutes the 40-year old Mr Graham Alexander was invited on to the pitch as a substitute player. This is on the old side for an outfield player, but I understand that he has made 1,023 senior appearances in a career dating back to 1991. He then scored the equalising goal on 90 minutes.

The result really did not matter that much as it was a chance for the No.1 Iceland fan of Charlton to salute the team. Surely Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II must give some recognition to Mr Chris Powell in her list of honoured persons as he is an all round good fellow.

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