Losing at Wembley – 1 Year Today

This time?

Losing football matches is depressing, losing important matches is even more depressing, losing at Wembley is horrible. 1973 is 47 years ago, that’s a long time – in 7 attempts since we’ve yet to leave Wembley victorious. Admittedly we got a draw against Portsmouth in March and the Swindon game was obviously a strange one as regards the ultimate outcome. 

It’s easy to forget that we really were pretty much home and dry in early April after the 6 away points gained in a 4 days at Accrington and Rochdale? We all know we had too many draws, 6 points from the last 21, royally fucked up against Coventry etc. Whichever way you look at it, we blew it. 

Having got past Portsmouth with a really good performance at home and a job done performance down there, I really fancied us to beat Charlton.

What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?

On paper the defeat to Charlton looked like a real heartbreaker, in the days after people were really sympathetic etc. Strangely it hurt less than you’d imagine.

We were gifted a 1st minute lead, (although to be fair the save from Grant at 1-0 was sublime). We didn’t deserve to win the game, it was our most tactically inept showing of the season. In the past I’ve been gutted in similar situations….. this time I wasn’t as much as I’d expect, maybe I’m just getting older and wiser, maybe I didn’t look at the group of players and think they deserved it? I’ve not, (as yet), been a professional footballer or manager… if I had been I’d like to think that all I’d ask from everyone on occasions like Charlton would be…..don’t have any regrets, don’t leave anything out there, don’t let it pass you by, be brave….. we were shite and Charlton deserved to win – this somehow helped to take the pain away?

Oh dear

Back later today with some Play Off Final Themed Poetry, but for now here’s a brief account of the day at Wembley on this day 2019….

Having ended the season thinking we wouldn’t get to the playoff final… a couple of OK performances vs Portsmouth, for some reason I’ve convinced myself we’ll beat Charlton 2~0…..

Given the season started 295 days ago, (who could forget that stoppage time winner to defeat Charlton 2~1???). The decision was made to drive.

Having met the NE contingent ~ we departed wetherby at 8.30am.

The highlight of any good drive down south is a stop at Peterborough North Services…

peterborough north service station
“Service station porn… (new cover girl required ~ photos to safcblog1@gmail.com)
The Saw Doctors - to win just once
“Today’s the day?”
picture of a packed Wembley way
“Win today??”
bad shell suit
Whilst it’s a 4 hour drive south… is this acceptable????
bookmakers advert showing charlton 2  v sunderland 1
“What price 2~0 Sunderland??” (Asking for a friend)



Half time 1~1

packed crowd of Sunderland fans at Wembley
“20 minutes to go….. Grigg is on. More chance of the English Channel catching fire?”

Full time 1~2

94th minute winner a real sickener. But….. even with a 1 goal head start, we never really looked like winning the game. My hope for today was…. “do not leave anything out there, do not let the day pass you by, do not have any regrets…..”. I’m generally mega positive ~ but sadly it was 0/3 in terms of boxes ticked.

Fair do’s to Charlton; let’s remember they couldn’t even name a full bench in August ~ they’ve been through the mill. The best team won yesterday.

Wembley … no place for losers.

Grant Leadbitter
“It hurts…..”
Hurt Johnny Cash
“It really, really, really fucking hurts….”
road sign showing directions to the North
“Just hang a left for League 1”

service station
“Peterborough North this ain’t….”
sun setting
“The sun sets on another trip to Wembley… it wasn’t to be sadly”

So… 295 days after beating Charlton 2~1 with a last minute winner in the opening game of the season. Perfect symmetry was completed yesterday.

Regular readers of this blog, (I know, I know), will know I’m generally positive….. in summary;

~ Jack has steadied a very stormy ship

~ given his remit of promotion; we have ultimately failed

~ dust needs to settle…. but I’d go again with Jack next year 100%

A playoff final at Wembley is a horrible place to lose…. but the day was spent with fantastic friends and thoughts of those sadly departed who we’d love to spend a few moments with. Keep the faith. We go again in August.


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