Charlton are second after a 2-1 win at The Valley this afternoon. Two goals in three minutes in the second half from Magennis and Holmes saw the Addicks take all three points with the Shrimpers replying from a corner.
It was a bit of a slow start from Charlton against Southend United. Two early Charlton corners were unproductive. There was good work from DaSilva to stop McGlashan past him with the ball. Solly inadvertently gave the ball to Kightly and Pearce had to recover the situation. A Southend corner went over the crossbar. Clarke put in a dangerous cross, but it was dealt with by the visitors.
Amos kept out a deflected cross and Ranger fired wide. Kashi put in a speculative effort from 35 yards which was fisted out by Oxley in the Southend goal. A great break from Fosu and Holmes led to a Charlton corner. As the half hour mark approached, Pearce was not too far wide from the edge of the box. Oxley saved from Magennis as Charlton imposed themselves on the game more. A Cox shot was dealt with by Pearce.
A Magennis shot was deflected for a Charlton corner. The lively Clarke was only just wide from the edge of the box. McGlashan was booked for a foul on Kashi.
Charlton were not having it all their own way, and one frustrated fan tweeted, 'Where's the Charlton of the last few weeks gone?'
HT: Addicks 0, Shrimpers 0
The second half started quietly and the first event of note was a Charlton corner won by Holmes on 53 minutes. An effort by Forster-Caskey was saved. On 57 minutes Magennis was unable to connect with an excellent Fosu cross. Good work by Clarke won Charlton a corner. A long throw led to a Southend corner.
On 65 minutes Fosu fed Solly who set up Magennis who put the ball in the back of net. This was followed three minutes later by a great goal by Sheffield United target Ricky Holmes. With his back to goal on the edge of the box he turned his man and put the ball in the bottom right-hand corner.
Southend pulled one back on 79 minutes, White making use of a corner, a situation where Charlton are always potentially vulnerable.
An equaliser threatened on 83 minutes when Amos couldn't deal with a cross, but Magennis cleared off the line. Clarke got a yellow card for kicking the ball away at a Southend free kick. Kightly was booked for a cynical foul on Fosu as he broke clear.
On 86 minutes Holmes went off to a standing ovation and Dodoo made his Valley debut. Fosu was then replaced by Konsa. Amos claimed a Southend corner on 90 minutes.
Five minutes was added on by the referee, surely unreasonable given that Ranger had to be indoors by 7 pm to comply with the conditions of his curfew. He won't be able to go to next week's away game at leaders Shrewsbury Town.
Karl Robinson said after the game that his man of the match was Chris Solly. He bigged up Southend, saying they had not been given enough respect: I haven't looked at the table!
The words 'respect' and 'Southend' reminds me that a friend of mine wants her ashes tipped off the end of Southend Pier. As she is a bit younger, I may not have to participate. It's not something I anticipate with relish on a cold day with the wind blowing off the estuary.
The match report from Louis Mendez of the SLP can be found here: Perfect Valley record
Earlier in the day my companion on the Cat Awareness Day stall in the Royal Priors said that she had never met a Charlton Athletic fan before.