It’s the 94th minute, the last minute of injury time after a tempestuous match at the Valley. Some shocking refereeing decisions and a sensational 35 yard strike from Johann Gudmundsson have all added to a supercharged Valley atmosphere. Charlton play the ball out. Some neat and quick passing in midfield takes place, and then, all of a sudden, the ball is expertly played through to Igor Vetokele, Charlton’s leading goalscorer – who finds himself through on goal with only their keeper to beat. The Valley crowd rise to their feet in expectation as Igor bears down on the goal. Of all our players it is Igor who was born to take this chance and write his name in Charlton folklore. He HAS to take his chance. He HAS to score. He MUST score. HE…..
Blasts it into Row Z.
To be honest, I would have taken a point at half-time after a dismal first half display in which Callum Harriot was sent off for an awful tackle. Why a large proportion of the Valley faithful decided to clap him off, I have no idea – it really was stupid.
The Gudmundsson goal was brilliant. He had had a very poor first 45 minutes but came out a different player in the second. He had seemed short of confidence and his touch kept letting him down. However, if ever you needed a confidence booster, scoring a goal like this does the business! Earlier in the second half he had hit the bar with a sublime free kick and had been a constant threat on the left wing.
In the end, despite some very poor refereeing, a point was probably a fair(ish) result. We certainly did not deserve to lose the game. However, the memory of today’s match that haunts me is that last minute chance and seeing Igor collapse to his knees after he completely fluffed his lines. Indeed, cemented in my mind ever since is that feeling of what might have been…