Friday 30 November 2018

Rovers in 'confident' mood

Doncaster Rovers are in confident mood ahead of this afternoon's FA Cup tie at The Valley. They have been working hard in training on their tendency to concede from set pieces: Ready

Ben Reeves is expected to play this afternoon after his spell out injured. There will be a number of changes from the team that beat Burton Albion midweek with the focus remaining on promotion.

Why Villa may recall Steer

With Orjan Nyland flopping at Aston Villa and Jed Steer on form at Charlton, it is possible that he may be recalled in January: Steer recall

I suppose it would be good news for the many Dillon Phillips fans.

The decision to loan Steer out was not popular with Villa fans.

Thursday 29 November 2018

It's time a smash and grab went our way

It's time a smash and grab went our way rather than being hit by a sucker punch says captain Jason Pearce of the win at Burton: About time

Pearce said that Charlton were below their usual standards and the players were knackered by the end of the game. Two brilliant saves by Jed Steer kept them in the game.

Pearce also praised the fans who made the trip for their great support.

Tuesday 27 November 2018

Late winner for Charlton

It makes a change from conceding late goals. Charlton scored a late winner through captain Jason Pearce in a 2-1 victory over Burton Albion at the Pirelli Stadium tonight in front of a crowd of 2,348.

The Addicks remain in 6th place with teams above them winning apart from Barnsley who lost at Sunderland, but are two points ahead of the team in 7th place (Doncaster who beat Blackpool 2-0).. It was a rather fortunate victory with the Brewers having 57 per cent of the possession, but there was some good defensive work, including crucial saves by Steer.

Burton went ahead with a rather soft penalty on 24 minutes, but the Addicks won a penalty on 31 minutes converted by Karlan Grant.

On nine minutes Naby Sarr nearly scored an own goal. Bauer made a good block in the box to halt danger man Boyce. On 22 minutes Steer made a super save on to the bar from a header. The rebound went into the net but was ruled offside.

On 24 minutes a Burton player went down over Bielik's trailing foot and the referee awarded a soft penalty which was scored by Akins. The referee had to award Charlton a penalty when Grant was fouled. He took it and, although the keeper got a hand to it, he made it 1-1. On 43 minutes Pearce blocked Cole.

On 54 minutes Aribo pulled the ball back to Lapslie, but his drive was blocked. Sarr made a great challenge when Fraser was clear through on goal. Ward replaced Bielik on 69 minutes. An effort by Taylor was hacked off the line. Fosu was replaced by Marshall. On 87 minutes Pearce scored following a Charlton corner. The Addicks held firm in the five minutes added on.

Lee Bowyer commented, 'Did we deserve the three points? No. But there's a lot of games that we did deserve the three points and left with nothing this season so I'm going to take this one and run.'

Louis Mendez reports on Charlton's unlikely victory: Fourth straight win

Local police said they were investigating a smash and grab raid at the Pirelli Stadium involving the theft of three points with those responsible having made off in a coach towards London.

Monday 26 November 2018

Clough rates Charlton counter attack

Midweek away matches can be very important in determining the outcome of a season and that certainly applies to tonight's game at Burton Albion. Brewers boss Nigel Clough thinks that Charlton are good on the counter attack and dangerous on the break: Clough on Charlton

Burton are currently 14th in League One. At home they have won five, drawn one and lost three. They are eighth in the form table while the Addicks are fourth.

The Brewers lost 3-0 at Blackpool last Saturday and Nigel Clough admitted that they were conceding goals too easily, although this seems to be more of a problem away (18) than at home (seven).

Meire: fans threatened to throw me under train

A new Katrien Meire interview has been uncovered, although unfortunately it is in Flemish: Katrien Meire

It appears that she has negotiated after hours access to the grounds of Chatsworth House and is seen enjoying a picnic with sheep grazing in the distance.

Meire claims, 'At Charlton the fans knew I was taking the train in London Bridge, and they had threatened to throw me under a train.' If this incident happened, it should have been reported to the police.

She also complains about being misinterpreted in an interview where she said we should look to the future which did not mean we should throw the traditions and history of the club in the trash.

Meire also that although the Premier League has embraced internationalism it is not normal in the lower divisions so people are not so used to foreigners.

Aribo's verdict on Saturday and the way forward

Charlton need to stay focused says Saturday's man of the match Joe Aribo: Aribo interview

Aribo said, 'We were good in spells in the game but at times showed we have to dig in and get the result. that’s what we did, we grinded and stayed as a unit. Sometimes you have to win ugly. Sometimes it can feel like that when you’re leading. It feels so easy and like you can take more risks. That doesn’t help us. It gives the opposition a chance to get back into the game as we’re making mistakes.

I felt that on Saturday it wasn't so much risk taking as rather tepid play after the first goal was scored. The crowd was also rather flat.

Southampton may renew the interest they showed in Aribo over the summer when they hoped to secure his signature for less than £1m as part of Roland's fire sale.

George Lapslie and Reeco Hackett-Fairchild (a cameo appearance on Saturday) are ready to sign new contracts: Contract extensions

Saturday 24 November 2018

To the Londoners 3-1

Charlton regained 6th place on goal difference in League One with a 3-1 victory over Bristol Rovers at The Valley this afternoon. The win was achieved without talisman Lyle Taylor. However, Patrick Bauer started his first game after his return frominjury.

Jamie Ward, Joe Aribo and Karlan Grant were all on target as Charlton collected a third straight League One victory. Ward's impressive early opener was cancelled out by Joe Martin's stunning 30th-minute equaliser, a fierce shot from distance. After the Ward goal, the game went a bit flat and Charlton failed to threaten. Bilik was prone to give away possession.

But Aribo's header just before the interval, after a scramble following a corner put the Addicks back in front. Grant wrapped it up in stoppage time when he was put clear on goal to complete the simplest of finishes.

The Addicks broke the deadlock in the 10th minute. Jed Steer's long clearance was latched on to by Ward, who burst through on goal before coolly lofting the ball over advancing Rovers keeper Jack Bonham.

Rovers should have been back on terms but Tom Nichols was just unable to apply a vital touch to Stefan Payne's dangerous low cross. The Gas have been criticised by their manager for not being clinical in their finishing and they wasted a number of chances throughout the game.

Martin drilled an unstoppable left-footed effort from 20 yards beyond the reach of Steer on the half-hour mark. With their tails now up, Liam Sercombe tried a long-range volley that flew just off target and then Steer produced an excellent reaction save from Ollie Clarke.

Nicky Ajose was denied at the other end by Bonham moments later and saw a free-kick deflected inches wide of the post just before the break. Rovers' hopes of going in level were cruelly dashed on the stroke of half-time as some sloppy defending was punished by Aribo's close-range header to restore the Addicks' advantage.

Patrick Bauer headed wide after the restart and Ajose was just behind Ward's inviting pull back on the hour as Charlton looked to move further clear. When former Leamington ace Alex Rodman was brought on a substitute, the Gas upped their game. Charlton were put under quite a bit of pressure and at times seemed to be defending too deep. Steer had to be alert to deal with Sercombe's volley at the other end and the Rovers midfielder blazed an effort well off target four minutes from time.

The Gas hoped they could score from a corner and keeper Bonham decided to come up to add his shooting skills. Grant waited up field and capitalised on Bonham's decision to go up for a corner when he was set clear to fire into an empty net.

Rovers looked like relegation fodder, but they still need to be beaten. Solly had a good game. The lively and skilled Aribo got the man of the match award and was star man for the Football League Paper.

Lee Bowyer reckons that Charlton made it more difficult that it needed to be for themselves and that they missed Lyle Taylor: We deserved to win

Match report from Louis Mendez here: Third straight win

Friday 23 November 2018

Gashead boss gets vote of confidence

Bristol Rovers manager Darrell Clarke has been given the vote of confidence by the club's chairman. Could he be another manager to fall to the curse of Charlton? The Addicks have been something of a bogey team for the Gasheads in the recent past, defeating them 5-1 on their home ground.

Rovers are currently fourth from bottom in League One, but are better placed in the form table where they are just six places behind Charlton. Away from home, they won two, drawn three and lost four.

They are placing their hopes on the absence of Charlton talisman Lyle Taylor who is suspended: Lyle Taylor

The CAS Trust preview notes that it's hard to think of a club against which we have a better record than Bristol Rovers: No win at The Valley for 60 years

That looks us set up for disappointment then.

Charlton have slipped out of the play off places after Coventry drew on Friday evening.

Thursday 22 November 2018

Johnnie Jackson interview

Aspirant sports journalist Charlie Pittock has staged an in depth (and well illustrated) interview with Johnnie Jackson: My life has changed but I still feel like one of the lads

Jacko says: 'Nothing compares to being out on the pitch, nothing will ever beat the euphoria of my last-minute winner against QPR. It was the same level of emotion when we lost in the play-offs at Shrewsbury last year. I was desperate to bow out at Wembley but it wasn’t to be.'

Gasheads get apology

Bristol Rovers owner Wael-al-Qadi has apologised to enraged Bristol Rovers fans after the club was dumped out of the FA Cup by non-league Barnet at home last night: Owner's call for unity

Fearing a relegation struggle, Rovers plan to start their fight back at The Valley on Saturday.

Wealth of copy for VOTV

Stern editorial control is maintained at Voice of the Valley as the latest issue is typeset

Issue No. 147 (my birth month and year) will be hitting the streets around The Valley before the Bristol Rovers game on Saturday. Editor Rick Everitt has such a wealth of copy to choose from that one of the vinegar pissers has had his copy spiked.

As usual, it is possible for a copy to be sent under plain cover for you to enjoy at home, but there is no special Black Friday deal: Details

Wednesday 21 November 2018

Brits put money on the table

Things have speeded up over the last week on the takeover front according to Roland's representative on earth, Lieven De Turck, at a fans' forum held last night: Takeover update

De Turck said of the British group that in the last week he felt they had taken a big step. LDT expected things will be sped up now. He explained that in the past they had shown they had proof of funds but with proof of funds alone they cannot purchase the club. Now they appear close to putting the money on the table.

My concern about this group has always been how much money they have beyond the purchase price to rebuild the club.

Dwe Turck said that the problem with the Australian based consortium was their complexity which was still very high, although there had been some reduction. He said he felt the upcoming transfer window and being sixth in the league helps with the sale of the club which is why he feels there has been movement recently. He still thought the Australians were the most likely bidders which should qualify them for a record as holding the longest negotiation to buy a football club.

Other potential purchasers were mentioned, but they don't look very serious or credible.

Tuesday 20 November 2018

The Old Five

Charlton proceeded to a second round FA Cup tie against Doncaster (who beat Chorley 7-0) with a 5-0 demolition of Mansfield Town at a soaking wetValley tonight. Lyle Taylor scored a hat trick. Mansfield boss David Flitcroft described Lyle Taylor's third goal as 'Cantona-esque'. Even Nicky Ajose got on the score sheet and Lee Bowyer credited him with setting up the first two. Bowyer praised the team's ruthlessness in front of goal.

Not many Addicks enjoyed the spectacle. Rick Everitt tweeted, '1,910 is not only the worst Charlton FA Cup attendance since 1921 but under half the previous worst against Merthyr Town in 1928 - and that was on a Wednesday afternoon!'

The match report from Louis Mendez is here: Mansfield played their part

The BBC has a clip of a goal that gave Lyle Taylor his hat trick: Wonder chip

Page signs new contract

Lewis Page has signed a new contract that will keep him at Charlton until at least 2021: New deal with trigger clause

Smiling supremo Lee Bowyer expressed his delight at the news, although Page is just of five players he wants to sign new deals.

Saturday 17 November 2018

Charlton linked with Italian player

The rumour mill is linking Charlton with former Tottenham player Giancarlo Gallifuoco, Left field deal

He is currently playing for Italian third tier site Rieti, but they are running short of cash and may be open to offers, not that I can see Roland sanctioning one.

He has formerly played for Torquay United and Dover Athletic, but it all looks high risk to me.

Wednesday 14 November 2018

Championship plan may keep Charlton in lower leagues

Charlton may have to face a permanent future in the lower leagues if a plan by leading Championship clubs to break away from the EFL comes to fruition. However, there are a number of obstacles in its way: Premier League 2

Millwall are one of the smaller clubs in the Championship who have declared their opposition to the plan.

Tuesday 13 November 2018

Ajose has to take his chances

Johnnie Jackson says that Nicky Ajose has to take his first team chances when he gets them, although admits that he suffered from a lack of service against Swansea City under 21s: Has to take his opportunities

Ajose has attracted criticism from some Charlton fans who have argued that he is a waste of space or worse.

The disappointed No.2 also discussed Tariqe Fosu, commenting that he hoped he is coming closer to replicating the form that saw him bag nine goals from midfield last season. 'We know what he’s capable of,'' he said. 'We saw it last season. He hasn’t hit those heights yet this season. Walsall he did really well. He needs to play his way back into form. That was the idea behind giving him more minutes tonight. He’s missed a lot of football with injuries and sometimes to really get up to speed and back to top form you need to keep playing.'

Fans vote with their feet

Just 740 fans saw Charlton exit the Checkatrade Trophy last night with a 0-1 defeat at home to Swansea Under 21s - and some think that was a generous estimate.

The one point of interest was the return of Billy Clarke after eleven months out injured and he came the closest to putting the Addicks level: Lowest ever crowd

The EFL needs to take a long, hard look at this competition. Bringing in Under 23 sides devalues it in relation to the old paint drying trophy, and that is saying something. Of course, the real agenda here is bringing top flight reserve sides into the EFL as happens in Spain.

Interest grows in Grant

Karlan Grant has arguably been the most improved player for Charlton this season and has shown a real eye for goal, combining well with Lyle Taylor. Inevitably, he is start to attract interest elsewhere and has been suggested as a possible recruit for Birmingham City: Replacement waiting at Charlton

Sunday 11 November 2018

There's only one Toby Stevenson

Charlton came from behind in today's FA Cup match to to earn a first round replay with Mansfield Town.

Toby Stevenson bundled in the equaliser 17 minutes from time after CJ Hamilton had fired the League Two side in front on the stroke of half-time, seeing his left-foot shot go in off the post. Winger Hamilton, who had earlier hit the outside of the upright, then saw a second-half effort tipped around the post by Charlton keeper Dillon Phillips, who also saved well from Neal Bishop.

The Addicks created chances but failed to register an effort on target until they drew level. Teenage wing-back Stevenson, who became the first Addicks player to score a hat-trick on his debut in last month's club record 8-0 Checkatrade Trophy win at Stevenage, grabbed the equaliser when he stabbed in from close range as the ball bobbled around the Mansfield box.

Both sides had chances to win the tie as Stags keeper Bobby Olejnik saved from Nicky Ajose when through one-on-one, while Mansfield's Jacob Mellis saw his deflected effort hit the outside of the post and bounce wide.

By the time of the replay we will know who we have been drawn against and how much effort it is worth putting in. In any event, starlet Stevenson should start.

Saturday 10 November 2018

The Great War and Jimmy Seed

BBC North-East takes a look at the Great War and Jimmy Seed. Please note that this is a long report and Seed's story is interwoven with that of others and contemporary events: The Last Pass

Seed's grandson James Dutton commented: 'After arriving in France in the summer of 1916, he struggled, suffering with bad periods of depression, which were only relieved by playing football. He was captain of his battalion team and his good friend Tommy Wilson was captain of another battalion of the Leeds Rifles. These football games really helped him.'

Like so many of those that served, Jimmy remained secretive about many of the details of his time in the army. But his passion for football never wavered and undoubtedly helped him deal with war.

With her brothers away on their European tour of duty, Minnie Seed stole the spotlight. She worked in a munitions factory but had the family's sporting genes. She represented numerous sides in her native North East and beyond - including the most famous of all, Dick, Kerr Ladies.

Seed was gassed twice during the war, but good fortune allowed him to continue his football career and then become Charlton manager. I have dealt with his sacking in 1956 in a recent article in Voice of the Valley. Jimmy's daughter Gladys went into labour on hearing that her dad had effectively been sacked. James Charlton Dutton was born the same day, three weeks early. 'Grandad really struggled after being sacked by Charlton,' added Dutton.

Seed struggled with depression all his life, but he opened up just once to his grandson about his wartime experiences. Dutton describes how much his grandad meant to him.

Friday 9 November 2018

Let's win or lose but not draw

We've only played Mansfield three times in our history, only once at their place which means we've never lost to the Stags: History is a poor guide

Even before all the injury worries, sagacious supremo Lee Bowyer indicated that he would put out a 'B' team at Mansfield, saying that the key aim is promotion. He's right in my view. If we lose, we can put up with a few headlines about a shock result and a few unhappy Addicks watching in the United States. If we win, well and good. In some ways a draw would be the worst result.

The Stags are currently 7th in League Two and 6th in the form table. Four Four Two forecast a 6th place finish. Last season Mansfield progressed to the 3rd round of the FA Cup. Odds: Home 6/4; Draw, 13/5; Charlton, 21/10.

Fan comment from Craig Gittins on 'One change I would make at our club' is 'to get rid of the meandering river of piss in the toilets next to the pie stand.'

Given rail disruption, you deserve a medal if you are going.

Tuesday 6 November 2018

Victory on the M6 boosts promotion hopes

Charlton won 2-0 at Walsall tonight with a goal in each half, a Taylor penalty and a goal for the Pole. The Addicks are now back in the play off places at 6th. BBC Midlands, who like to use a 'Charlton were anything but Athletic' line captioned it as a 2-0 Walsall win, perhaps better than my 2-9 typo earlier.

Taylor (a surprise inclusion given injury worries) put Charlton ahead from the penalty spot after just six minutes, sending Liam Roberts the wrong way after Tariqe Fosu's clever turn in the area drew a clumsy foul from George Dobson.

The lively Fosu, who had a great first half, had already curled inches over from 15 yards on three minutes after cutting in from the left. On 20 minutes a Fosu shot was deflected after a Taylor cross. Cullen was booked for a foul. Charlton suffered a blow when Igor Vetokele was carried off on a stretcher with a shoulder injury. he has gone to hospital.

His replacement, Karlan Grant, almost made it 2-0 from Taylor's cross on the brink of half-time but Roberts' fingertips foiled his header with a great save.

In the five minutes added on Charlton had a free kick on the left side of the area after Aribo was fouled. The Charlton bench were calling for a penalty. Cullen's effort was unproductive.

Charlton did double their lead in the 51st minute as a corner fell to Arsenal loanee Krystian Bielik six yards out and he lashed home. Taylor received his fifth yellow card of the season for a foul on 73 minutes, meaning that he will miss the home game against Bristol Rovers while he recuperates.

Walsall took 77 minutes to register a shot on target as Morgan Ferrier's strike brought a great diving save to his left from Jed Steer. The injured Cullen was replaced by Lapslie. Cullen has also dislocated his shoulder. It's Derek Ufton all over again, but in those days you had to stay on the pitch.

Marshall, who had come on as a substitute, won a corner and Bielik's effort was just over the bar. The much criticised Steer then had to punch away under pressure on 90 minutes before the Addicks saw out the five minutes added on.'

Chant of the night: 'Naby Sarr, once he was s****, but now he's all right.'

Congratulations to the 328 Addicks who made it.

Satisfied supremo Lee Bowyer praised a professional performance from his team: Three points on the road

Bowyer now has the highest win rate under Duchatelet (47 per cent) if one discounts the special case of Nugent.

Why the Walsall game is important

Midweek away games in less than salubrious settings are often crucial in determining the outcome of a season which is why today's match alongside the M6 at Walsall is important.

The Saddlers are currently two places behind Charlton in the table. Their record at home is mixed (and less good than that of Charlton): won three; drawn two; lost three, scored nine goals and let in twelve.

In the form table they are fifth from bottom, just behind Charlton who are seventh from bottom.

Walsall went down 1-3 at home to Burton Albion, their third defeat in four matches, so they will be looking for a comeback. Boss Dean Keates, who played 260 games for the Saddlers, said on Saturday, 'The good thing is we have got a game on Saturday. We can hopefully get a reaction.'

The shell shocked supremo added, 'We killed ourselves. We have had an input in every single goal we conceded. I am disappointed, I am frustrated.'

Last season they finished 19th and Four Four Two forecast a relegation slot this season. The fan interviewed forecast 12th.

Odds (Coral): Home, 2/1; Draw, 23/10; Charlton 11/8.

Tom Nield from West Yorkshire will referee Charlton for the first time. He has refereed just six matches in League One and has attracted controversy for poor decision-making.

Monday 5 November 2018

Bielik gets Bowyer to trust him again

Krystian Bielik talks about the shock of being taken off at half time at Rochdale and the determined performance he put in against Doncaster. He makes it clear that he is much more comfortable as a centre back than being used as a defensive midfielder: Getting Lee Bowyer to trust me again

Bielik comments how good it is to have 'Marshy' (Mark Marshall) back again. I thought that he made a good contribution when he came on as a substitute on Saturday. He made some good forward runs.

Sunday 4 November 2018

'Unsung Joe is real gem for Addicks'

That is the headline on a feature on Joe Aribo in the Football League Paper today. He also selected as 'man of the match' against Doncaster.

Sam Parker (former Swindon striker and BBC London pundit) writes, 'Charlton's front two have rightly received a lot of plaudits in the opening months of the season … But it wasn't the deadly strike duo that I was talking about when I made my way home [after the Barnsley game]. Midfielder Joe Aribo continues to excite me every time I see him play.'

'I'd be astonished if he's not being monitored by football clubs higher up the ladder.' [Well, if they weren't before now, this article will draw Aribo to their attention. He could well be number one item in the shop window for Roland's January fire sale. He has eight months left on his contract.]

Aribo came to Charlton in 2016 from Staines Town through a connection with Jason Euell. Parker continues, 'Aribo is an elegant midfielder with great balance and an ability to take people on. He's got a lovely left foot and is very reliable in possession, often manoeuvring himself out of very congested areas.' [I saw examples of this skill yesterday]. His greatest asset is his ability to travel with the ball and drive the team up the pitch. Against the Tykes, he played on the left of a midfield diamond and was impressive throughout.'

'He fits into the current system perfectly, giving them balance slightly to the left [which we need] and has the capacity to contribute both going forward and defensively. With his flair and quick feet he could be a threat further up the pitch as a number ten.' [Worth considering with Taylor unavailable].'

Johnnie Jackson recently told Parker that Aribo 'can go right to the top.' This probably means he is another talent whose progress we will watch from afar.

Saturday 3 November 2018

Win was comfortable but not convincing

A 2-0 win over Doncaster at The Valley this afternoon saw Charlton go to eighth in League One, three points off the play off places. However, despite the clean sheet, it was not that convincing a win. We couldn't get a third goal, despite some chances, and we were dispossessed too easily. As the second half wore on, with Taylor replaced by an unimpressive Vetokele, we were increasingly forced back to defend in depth, giving some anxious moments against rather ordinary opponents. However, both the first half goals were excellent.

Both teams started the game quickly, and Charlton goalkeeper Jed Steer blocked Herbie Kane from close range after three minutes. Niall Mason, who returned from a one-match ban for Doncaster, shot wide after 10 minutes before the Addicks went ahead eight minutes later. Tom Anderson headed onto his own crossbar from a home corner and Aribo was quick to pounce on the loose ball from six yards out.

Charlton nearly doubled the lead in the 26th minute when Ahearne-Grant flicked a low cross by Aribo just wide but he did better seven minutes later when his header was too strong for goalkeeper Marko Marosi.

A free-kick from Jamie Ward hit the post on the stroke of half time. Aribo nearly doubled his own tally for the afternoon just after the hour-mark but he swiped his shot from outside the box off target.

A jobsworth confiscated my bottle of water when I entered the ground, the first time this has happened.

Supremo Lee Bowyer thought that the Addicks were 'outstanding', noting that what was important was the clean sheet and three points: Good reaction to Rochdale defeat

However, Lyle Taylor will not be fit enough to play at either Walsall or Mansfield: Some time on the sidelines

Friday 2 November 2018

Jordan gives it large to Duchatelet

Former Crystal Palace supremo Simon Jordan has ripped into Roland Duchatelet's TalkSport interview, describing it as 'complete and utter tosh': Scathing response

I suppose one has to take allies where one could find them. It also takes an Onanist to spot an Onanist.

Thursday 1 November 2018

Injury blows

Lyle Taylor is a doubt for Saturday with a stomach muscle injury. Lewis Page is going to be out for a month longer than expected, meaning that the left back problem will be with us for longer: Page injury setback

Doncaster want three points on Saturday

Leeds: The Yorkshire Post this morning carries an interview with Doncaster Rovers defender Joe Wright who scored the consolation goal against Coventry City last Saturday. He reckons they can build on their second half performance against Sky Blues at Charlton on Saturday.

He commented, 'we really have to take the game to Charlton.' In the second half at the Ricoh, 'We pressed more as a team and the tempo was a lot faster.'

Rovers have had a forgettable October. They picked up just four points from a possible 24 during the month. That was in sharp contrast to an impressive September which saw them remain unbeaten, dropping just two points along the way.