Saturday, 31 March 2012

Jubilee line spur to be built to Valley

Both of the leading candidates in the London mayoral election have given a commitment to build a spur from the Jubilee Line at North Greenwich to The Valley.   The spur would depart from the third platform at the tube station and there would be an intermediate station at Sainsbury's Greenwich Peninsula which would be funded by the supermarket chain.

The station at The Valley would be under the West Stand car park, but there would be an escalator leading to an entrance by the East Stand in Harvey Gardens.   During the construction phase there would be only limited use of the car park.   A stabling siding would be built under the pitch, but given its depth, there would be no effect on the pitch itself.

Club development officer Rick Everitt commented, 'This scheme can only be of benefit to the club.  What is more it will be a big boost to the regeneration of Lower Charlton.'   Valley Express coaches would park at the Dome with passengers completing their journey by train.

The service would not be affected by the frequent disruption experienced on the Jubilee Line as the service would be self-contained, although there would be a limited number of trains to and from Willesden Green on match days.

Asked how fans could complete their journey if the main Jubilee Line was not operating because of a signal failure at Canary Wharf or a failed train at Bermondsey, a Tfl spokesperson said that replacement bus services would be available.

Boris Johnson (right) has said that the scheme would ease traffic congestion in the area.

That'll do

Charlton beat Leyton Orient 2-0 at The Valley this afternoon to maintain their lead at the top of League 1.  Scott Wagstaff celebrated his 22nd birthday with a goal after six minutes (he was voted man of the match in the lounges and his mum and dad had brought a cake for him), but the Addicks lost some momentum after a goal was disallowed.   Nevertheless, they played some good football in the first half, keeping the ball on the ground, passing well and retaining possession. 

In the second half they started to lose the plot a bit.   The midfield seemed to go awol, there were some unforced errors and Orient were able to get some shots in on goal.   However, they started to recover and N'Guessan scored the second goal having come on as a substitute.

There were plenty of Orient fans on the train from London Bridge, one wearing a shirt proclaiming 'We own East London.'   West Ham fans might have a view about that, but another reaction would be 'you're welcome to it.'

Bradley Wright-Phillips won Charlton an early corner and it was well delivered by Cook.   The striker was then brought down in the area, but the referee saw nothing wrong with it and refused to award a penalty, although I have seen softer ones given.

Hapless Orient full back Scott Cuthbert could not track the movement of Wiggins following a free kick and he set up Wagstaff for a tap in after six minutes to make it 1-0.

Lee Cook made a good run, but the ball was eventually taken off him, perhaps he should have laid it off, although he didn't have many options.

Following a Charlton corner, the ball went in the back of the net but the referee ruled it out because of handball by Cort.  If that was the case, why wasn't Cort booked?

A dubious Orient free kick led to an Orient corner.   Hamer had to make a reaction save with both hands after former Addick Matt Spring sprung into action from six yards out.    Hamer then had to make a great save to deal with a stinging shot from distance.

Wiggins won a corner for Charlton, but play was held up while Cuthbert, who had picked up a hamstring problem, was substituted by Syam Ben Youssef who was playing in Tunisia until January.  Youssef turned out to be much smarter than carthorse Cuthbert which raises the question why Orient did not start with him.

Scott Wagstaff won Charlton a corner.   Stephens contributed some good play.  In the two minutes added on, J Smith was shown a yellow card for a foul on Kermorgant.

Half time: Addicks 1, O's 0

An Orient free kick led to an early corner for the visitors.   Dean Leacock was booked for a foul on Kermorgant.   Orient keeper and former Charlton bench warmer Paul Rachubka pulled off a good double save from first Bradley Wright-Phillips and then Chris Solly.   Solly then put in some good defensive work.

Stephens gave away a completely avoidable free kick, but Hamer was able to make the save.   Scott Wagstaff was felled and Terrell Forbes received a yellow card.   Hollands conceded a corner to Orient.

The fading Wright-Phillips was taken off and replaced by N'Guessan.   In the 82nd minute Lee Cook provided a cross which Chris Powell later described as Premier League quality and N'Guessan headed in powerfully to make it 2-0.     And that was pretty much that, apart from a yellow card for Alan Reed.   A good, solid win.

Coming back on the tube I was talking to a West Ham fan who said his grandfather had supported Charlton.   He said it looked as if we were playing each other next season.

The ticket inspectors at Euston asked what the score was which shows how our profile is rising.

Match analysis

Ivy the Terrible has awarded the Silver Bone to Ben Hamer for a clean sheet and a save that kept us ahead.   He also delivered some good balls forward, for example on to Solly who had another excellent game and must be in the running for Player of the Year.   Wiggins was also very good, apart from one occasion when he gave the ball away to Orient.   Cort was very solid, even if his defensive headers lacked direction.  Morrison was playing more of a traditional centre half role and was not getting forward as much as he often does which is no bad thing.  One ball forward was poor.   Even the Bloke Behind Me had to admit that Cook had put in a decent shift when he came off and he provided the assist for the second goal.   Wagstaff was more prominent in the first half but his performance was generally good.    Stephens was anonymous in the second half and I did not think that it was a particularly impressive performance from Hollands.    Wright-Phillips drifted out of the game in the second half and it was the right call to substitute him.   Kermorgant was the object of many fouls, contributing substantially to the five yellow cards that Orient received.   N'Guessan started to trouble Orient from the moment he came on the pitch and the goal was well taken.   Green had a cameo, but did his best to get involved.

Juneau the Soccer Cat has given the Hiss of the Match to referee M Brown.   His performance in the first half was one of the worse I have seen at The Valley.  He did improve after the break, perhaps the fourth official had a word.   He certainly seemed to be relying a lot on his radio, but perhaps he was checking on the Blades score.    They must have a special training centre in East Yorkshire for incompetent referees.

Friday, 30 March 2012

Mooney says Orient full of confidence

David Mooney has said that Orient are full of confidence ahead of tomorrow's clash at The Valley:

He's hardly likely to say that they are in the depths of despair: I always find these 'the lads are up for it' stories mildly amusing.   However, the fact that this pronouncement is coming from David Mooney actually increases my confidence that we will get a result tomorrow.

Addicks face closest team

Tomorrow Charlton Athletic face their geographically closest rivals in League 1, Leyton Orient.  Brisbane Road (as I prefer to call it) is just 8.3 miles from The Valley which is the distance that some Orient fans will be walking in support of a cancer charity and in memory of fan who died from the disease.   I don't envy them transiting the Blackwall Tunnel.

Orient are currently 17th in League 1 and need to avoid slipping into the relegation zone.   Their record away from home is better than their home record.   On their travels they have won seven, lost seven and drawn five.  At home they have only won five and lost nine.   We also need to bear in mind that Charlton's record this season is less good against teams in the bottom half of the table.

The jittery Valley crowd will soon be on the team's backs if we don't score an early goal.  I think that we will get just a point from this encounter.

Once again we have to put up with a referee from (East) Yorkshire.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Richard Murray

Best wishes to Richard Murray who has suffered a minor stroke.  He is expected to make a complete recovery.

Charlton's lead at the top of League 1 has been cut to six points after Sheffield United defeated paint pot trophy winners Chesterfield 4-1 last night.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Charlton pay the penalty

Recalled on form striker Paul Hayes went straight into the team at Huddersfield in place of the ill Kermorgant reports Paul May.   Cort stayed in central defence in place of Taylor on the bench and Russell retained his midfield role with Stephens on the bench.   Cook was on the bench for the first time.

Charlton started brightly with Wagstaff featuring.   However, Morrison was unable to connect with two long throws from Hollands.  Wagstaff got in a cross, but should have had a free kick as his heels were clipped.

Huddersfield applied some pressure, but Wagstaff did well as some hazy sunshine appeared after a cloudy day ‘Oop North.   Hollands put in a good delivery on the angle but Morrison’s header went wide.

Hamer made a fantastic one handed save from a Rhodes header.   A foul on Russell led to a Charlton free kick.  Wiggins aimed at Cort, but Huddersfield counter attacked.   Russell was tricked into a foul on Roberts and Huddersfield were given a penalty.   Rhodes sent Hamer the wrong way and put the ball into the corner of the net to take Huddersfield’s post-war scoring record for a season and the home side 1-0 ahead on 13 minutes.

Wiggins had no option but to put the ball behind for a corner.    S Morrison had a free header, but Rhodes put it just round the post.

Bradley Wright-Phillips won a corner for Charlton.   Morrison’s header went over the crossbar. 

Wagstaff’s cross went between Hayes and Wright-Phillips as the halfway point of the half approached.

Wiggins beat two defenders and won a corner for the Addicks, but it was unproductive.   The momentum in the game was shifting back to Charlton with Hayes and Wright-Phillips developing their partnership. 

A great run by Solly led to a Charlton corner, but the ball was headed over the crossbar for a goal kick.   Wagstaff was fouled but Kay went to ground with a bang to the head.   Both players received treatment.   The referee called across the two captains to calm things down with the Charlton players furious about the late tackle and Hamer was given a lecture.  No one was cautioned and the Yorkshire referee gave a dropped ball.   Chris Powell threw a slice of orange away in frustration and complained at some length to the fourth official.

Rhoys Wiggins did well to win a corner for Charlton.   A Hollands throw in led to another Addicks corner, but it was unproductive.

A Huddersfield shot went over the crossbar.    Wiggins defended well as Huddersfield threatened to break.     The game went a bit flat.

Bradley Wright-Phillips got in between two defenders but overran it a bit.   Charlton kept up the pressure in the two minutes added on, then Novak broke, but Wiggins intercepted well.

Half time: Terriers 1, Addicks 0

Charlton were playing towards the 1,118 Addickted in the second half.   Russell could have gone for goal himself but played in Wagstaff whose touch was too heavy and then Hollands let fly but shot wide.

N’Guessan dealt well with Novak.   Rhodes got a shot away but it was straight at Hamer.     It was a seesaw start to the second half.

Solly stood up well as Huddersfield attacked.    Russell was the victim of a very late challenge, but he kicked out at Kay on the floor.   Russell got the straight red.   Kay got a yellow card.   It should really have been his second yellow.   Novak was booked as well.

N’Guessan was taken off and replaced by Stephens at the hour mark.   Cort got in a header but Smithies turned it over the crossbar.    Huddersfield countered from the corner.

Charlton continued to play patiently but could not get a shot on goal.  Huddersfield made a double change with Gudjonsoon and Lee coming on.

An effort from Solly was deflected for a corner.   The first touch by Hayes was poor. 

Huddersfield had a spell of possession and won a free kick 25 yards out in a central position.   The free kick from Gudjonsoon took a deflection off Solly for a corner.   It went out for another corner off Stephens.   The ball went straight out for a goal kick.

Wagstaff got away from Peter Clarke superbly and put in a cross but Hayes couldn’t connect.   Lee won a corner for Huddersfield.       Hayes was replaced by Pritchard.

Charlton were being penned back in their own half.   Stephens took out Arismendi but didn’t get a yellow card.

Huddersfield got a free kick in the Charlton half which gave an opportunity for more time wasting.

Solly took the ball off Novak after a foul was not spotted by the referee.  Wiggins won a free kick off the Uruguyan Arismendi.    Morrison headed the ball back but Cort headed over.   Charlton thought they should have had a corner.

Four minutes were added on.    Huddersfield made their final change with Arismendi going off as slowly as the River Plate.   Huddersfield won a corner.   The corner was taken short.   Huddersfield were given a soft free kick.    The home fans whistled frantically.  

Friday, 23 March 2012

What's in the water at Huddersfield?

I don't know what's in the water up in Huddersfield but now striker Lee Novak has reinforced the message coming from supremo 'Larry' Grayson that they can overtake Charlton in the table:

Whilst I can see that Huddersfield might hope to beat Charlton tomorrow, it seems to me that actually overtaking them in the league is a tall order.   Perhaps, as Drinking During the Game suggests, the real target is to get past the two Sheffield clubs.

Interestingly, the Examiner is taking up a much cautious line this morning, arguing that it won't be an 'easy win' against Charlton.  Having delivered this devastating insight, they then go on to favour a draw as a likely outcome.  They could well be right and I would take it.

Huddersfield may take heart from the fact that the referee is from Yorkshire and the two linos and the fourth official are all from 'Oop North.

Paul Hayes recalled

Paul Hayes has been recalled from his loan spell at Wycombe Wanderers and presumably could be available for the Huddersfield game tomorrow.   He has found his shooting boots again and has been banging in the goals for the Chairboys.

He will receive a lounge suite from the Chairboys as a gesture of thanks.

Leamington news is now available at a new blog:

Thursday, 22 March 2012

'We can catch Charlton'

Huddersfield Town supremo Simon Grayson is confident of catching up with Charlton following the recent fall off in the Addicks' form.   He is also confident of overtaking the two Sheffield clubs.

It may not be against a massive club, but it's being billed as a massive game on Saturday:

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Convincing win for Charlton?

Charlton's 3-0 victory over Yeovil tonight looks like a convincing win on paper, but moaners are already saying it was a poor performance.   Perhaps the Yeovil fan in the Sheepside stand at Leamington tonight was nearer the truth when he said that Charlton would simply have too much quality for the Glovers.

Danny N'Guessan grabbed a goal on his debut when his cross-cum-shot sailed through the hands of keeper Sam Walker to give the Addicks a half-time lead.    Perhaps he is another Kermorgant style signing by Chris Powell, but moaners declared that it was a fluke goal.

Bondz Ngala's snap-shot was well saved by Ben Hamer but Bradley Wright-Phillips nodded in unmarked from six yards as the visitors switched off.

Nelson D'Ath struck a crossbar for the Glovers, but Darel Russell poked home a great  Rhoys Wiggins' cross to seal victory for the Addicks.

For some of those who were there Cort was man of the match, winning every header.   He replaced Taylor, who has been below par recently, and was relegated to the bench.

Elsewhere, Sheffield United did a 5-2 demolition job on Notts County, while the Massives scored a last minute equaliser to share the points with mighty Walsall.   Another truimph for the 'we're already promoted' team.

Addicks are there for the taking

Yeovil Town are in confident mood ahead of tonight's game at The Valley and are hoping to spring a surprise:

Former Charlton loan player Dean Parrett enjoyed his time with the Addicks which he thinks helped his development but is out to make an impression tonight:

Monday, 19 March 2012

The Pressure Is On

Chris Powell has warned the team that they must 'embrace the pressure' of being the top club in League One.  'I think the pressure gets to any team, whether they're at the top or the bottom, but you have to embrace that pressure at the top,' the Addicks supremo said.

At this time of the season we face teams fighting to avoid relegation, of which there are many.  Among the sides competing for promotion, only Huddesfield are left among our fixtures.  But even mid-table sides like the glory of taking the scalp of the leading club.   It's tough and exposed at the top.

I have always found having to grind results out against Yeovil one of the most irritating aspects of playing in League 1.   The Glovers engage in an annual struggle to remain at this level and somehow they always manage it.

At the moment they are 3rd in the form table, above Charlton, having put together a little run.   On Saturday leading scorer Andy Williams scored two fluke goals to defeat Walsall.   One went in off his backside and the other was diverted into the net by a Walsall player.

Meanwhile, a Sheffield Wednesday fan writing in The League Paper has declared that automatic promotion is now secured.   I suppose that confidence comes from supporting a massive club and contrasts with the nervousness at The Valley.  However, I think we will win 2-0 tonight.

Powell doesn't keep us guessing

Chris Powell has moved quickly to bridge the gap in his forward line by signing Dany N'Guessan on loan from Millwall until the end of the season.   The versatile attacker, who can play as a central striker, a wide forward or in an advanced midfield position, signed on at The Valley this morning.  N'Guessan, who will wear squad number 39, will go straight into the Addicks' squad for the visit of Yeovil Town tomorrow evening.

The 24-year-old is a previous team-mate of Powell during his time at Leicester City and spent time at Southampton during their promotion-winning campaign in League One last season. Having initially joined Millwall on loan at the start of August, he completed a permanent switch at the end of the month and has made 19 appearances for the first team since then.   He has played just four matches in 2012, including scoring in the Lions' 3-2 victory at Southampton in the FA Cup, but has been deemed surplus to requirements by manager Kenny Jackett.

Super Hoops winger Lee Cook has also been brought in on loan.  He had a previous loan spell at Charlton in 2008.  He will provide left-wing cover for Johnnie Jackson.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Charlton stay nine points clear

The Addicks stayed nine points clear at the top of League 1 after a 1-1 draw at Scunthorpe today.   Sheffield United drew 1-1 at home with Tranmere Rovers allowing the Massives to draw level with them on points after win at Notts County.   Huddersfield in fourth place are five points behind the two Sheffield sides after their 1-1 draw at Colchester.

Scunthorpe thus confirmed their position as League 1 draw specialists.   Bradley Wright-Phillips put the Addicks ahead after 6 minutes, the assist coming from a cross from the right from Scott Wagstaff.   It almost became two sixty seconds later, following a Johnnie Jackson free kick, but the shot from Hollands was blocked.

The Iron levelled from the penalty spot after 21 minutes when Rhoys Wiggins cut down Thompson.

The home side had the better of the second half, but Hamer made some good saves which is encouraging to hear.

Elsewhere, Jose Semedo has made it clear how pleased he is to be playing for a truly massive club.  The one time Valley hero replied to the question "As you know, Charlton now look certain for promotion, do you have any regrets in leaving?" - 'No, none at all. It was the best thing to do in my life. Sheffield Wednesday are bigger, have the better atmosphere, big fans, best fans'

Friday, 16 March 2012

Leon Clarke gone

Leon Clarke has joined Crawley Town for the rest of the season and on loan and there is no recall clause:

He was about to get on the coach for Scunthorpe when the news, which has been described as 'sensational' in Crawley, came through.

He has perhaps not added that much at Charlton.   There are no known plans for bringing anyone else in as cover.

Local boy makes good

Former Chard Town keeper Ben Hamer talks about his career:

Although the premise of this story that Greg Wylde might join Charlton rather than a Premiership side is flawed, the question whether 'ambitious' Charlton are a more attractive club than Aston Villa is an interesting one:

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Morale high at Scunthorpe

Morale is high at Scunthorpe after their 2-2 draw secured through a last minute goal at in form Yeovil on Tuesday.   The Lincolnshire side have said that it felt like a win after the Glovers had declared beforehand that it was their cup final.

The view being taken is that the Addicks are there for the taking after their two recent shock defeats, giving a further boost to Scunthorpe's battle against relegation.

At the beginning of the season Scunthorpe were seen as potential promotion candidates rather than likely to be involved in a battle to escape relegation.

Scunthorpe are the draw specialists of the division, having shared the points in no less than sixteen games this season.   At home they have won four, drawn seven and lost seven.   It could be another draw on Saturday.

Charlton linked with Wylde

Charlton are being linked with Greg Wylde, the Scottish under-21 international released by cash strapped Rangers.  A number of Premiership clubs are interested in him, including Everton, but it is being claimed we have made the best offer.

We could certainly do with strengthening on the wing, but it seems that these were Wylde rumours.  Commenting on a national newspaper report, Chris Powell told Pravda: "We haven't made any cash bid. It's like most players at Portsmouth and Rangers - names are being floated around everywhere - either through clubs trying to raise money or agents trying to fix them up with a new club."

"Wylde is someone I'm aware of but we know that Premier League clubs have been in for him. He's a good player, no doubting that. But as it stands I don't think we're in the running."

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Blades draw at U's

Sheffield United used up their game in hand yesterday evening with a 1-1 draw against Colchester, meaning that the Addicks retain a 9 point lead at the top of League 1.

There were extensive obituaries in the papers yesterday of Lord Wedderburn of Charlton.  Born in Deptford, he was first taken to The Valley at the age of two.   Although he lived in North London, he always said that Arsenal were never the same after he left Woolwich.

'Charlton Athletic' was listed as his sole recreation in Who's Who, although how much it is a recreation could be an interesting question.   He often wrote to the Press Office at The Valley.

Monday, 12 March 2012

New Huddersfield triumph and news roundup

Jordan Rhodes is the League 1 Player of the Year, giving Huddersfield a new undefeated record in award ceremonies.  Johnnie Jackson gracuously tweeted that he had lost to a worthy opponent.   However, a boost for the Addicks is that Jordan Cousins was named as League 1 Apprentice of the Year.

Commenting on the situation, a friend who is a Huddersfield fan said, 'My family is very disappointed at Lee Clark's peremptory dismissal by a jumped-up rich local businessman and are having a phase of distaste for Town and football in general. In my view too the Town team is not quite good enough to go up - weak defence (which Lee should have sorted).'

You can vote for Bradley Pritchard as Zimbabewe International Sports Personality of the year here:

Ben Hamer has tweeted that he is in the treatment room this morning, alongside Paul Hayes who picked up a hamstring niggle at Wycombe.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Third tier promotion wobbles

Previous third-tier promotion wobbles below:

March 29th 1975 - Charlton 1 Grimsby 1 D
April 1st 1975 - Swindon 2 Charlton 0 _ L
April 5th 1975 - Charlton 2 Bournemouth 3 - L
April 7th 1975 - Tranmere 0 Charlton 1 - W
April 12th - Peterborough 1 Charlton 1 _ D
April 19th 1975 - Charlton 0 Bury 1 - L
April 22nd 1975 - Hereford 2 Charlton 2 - D
April 26th 1975 - Chesterfield 2 Charlton 0 - L
April 29th 1975 - Charlton 3 Preston 1 - W - promoted

P9 W2 D3 L 4

4th April 1981 - Charlton 1 Huddersfield 2 - L
11th April 1981 - Rotherham 3 Chartlton 0- L
14th April 1981 - Charlton 1 Portsmouth 2 - L
18th April 1981 - Fulham 1 Charlton 0 - L
21st April 1981 - Charlton 0 Oxford 0 - D
25th April 1981 - Carlisle 1 Charlton 2 - W - promoted

P6 W1 D1 L4

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Second half fightback is not enough

One Addick who had travelled a considerable distance to the game left in disgust five minutes before half time after Charlton had gone down 0-4 at home to Notts County.   He missed a second half fightback when Charlton started to play football as they can.  But it was too late to compensate for the appalling defensive errors in the first half and the Addicks finished the game 2-4 down.

It might have been a different story if we had been awarded a penalty in the second half after Bradley Wright-Phillips was brought down and it was presumably this that Chris Powell was politely remonstrating with the referee about after the game.  It was certainly as justified as the two free kicks that followed.

I was feeling relatively optimistic before the game.   Last Sunday Coventry Blaze won an against the odds victory at home to Nottingham Panthers and I might have known that the city of Nottingham would fight back.   Charlton have never won promotion in March and it's pretty certain that they won't again.  Earlier in the day some of the Addickted were calculating at which match we would win promotion and I did think it was a hostage to fortune.  

But today and Tuesday is a wake up call and a warning against complacency.   We need to revive our spirit, find our defensive strength and our skill again and all will still be well.

We started brightly enough with Solly efficiently shepherding out the ball from a Magpies attack.  But then there was a warning of what was to come with Hamer conceding a corner, rather unnecessarily, and then forced to concede a second one.

Haynes, having not touched the ball, had to be taken off with a hamstring problem.   After that we began to lose our shape.

Judge then put a strike in from distance to put the visitors 0-1 ahead.   Post match commentary has been remarkably kind to Hamer, who has held his hands up on Twitter.   This strike probably could not have been stopped, but he might have tried.   As it was he was motionless.

Wiggins changed his boots to cope with the conditions, but County powered down their left with Solly out of position and two minutes after the first goal Forte had scored the first of his three.

Morrison drew a save on the line.   Kermorgant went down the first of a number of times.   He was putting himself about and getting some rough treatment in return.   Wiggins won Charlton a free kick, but we were not able to do anything with it.

A mix up between Hamer and Taylor led Forte to score his third goal on 35 minutes and he got his fourth with a header on 40.   Even the Bloke Behind Me was stunned into shocked silence.

Charlton won their first corner on 44 minutes but it led to a free kick for County and Kermorgant picked up a yellow card.

Half time: Addicks 0, Magpies 4

Chris Powell's half time team talk clearly had an effect and Charlton looked much livelier after the break, winning an early corner through good work by Wright-Phillips (worth noting because some have argued that all he did was score the goal).   I thought County were going to make it five but the ball seemed to come off the post.

Wright-Phillips raised the spirits of the Addickted with his goal on 50 minutes and he turned provider for Wagstaff to score five minutes later.   Another shot came in which was just wide.   Wright-Phillips was shoved in front of goal, but the referee, who has only just started his weight watchers course, wasn't having any.   He did then give two rather generous free kicks in promising positions as compensation for his poor decision-making, but we were unable to gain any advantage from them.

County made their first substitution on 60 minutes and perhaps we should have thought of bringing Clarke on as the intensity of our efforts start to subside as the physical tool involved started to be felt.

Charlton were awarded a free kick, but the below par Jackson put it wide.   A corner was conceded to County through naivety on the part of Taylor, but fortunately it was not productive for them.

The convention of ice hockey referees in the Jimmy Seed were revitalised by County coming back into the game and started chanting 'Give us five!'

Charlton won a corner and then County were given a dubious one courtesy of the lino.  Another Charlton corner was punched out by the keeper.   Charlton were not able to take advantage of the four minutes added on with Kermorgant felled again.

Notts County boss Keith Curle, who has secured 16 points out of 18 with his 'quiet revolution' said afterwards, 'We [knew] we could cause them problems if we were prepared to keep the ball down and pass and play.'   Charlton might note that.   There was too much use of the long ball as the game went on in a desperate attempt to narrow the gap.

A lounge lizard reports, 'Had a chat with Kermogant after the game and he said the team are under too much pressure at home, whereas away the pressure is reduced and they can play without the fans on their backs.'

Scunthorpe will be a test of that.   We then face super, soaraway Yeovil who are now second in the form table.

Match analysis

No one really deserved the award of the Silver Bone so there is no recipient this week.   Although all the blame for the goals cannot be laid at the door of Hamer he had a mare of a match.  Moreover, knowing that he is going through a bad patch the central defence should have done more to protect him.   Both Taylor and Morrison were at fault, although Morrison did have our one decent shot on goal in the first half.  Solly competed well, but was at fault in relation to the second goal.   He also needs to speed up his throw ins.  Wiggins was the player who came nearest to getting the Silver Bone, he did get forward well and his passing was accurate.  Jackson had a very poor game by his standards and was involved relatively little, but much the same could be said of Stephens (apart from one nice move) and Hollands.   The early loss of Haynes to a hamstring problem disrupted our game plan. Wagstaff certainly made a contribution when he came on, including scoring a goal.   Kermorgant certainly got involved and got forward well, although he appeals too much for decisions.   Wright-Phillps gave his all and provided the assist for one goal and scored another.

Juneau the Soccer Cat has given the Hiss of the Match to referee B Malone.  When I saw the stocky referee high fiving his linos before the game I knew we were dealing with a pratt who was well up himself.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Waggy unhappy

Scott Wagstaff is unhappy with the amount of game time he has been given this season:

I know that Waggy has a lot of fans among the Addickted and Danny Green has his limitations.  However, pace is not everything and when he does come on he has made little impact.   He also has acquired an unfortunate habit of whingeing to the officials about every decision that does not go his way

Thursday, 8 March 2012

County ready to rise to the challenge

Keith Curle's quiet revolution comes to The Valley tomorrow and with Notts County hoping to secure a play off place they are ready to rise to the challenge:

On the whole, the tone of what is coming out of Nottingham strikes me as less confident than the very strong confidence coming out of Colchester earlier in the week.

Curle told Radio Nottingham, 'Charlton proved last week that they are not unbeatable. Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday will be difficult games but they have weaknesses.'

'If you ask everybody in the division they will say Charlton will get promoted as champions, but they have to get over the line.  We have a gameplan that we will take there. The majority of times they play 4-4-2. Can we match them if we play 4-4-2? Yes. And can we give them problems if we play a different formation? Yes.'

Sounds like a 4-5-1 involving the team bus.   Charlton should be good for a point.

Chris Powell has won his third manager of the month award, a further burden to overcome.   Former Addick Jon Fortune has signed for Exeter City.

Now that the dust has settled

Now that the dust has settled from Tuesday's defeat by Colchester United, we can take a calmer view of the situation.  Essentially we lost because of a superb early goal and a mistake by Hamer.  These things happen.   Sooner or later we were going to suffer a home defeat and it was likely to come in a midweek fixture with a low attendance.

Reaction among fans has been measured.   Earlier in the season it would have been 'we can kiss goodbye to any hope of promotion', 'I've seen this coming' and 'Powell's inexperience is showing through'.

One line of criticism has been that our football has been effective rather than scintillating.   I will settle for effective if it gets us out of this division.  We are up against physical, negative teams with little protection from officials.   And we do have a League 1 side which we will need to rebuld following promotion.

Midfield does concern me.   Green needs to do more than provide a few good crosses.  Stephens is effective enough, but rarely sets up an attack.   Sometimes I wonder if Hughes would add a bit more grit.

A Burnley fan told me last night that he was looking forward to playing us next season.  He noted that whenever Charlton lost or drew a match, they went on to win the next three.  Let's hope he's right.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Charlton lose unbeaten home record

It’s an unchanged side for Charlton here at The Valley tonight with Ben Hamer pronounced fit reports Paul May.  With Wyn Grant kept in Warwickshire by work commitments, yours truly will provide the report from a cold SE7.   Word came through on Twitter on some Addicks stuck on the M25.

On five minutes Wordsworth hammered the ball beyond Hamer into the top corner to make it 0-1.  It was some goal: Hamer could not have stopped it.

Colchester won a corner, Charlton eventually got it out of the danger area.   The Addicks were rocking a bit defensively. 

Green put in a cross, the shot from Wright-Phillips looked as if it might head for the bottom corner, but it took a deflection for a corner.   Following a throw in, Stephens put in an effort which went over, a corner being awarded for a deflection.   Jackson’s corner was claimed by the highly rated U’s keeper.

Green shot after a move started by Solly.   The U’s were able to clear.   Solly turned provider for Jackson with an excellent pass and the skipper put in a rasping drive but it hit the bar.

Solly prepared to put in a shot, but the ball was taken off him.   Nevertheless, Charlton were starting to apply some pressure.    Wiggins floated the ball in after a delicious pass by Stephens, but no one was able to connect even though there were five Charlton players in the area.

Wiggins put in a superb ball to Hollands which flashed across the goal.  The resultant corner was cleared by the U’s and Gillespie pushed Solly leading to a Charlton free kick.

Green fed Kermorgant and the ball took a deflection for another corner.   Jackson’s corner was punched clear by the keeper.

Wiggins was furious when he was caught and didn’t get a free kick.   Stephens over hit a ball, reflecting a lack of quality in the final third from Charlton.   There were a number of errors, misplaced passes and poor ball control.   Chris Powell did not look too happy.

Wiggins was caught again and this time a free kick was awarded, leading to a falling out between two of the U’s players.  Word came through that Paul Hayes had scored at Wycombe. 

Hamer released Wiggins with a great kick, the left back advanced but Wright-Phillips put the ball wide amid a ruck of players.

Hollands showed good pace and put in a deep cross, Jackson headed it back across ball and Wright-Phillips could not get the angle right and put the ball wide.

Wright-Phillips went down in the box but no penalty was awarded. 

Half time: Addicks 0, U’s 1

Jackson put in a good ball, Kermorgant swung his left foot at it, it took a deflection and Charlton won their fifth corner.   The keeper flapped at it, but the referee awarded a goal kick.  Kermorgant argued the point with the referee.

Wright-Phillips put in a shot, but the keeper made a good save.   Solly put a good ball in, but Jackson put it straight at the keeper who started to time waste.

Wiggins was fouled by Wordsworth.   Kermorgant could not get enough on the header off Jackson’s free kick.   Cynical play acting by Gillespie tried to get a free kick off Morrison.

Hamer dealt well with a Colchester free kick.    Hollands won the ball and Wiggins earned a corner.   Green’s corner was a decent one and it led to a second.   Jackson’s corner won another one.   Stephens made an effort, there were appeals for handball.    The Charlton pressure was raising the spirits of the Addickted.

Izzet got a yellow card.   Jackson floated a decent ball in, but Kermorgant conceded a free kick for hand ball as he slipped at the vital moment.   The game went a bit quiet after fifteen minutes of pressure from Charlton.

Izzet  went down and stayed down, play continued, Green put in a cross, the ball went into the net from Kermorgant, but it didn’t count. 

Gillespie put in a shot but Hamer saved.   Charlton needed to up the tempo.  Rowlands fouled Hollands and a yellow card was awarded to Gillespie for kicking the ball away.   Wordsworth put in a horrible tackle on Green and received a yellow card.  The keeper got to Jackson’s free kick. 

Kermorgant flicked on the ball to Wright-Phillips, but it was defended, although the Addickted thought it was a foul.   The U’s doubled their lead through Gillespie.  Hamer tried to control the ball and took an extra touch.  Hamer was distraught.   The Addickted tried to keep their spirits up by chanting ‘We are top of the league.’ 

Green was taken off for Haynes.   A Colchester player dived at Wiggins and got away with it.    Jackson looked as if he was struggling.   Odejayi  got round Wiggins and won a corner off Morrison.  The corner was taken short and the shot was poor.

Haynes turned well and won the ninth corner for Charlton.   Izzet came very close to scoring an own goal at the Covered End.   The corner from Stephens was decent enough but was ultimately unproductive.   Clarke came on.   Morrison was booked, I was no quite clear why.  Dale Stephens shot but it was just over the top.

Haynes was fouled but the Colchester player went down.   The keeper punched the free kick clear.  A volley by Kermorgant was charged down.   The corner was headed clear.   Gillespie was substituted and took his time coming over from the East Stand side.

Four minutes were added on.    Solly put a good ball in, Haynes claimed a penalty.    Hamer had to deal with a back pass.   An effort from Kermorgant went straight at the keeper.
So Charlton lost their record of being unbeaten at home this season.   However, Sheffield United lost 3-2 at Walsall so Charlton's points lead was unchanged, although the Massives beat Bury 4-1.

U's full of confidence

Colchester United are full of confidence for tonight's fixture at The Valley.   In the view of one of their legends, the pressure is all on Charlton:

'Red hot' striker Steven Gillespie is out for revenge after a goal he scored last February at The Valley was disallowed after the intervention of the fourth official:

I think this is going to be a more difficult match than most people allow, but I still think we will be able to manage a 2-1 win.

Pathé Gazette footage recalls Charlton's promotion from third to first division in two seasons in the 1930s.  Perhaps we should bring back Jimmy Seed's magnetic board, but not the baggy shorts!

Monday, 5 March 2012

Hamer has 'outside chance' of playing

Ben Hamer's ankle injury is being assessed and there is an 'outside chance' that he will play against Colchester United tomorrow night, according to Pravda.

The U's are full of confidence after their 3-0 drubbing of a physical Preston side on Saturday.  Although they are 11th in the table, they are 6th in the form table having last only one of their last six matches.  Away from home, they have lost six, but drawn five and won four.

A Colchester source said, 'Sooner or later Charlton are going to lose at home.  This could be our night  The news that their first choice keeper is injured is a bonus.'

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Addicks go 13 points clear

Charlton have gone 13 points clear at the top of League One after their 1-0 victory at Bournemouth.  Sheffield United suffered a surprise 2-3 defeat at home to Oldham while the Massives secured a point away in a draw with pub team Rochdale.

Yann Kermorgant headed a stoppage-time winner from Danny Green's corner for the Addicks, although the home side complained it had not crossed the line.

Cherries striker Wes Thomas hit the post early on but home keeper Darryl Flahavan kept his side in the game with saves from Bradley Wright-Phillips and Danny Green either side of the break.

Danny Hollands and Dale Stephens went close for Charlton while ex-Addicks man Harry Arter shot wide for the hosts.

The 13th away victory for the Addicks eclipsed the previous best achieved in 1999-2000 when we were promoted to the Premiership.

Chris Powell admitted that it was 'a smash-and-grab victory.'   Bournemouth manager Lee Bradbury said, 'Charlton gave it a push towards the end and you would expect it of a team like them.'

Hamer suffered a slight twist of the ankle, but it does not appear to be too serious.

He would say that, woudn't he?

Bournemouth manager Lee Bradbury says that he is confident ahead of this afternoon's clash with Charlton:

But then he's hardly likely to say, 'I think this one is a game too far us.   They simply have better players than we do and a cast iron defence.   This is one game we have just got to write off.   I am confident that we will lose by a smaller scoreline than Chesterfield.'

I am going for a 0-2 win by the Addicks.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Hollands: boo boys will boost Wiggins

Danny Hollands reckons that any boo boys among the home supporters at Dean Court tomorrow will only boost Rhoys Wiggins to greater levels of achievement:

Many of the Addickted are making a day (or a weekend) of it tomorrow.  Meanwhile, it's strange times at Dean Court with the Russian owner's wife delivering the half time team talk last week and the chairman on a misconduct charge from the FA for his expletive deleted remarks on Radio 5.

The Cherris' leading goal scorer Marc Pugh is out for three weeks with an ankle injury:

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Chesterfield pictures

Lots of pictures of individual Charlton players, of the action and of the Addickted in this report from a young Chesterfield fan: