Saturday 30 April 2022

Jacko: 'I'll do it my way'

After yesterday's thumping at Ipswich, Johnnie Jackson reflects on his first period as season and admits that it has been a learning curve:

Jacko hopes to get the core of his group of players together before the pre-season window, but this will not be easy for a floundering League One club.  We may find one or two fringe Championship players, but we may need to look downwards for hidden talent as well as using our best development players.

Jacko discussed the rolling over by the Tractors, attended by 1,972 Addicks:

I must admit I didn't even listen to the game yesterday.   For the first time since before the pandemic all my grandchildren were in one place at a family barbecue.  


Some things are more important than football - the only sports fan there apart from me watches rugby

One for the future - but with whom?

Deji Elerewe  has said that he was 'ecstatic' to be named League One apprentice of the year:

Elerewe had the misfortune to be born in Croydon and played for ****don Juniors before being let go at under 12 level.

Now that he has recovered from keyhole surgery he could claim a place in the first team squad next season.  Of course, this would put him in the shop window and bigger clubs have already suggested that he may have a future with them as a potential bench warmer.

It seems to me that the club has made rather a mess of handling the 'abuse' incident to the detriment of two fans who have been unfairly treated:

Friday 29 April 2022

The search for a few positives from the season

The game against Ipswich could have been a crunch one instead of the last gasp of a disappointing season.  CAS Trust try to look for positives from the season, and there are a few, but it is a thin list open to challenge:

Incidentally my West Sussex Badger League forecast was of a 4th place finish which shows how much I know!   In the predictions table I am heading for mid-table mediocrity just like the club.

In some ways the mobility constraints that have prevented me from me getting to The Valley have had their positive side.   I see a consultant on May 3rd, although I am not expecting much to happen any time soon.

It has been a more competitive league than many acknowledge and, if anything, it looks more competitive next season.

Can Thomas Sandgaard and his acolytes deliver the goods?   People whose judgment I respect and know more about the club than I do have their doubts.  However, some of the vitriol directed at him has been very unfair.   At worst he is guilty of naivety about football.   His account of what went wrong at the club is open to question.

If you are a Charlton fan, it is a roller coaster ride often heading downwards.   As they say, it's the hope that kills you.

Thursday 28 April 2022

We play them next year, Part 3 - Exeter City

Exeter City fans certainly enjoyed winning promotion to League One:

The Grecians spent five years in what was then the Conference before returning to the Football League in 2008.   Since then they have mostly been in the fourth tier, spending three seasons in League One.

Manager Matt Taylor played two seasons for Charlton as a credible central defender.   Chris Powell made him vice-captain.

I do remember a FA Cup visit to The Valley by Exeter when Jonatan Johanssen scored with an outrageous bicycle kick.   The Grecians brought a lady dressed in Grecian robes with them which caused some excitement among older Addicks.

I lived in Exeter for two years, but I never went to St. James's Park.   This was in my early twenties and other attractions were available.  I had a reunion with many of my friends in Exeter in 2016.   One lives just a mile away from me and we will be joining her on Sunday lunchtime.

In 1969/71 Exeter was a rather sleepy provincial town with the Cathedral being a prominent part of the scene.  Indeed, I remember a procession of divines being invited for Sunday lunch by my flatmate (as he cooked an excellent lunch, that was fine and he was doing a PhD in Theology).

The arrival of the motorway transformed Exeter and it is now a much more vibrant place.  Even in those days rugby was strong and the Exeter Chiefs are a Premier League side.

If nothing else, and depending on when we play them, Exeter offers the chance of a good weekend away in south Devon.

How the Grecians will do remains to be seen, but Cheltenham Town surprised everyone this season.  My guess is that Exeter are more Cheltenham than Crewe.

Looking for a top half end to the season

Charlton need to collect all three points from Ipswich on Saturday to be sure of a top half of the table finish.   Elliot Lee, who has disappointed on loan, is likely be to be available and Corey Blackett-Taylor has recovered from illness.  Scott Fraser will not be available to face his former club:

Ben Purrington is 'unlikely to be involved' which may signal that we have seen the last of 'The Cat'.  Curbs has often praised him and I think he has been a useful player, but perhaps that is something we can no longer have if we are to push for promotion in what is likely to be a very competitive league.

Jacko also discusses Sean Clare's surgery which is an attempt to reduce the risk of skin cancer and I wish him a successful procedure and a speedy recovery.  I think he has adapted well to his changed position, even if he has made a few mistakes.

It is now sixty years since Ipswich won the then first division title with Alf Ramsey.  Of course, this was before the arrival of football in 1992, but it was still a considerable achievement:

'Move on' message to Pearce?

Johnnie Jackson says that Jason Pearce is at a crossroads in his career and his form as a player has been inconsistent this season.   I interpret this as a call to reflect and move on:

So could we see him join Bromley next season?

Wednesday 27 April 2022

We face them next year, part 2 - the Vegans

Forest Green Rovers have finally secured promotion to League One after a stuttering end to the season by their standards.

Coming to Charlton is probably not top of the agenda for the Nailsworth club who will be looking forward to the return of the fabled 'El Glosico' against rivals Cheltenham Town.

One or two fans have complained it will be a poor away day, but it depends on the time of year we play them.  The Forest of Dean is an attractive area for a weekend - I remember camping there in my younger days.

FGR are, of course, known as 'The Vegans'. Dale Vince turned VGR into the world's first vegan football club.  He insists that his players and staff eat vegan food and does not serve meat or non-vegan beer at the stadium.   Team shirts are made of 90 per cent bamboo.   The organic football pitch is tended by a solar powered landowner. 

Vince, the owner of Ecotricity, is selling off his energy company for hundreds of millions of pounds.  KPMG are handling the sale.  However, his next move will be into politics if his plans go ahead.

He will be retaining his 96 per cent share in the club and is building a 5,000 seater wooden stadium near Junction 13 of the M5 with parking space for 1,700 cars [shome mishtake shurely?, ed]

In Sundays Football League Paper it was noted that 'Forest Green ate a well-oiled machine who rarely make a mistake in the transfer market.'  Jamille Matt was signed after he was released by Newport County.  He has scored 36 goals over two seasons, benefitting from a system based on wing backs who put in quality crosses.   Matt Stevens, who has scored 27 goals this season, was on loan at Stevenage this season.

FGR have also kept a close eye on the production line at Leamington that produced, for example, Accrington's Colby Bishop.  £10k was too much for Charlton to pay for him so he came to The Valley and scored against us.

The Times featured a comment from former Leamington player Josh March as their quote of the week on Monday.   Brakes spotted March at village side Alvechurch and put him through their development programme.  As he tweeted, 'From Step 5 non-league to League 2 promotion.'

Charlton write off FGR at their peril.

Monday 25 April 2022

Blackpool consider Kirk's future

Blackpool manager Neil Critchley will consider the future of Charlie Kirk over the next few weeks:

Blackpool have an option to buy Kirk for around the £500,000 Charlton paid for him.  He has featured more in the Blackpool side in recent weeks.

Kirk arrived at Charlton at a difficult time for him personally.   It has also been suggested that he is happier in the north of England.

He looked like a promising signing, but didn't fit into the Charlton system.   If he stayed at Blackpool it would be better for him and us.

Aneke on match 'abuse' incident and fitness battle

Chuks Aneke hopes that Shrewsbury's keeper receives the support he needs after allegations of discriminatory abuse against him: 

Aneke also discusses the personal battle with fitness he has had all his career:

Some fans therefore think that he is not a useful member of the squad, but I see him as an impact sub who can come on and score a crucial goal.

The report in the Football League Paper implied that the abuse may have originated because the Slovakian keeper was mistaken for a Russian, but whatever is the case it needs to be investigated.

On a more positive note, happy 28th birthday to Jake Forster-Caskey.   Looking back on life from my age, I would say the late twenties is one of the best times.

Sunday 24 April 2022

We face them next year, part 1

An occasional series looking at relegated and promoted clubs we will be facing next year as our season concludes with mid-table mediocrity - but it could have been worse.

Derby County fans have been through the mill as a result of irresponsible ownership and I have every sympathy with them.   We have had some great games against this historic club over the years, not least losing to them in a FA Cup final.

Pessimists have already seized on their relegation to League One as meaning that one automatic promotion place is already booked.  I don't think it's as simple as that, although I wouldn't fancy facing them in the play offs.

There is still a lot to be sorted before they come out of administration.   HMRC have to be paid off, and bills keep coming out of the woodwork:   There is the matter of the ownership of Pride Park with Mel Morris demanding no less than £22m for what is admittedly a fine stadium.

If there hadn't been a points deduction the Rams would have stayed up and their young players have done them proud.  However, they only have five players contracted for next season and can't offer new deals which they are in administration.

The entire squad have told Wayne Rooney they want to stay and he says that he would like to keep 95 per cent of them.  But he admits that 'there are other clubs sniffing around and putting salaries in front of them.'

So I think the jury is still out.   Derby are likely to be formidable opponents whatever happens, but they aren't guaranteed an immediate return to the Championship.   Charlton need to make some good signings to stand up to them.

Saturday 23 April 2022

Clean sheet win in last home game of season

Charlton beat the pride of Shropshire 2-0 at The Valley this afternoon in the last home game of the season.   It was six victories out of the last nine.   Charlton are now 12th, just in the top half of the table.

What was to be an unchanged Charlton side from the win at Cambridge faced Shrewsbury Town at The Valley on a chilly afternoon, but DJ replaced Blackett-Taylor after the team had been announced.  He developed a late illness, so late there was no extra sub on the bench.  It was a big miss.

Yann Kermorgant was the guest on Charlton TV and his son was a mascot.  The 'we were better off under Roland' crowd might like to remember how he let Kermorgant go.

Charlton made a good start, as is usually the case.  An effort by DJ was tipped away by Morosi and led to an early Charlton corner.

Pearce had to make a good header away under pressure after Morgan had let the ball slip.

Sean Clare came down awkwardly and the referee sent him off the pitch.

Shrewsbury got into the game a bit more, Fornah putting in a decent shot, and Johnnie Jackson was on the edge of his technical area urging his players on.  Charlton weren't finding to easy to stop the visitors coming forward.   Steve Brown said we had to be better at recognising where they were trying to get in behind.

The ball took a big deflection off Dobson to give Shrewsbury a corner in front of the Covered End.   It ended in a free kick for Charlton.

Charlton's midfielders needed to get involved more to give the Addicks a spell of possession, but Shrewsbury won another corner.   It was headed away by Stockley.

A heavy touch from Famewo in a clearance put Charlton in trouble, but Udoh was unable to take advantage.   Gilbey kept losing possession.    

Matthews sent Washington on his way but the keeper made a good save.  

It had been a catalogue of errors from both sides but with no outcome.   Steve Brown said that Charlton had not been creative and were not keeping the ball well.

Charlton won a corner, a move starting with a good throw by Matthews.   Gilbey's header went straight to Morosi.

It had been a half lacking in intensity.    There was no time added on because as Louis Mendez commented the square root of sod all had happened.  

HT: 0-0

Macca had to make an early double save from Bowman and Daniels before Famewo cleared away.  The Charlton defending had been poor with a lack of communication.

Pearce won a free kick by the corner flag, Morgan's effort leading to a Charlton corner which was cleared.

Washington was in goal but Morosi saved.  A good Morgan corner was met by a powerful Stockley header to make it 1-0.

Macca had to palm away a shot from former Leamington ace Udoh.  

The disappointing Gilbey came off and Aneke came on.   A good move from Charlton with nice work from DJ on the left ended with a header by Aneke straight at Morosi.

Morosi was upset about something that happened behind his goal in the Covered End and the referee made a note.   The referee went to speak to the fourth official and Charlton security.   There was a long delay.  [See below]

Morgan delivered the free kick well and the power of Aneke's header after he got away from his marker made it 2-0.  

Seven minutes were added on.   Macca had to stretch out and grab the ball.   Charlton applied some pressure, but the third goal didn't come.   A Morgan free kick led to a corner.   The ball went over the bar after both Clare and Stockley went for it.

Kanu came on to loud applause.   Dobson took a shot but it went wide.

The pundits

Curbs said that Macca made a great double save.  It had been a disappointing season.  From where we were when Jacko took over you've got to be well pleased.  It would be a tough old game at Ipswich.  We had to go into the market.    Blackett-Taylor had the turn of pace, but DJ was more tricky in the box.  We weren't playing against the best opposition.   We had one or two scares but survived it.   'I think Jacko will be looking at the back five.  We let some poor goals in.  We need to be a bit more aggressive when we're exposed.  There was scope there to turn it around.'

Post match comments from Jacko here:

Comments from both managers after Shrewsbury's Slovakian goalkeeper made comments about an alleged racist remark directed at him:

It appears that two men ejected from the ground and interviewed by police were wrongly identified:


Friday 22 April 2022

A thorn in our side

Shrewsbury Town are hoping to make progress towards their target of a 13th place finish at The Valley tomorrow.  Away from home, Shrewsbury have won just three games, but have drawn seven.  They are marginally ahead of Charlton in the form table.

The danger man for Shrewsbury could be golden boot candidate and former Leamington ace Daniel Udoh.

We have played the Shrews quite a lot in recent years and they have been something of a thorn in our side: 

Even if we win, there is hardly likely to be a celebratory mood at The Valley after a disappointing season.  I correctly forecast a 0-2 win at Cambridge at the beginning of the season so I will stick with my Badger League prediction of a 2-1 win tomorrow.

Washington: sign me up

Conor Washington has asked to be judged on his performance under Johnnie Jackson rather that the Adkins diet.  However, he admits that he has missed a few chances he should have taken:

I see this as a plea for a new contract which I would endorse.   Louis Mendez notes:'Washington scored just one penalty in his opening 10 league apps under Adkins when he played out wide - 10 goals in 23 league outings under Jackson though, not far off a goal every two games.'

Thursday 21 April 2022

The clearout begins

Three players have been told that they will not be offered new contracts.   This will be no surprise to Ben Watson or former Glazier Pape Souare.   Chris Gunter, who has been capped 107 times by Wales, will no doubt look for a contract elsewhere to keep his World Cup hopes alive:

The news has been greeted calmly by Charlton fans and there have been no reports of rending of shirts.

There is no news about other out of contract players but Thomas Sandgaard will be staying in London until May 1st:

Ryan Inniss will be available for Saturday's game against Shrewsbury Town, but four players are out with knocks:

Wednesday 20 April 2022

Maldon & Tiptree supremo is new club secretary

Maldon and Tiptree chairman Ron Dangerfield is to be the new club secretary to replace the long-serving Chris Parkes:

He spent six years at Brentford up to 2016, ultimately as head of academy operations.

Chris Parkes has been a stalwart servant of the club and I wish him a long and happy retirement.

Pearce at a crossroads

Jason Pearce thinks he is at a crossroads.  He would love to stay at Charlton, but considers that he needs a contract extension sooner rather than later:

Pearce considers that he still has a lot to give and I think that he put in a good performance at Cambridge last night, making some decisive interventions.   There is a pace issue, but on the other hand he has a great deal of experience.   Hopefully, he can be offered a contract that enables him to develop his coaching work while making him available as a back up member of the squad.

Tuesday 19 April 2022

There's only one Corey Blackett-Taylor

A leading moaner described the signing of Corey Blackett-Taylor as scraping the barrel, but he was the outstanding player for Charlton in their2-0 win at the Abbey Stadium tonight.   It was three away wins in a row and another clean sheet.   Charlton are now 13th,.

Fanewo had to block an early Cambridge counter attack after there had been a shout for handball in the home side's penalty area waved away by the referee.

After the counter attack, the home side were edging it in a scrappy game, but then Washington won a corner for Charlton.  The keeper caught the ball and the U's counter attacked, Clare defending.

Smith missed a chance, but the flag went up anyway.   No one was defending properly.

A threatening shot took a deflection off Clare for a corner.

Blackett-Taylor forged forward but his shot was saved by the keeper for a corner.   Pearce should have done better with his free header.

Clare had to concede a corner, taken quickly as a short one as Charlton switched off.  The U's should have done better.

Charlton had to concede a corner again after a Cambridge run that started with a Charlton goal kick.  The U's packed the six yard box, but Stockley cleared.

Dobson got a yellow card for a foul.  A U's long throw led to another corner for them.   Stockley headed away.

A Washington shot from a high ball which he controlled well was straight at the keeper.

Both sides had had chances, but it was hardly a feast of football.  We gave the ball away too easily.

Curbs said it was a very open game again.   It had been a little bit laboured, perhaps one game too many.

HT: 0-0

After the excitement of the half time ball in the skip competition, the lively Blackett-Taylor caused the U's some problems, but Stockley was disappointed by a Morgan corner.

Pearce had to defend as the U's counter attacked.  A shot by Gilbey was gathered by the keeper after Blackett-Taylor had worked well again.

Washington put in a good cross but Stockley's header was just wide.

Washington was booked for a foul.

Cambridge made two substitutions including danger man Ironside.

A shot by Washington was tipped over the bar by the keeper.  A well-worked move saw Gilbey put in a header which did not have enough power on it to trouble the keeper.

A shot by Blackett-Taylor was deflected and put Charlton 1-0 ahead on 73 minutes.

Macca spilled the ball and Pearce had to clear at the expense of a corner.   Chuks Aneke replaced Stockley.

After good work by Clare, Aneke put a shot in and it took a deflection off Washington to make it 2-0, although the Charlton commentators thought it was offside.

Blackett-Taylor was replaced by DJ.

The pundits

Curbs said that the first half was nondescript, but we got stronger and stronger.  We were more threatening second half.  Washington was a constant threat running in behind.

Conor Washington: 'The pitch was hard, fast and bobbly and the winding was swirling.  Two scrappy goals, but we hadn't scored enough of those.   It's been a really tough period, come off a lot of injuries, especially in the forward area, just getting up to speed again.   I want more goals, I've equalled last year now.'

Bowyer's 'worst day in football'

Lee Bowyer has described his Birmingham City's side 6-1 defeat by Blackpool as his worst day in football and says he is ready to quit:

No return to The Valley, please.

Monday 18 April 2022

Not a meaningless match

Charlton face Cambridge United at the iconic Abbey Stadium tomorrow night.   Over 50 clubs have been promoted to the Football League since the introduction of automatic promotion in 1987.

Charlton were just one place behind Cambridge until their unexpected 2-1 win at league leaders Wigan on Saturday.   They are now 'full of confidence' for the Tuesday fixture.

Wigan manager Leam Richardson said: 'Credit to Cambridge, they were productive, especially first half,  As good as they were offensively in the first half, they were good defensively in the second half.'  However, Mark Bonner thought that his side got too deep in the second half.

Many Charlton fans have been saying they have given up on the season, or are giving up on the club altogether.   Supporting Charlton is not easy most of the time, but true fans stay loyal and hope for better times.

One thing that most fans would agree on is that recruitment this summer will be crucial.   Curbs has been saying on Charlton Live that the higher up the table we finish the more likely good players are likely to join us.  That is why the match against Cambridge is not meaningless, but I am not too hopeful.

The formation controversy continues, but quite a lot of teams do play successfully with 3-5-2.  The real problem is the quality of many of our players whatever formation they play in.

The last time we played Cambridge away was in 1992 when Alan Pardew scored the only goal in a 1-0 victory.

Saturday 16 April 2022

Valley of Frustration

Johnnie Jackson admits his frustration at Charlton's performance against Morecambe:

Meanwhile Scott Fraser is the latest player to spend time in the often overcrowded Sparrows Lane treatment room with some kind of knee injury (Jacko doesn't appear to know what it is):

I like to be a glass half full person, but it is getting difficult.   It's so often the case that the team starts well but is not clinical enough to score.  They can't keep up the pace and then the opposition exploit the wide open spaces in our defence.   They need to communicate more instead of wandering round the pitch as if they were on safari.

Many fans insist that the formation is the problem, but I am not sure that we have the defenders for 4-4-2.

I don't want to be the new Acworth, but there is talent in the non-league.   At Leamington we specialise in rehabilitating former league Academy players whose career has stuttered.   A classic example is Colby Bishop whom we sold to Accrington for £10k and has been a leading scorer for them, including against Charlton.   I don't think his initial wages would have been high considering what he was on at the Brakes.

Friday 15 April 2022

Out netted by Shrimpsters

On a warm day at The Valley Mason Burstow replaced Conor Washington leading to complaints from some fans.

Charlton dominated the early exchanges with Blackett-Taylor prominent.   There were opportunities and Gilbey went close from a Blackett-Taylor cross.  Morgan squandered one by not passing to Blacket-Taylor but putting in a poor shot It was 14 minutes before the Shrimpers had a wild shot on goal.

It was a classic case of Charlton starting the game very well and then losing control.

Macca had to save from danger man Stockton after he was one on one with Pearce a long way up the pitch.   Morecambe were getting into the game more with the Charlton wing backs high up the pitch.

Macca had to touch the ball wide for a corner.    There was too wide a gap between Matthews and Clare and the Shrimpers were starting to pick holes in the Charlton defence.

Stockton, the top scorer in the lead, gave Morecambe the lead after 25 minutes, the ball going in off the post.  There was a failure to track players.

An Albie Morgan shot was saved comfortably.   A Burstow shot went over the bar.

Charlton had a period of pressure with good possession, but Morecambe were able to defend.  A free kick won by Morgan led to a Charlton corner, but nothing more.  Stockley was disappointed with a ball from Morgan.

Clare conceded a free kick for handball.  Famewo did well to clear.

Morecambe went 2-0 ahead with a tidy ball from the edge of the penalty area through a crowd of bodies after there was panic in the back.

Famewo had to concede a corner after some casual play in midfield.   Stockley headed the corner away.

Charlton won a corner, a good effort from Stockley was saved well and the striker's follow up went wide.

Curbs said we had balls flashing across the six yard box.  He had thought they were for the taking, we got in some good positions. Their first goal was really good.  The second goal was avoidable, it should have been cleared.  For the second goal we had four chances to make a challenge and we didn't make any of them.   There were four players around the ball, but none of them took control.  You couldn't take your foot off the pedal, you had to be at it all the time.

HT: 0-2

Good work by Burstow led to a Charlton corner, but it ended in a goal kick.   The ball in from Morgan was not right for Stockley.

After patient build up play by Blackett-Taylor and a great cross the header was won by Burstow and Stockley converted to make it 1-2.

After a Gilbey cross, Blackett-Taylor hit the side netting.

Charlton conceded a corner.   It was taken short and ended in a throw in for the visitors.

A poor throw was intercepted by Gibson and the visitors made it 1-3 to the delight of the Morecambe massive.  Matthews was slow to react and Clare could perhaps have got a bit closer. It was another lapse in concentration. Gilbey was replaced by Washington in response.   It looked like a 3-4-3.

Macca had to come out to ensure that Stockton didn't score.  An effort by Connolly ended on the roof of the net.

Forster-Caskey came on in place of Morgan to provide more midfield quality.

Famewo was brought down by Phillips.   The free kick went past everybody.

Pearce took one for the team and received a yellow card for taking out Stockton.  Burstow was replaced by Aneke.   Arguably Burstow had not been fed enough.  Cooney replaced Gibson for Morecambe.

Clare gave away an unnecessary corner.   Dobson was brought down in the penalty area, but the referee waved it away.

Blackett-Taylor was once again outstanding on the left and his cross enabled Aneke to score with an outstanding header to make it 2-3.

Morecambe made a double substitution and were able to waste some time.   Five minutes were added on.  Dobson made a great turn but his shot went over the bar.

Once again we started a game well, the opposition get a chance and take the lead.  We started the second half brightly and then conceded again.  Pressure at the end of the game did not bring a reward and it was back to back defeats at home.

The pundits

Curbs pointed out that you can't concede three goals at home.  Bradley Allen thought we were worthy of a draw.  Curbs said that Corey had been a revelation at left wing-back.

Bradley Allen said that the changes gave Charlton a lift.   Curbs said that the defender had come across and taken Dobson for the penalty shout.   Bradley Allen thought that the defender did not get a faint touch on the ball.  Curbs said that the reason we were not in the top half of the table was because we had three strikers out.   To concede three goals to a team towards the bottom of the table was hard to take.  

Bradley Allen praised Blackett-Taylor as a young player that showed real promise.   Curbs said people were having to double up on him.  He had to work on his defensive side as he had not played wing back before.

Curbs said it was one step forward and one step back again.  It was interesting to see what Jacko would do now he had three strikers back.  

Charlton had 23 attempts on goal, but just four on target, the same as Morecambe.  Charlton remain 15th, Tuesday's opponents Cambridge United are 14th.

Jacko said: 'It was a frustrating game, end to end, a lot of chances, too many for the opposition.  They were clinical when they did get the opportunities.  I was disappointed with the goals, we gave them the third goal, it deflated us, took us a bit to get going again.  We had a little period in the first half when we lost our concentration and they exploited it.  Corey was outstanding in the second period.  Good to have the big man (Chuks) back.  In the second half the boys gave it everything.

Thursday 14 April 2022

Shrimping time

Ten years ago Charlton beat Carlisle 1-0 away to win the promotion from League One with Chris Powell.  Today we face mighty Morecambe at home as we seek a top ten finish.  The CAS Trust preview assures us that this is still possible:

Apart from the 1920s when we had to seek re-election, our lowest ever finishing position has been 13th in the third tier.  

Morecambe are fighting for survival in League One, having only won two games away, drawn four and lost fifteen.   They have conceded 49 goals on the road, the highest total in the division.

Their danger man is undoubtedly 25-goal striker Carl Stockton.   Some fans would like to see him at Charlton, but nearby Championship side Preston North End have already shown an interest as well as Portsmouth.

I had this down as a 4-1 win in my beginning of the season predictions, but this was clearly hubris.  However, if we turn up, we should be able to collect three points.

Voice of the Valley to close

Voice of the Valley will be on sale as usual at The Valley this afternoon but it will be the last issue of the fanzine apart from a farewell one in September.

The VOTV website will continue in operation and will cover important developments.  Editor Rick Everitt hopes to produce new publications about Charlton.   It is now 30 years since Battle for The Valley was published.

The decision is not a financial one with sales recovering after the pandemic and over 600 copies being posted out to subscribers from the Rickster's Ramsgate base.

It is likely, however, that the demographic of readers is an ageing one.  Digital and podcasts have become all important, although they cannot substitute for the files of back issues I have stored on my shelves.

Fanzines played an important role in the development of fan power in the 1980s and VOTV made an important contribution to the return to The Valley campaign, although many contemporary fans were not born then or were very young.

The closure of the Voice means that I am more likely to keep this website going, although I do not have the Rickster's unrivalled network of contacts and in depth understanding of the club.

Tuesday 12 April 2022

Do you support a non-league club?

This week's Non-League Paper contains a feature on the revival of Ramsgate.   The Kent town is, of course, the home of VOTV editor Rick Everitt, ousted last year as Thanet Council leader.   Although attendances at Ramsgate have grown from around 185 a year ago to 700 now (863 for last week's clash against Haywards Heath Town) I doubt whether the Rickster goes there.

Pushing for a play off place in the Isthmian League South-East, Ramsgate have hired 61-year old former Gillingham and Welling United boss Steve Lovell as manager.   Whether the hiring of the former Glaziers and Spanners striker is quite the coup they think remains to be seen.

At my own non-league club, Leamington, I am known as 'the Charlton supporter'.  The Baggies seem to be the favourite Football League club, although there is also a history of Villa support (there is a bit of tension with Coventry City with one song directed at them).   I am secretary of the vice-presidents club which offers a half time cup of tea and the biscuit of your choice in a 'lounge' (aka portakabin).

I am thinking of doing a survey of the non-league clubs that Charlton fans go to watch when Charlton are not playing, or at least not at home.  My hunch is that the favourites would include Bromley (supported by the SLP's Louis Mendez), Welling United (perhaps less so these days), Dartford and Dulwich Hamlet. However, I would be interested to hear other suggestions for survey prompts.

In days gone by there were quite a few fans who alternated watching Charlton and Millwall and some occasionally went to Arsenal.

Monday 11 April 2022

Dobbo: I will repay Jacko's faith

George Dobson has pledged to repay Johnnie Jackson's faith in him, shrugging off Nigel Atkins's low opinion of him: 

If anything condemns the Atkins diet, it is that.   He gave us a poor start to the season.   We had a bad run under Jacko, but I would like to know how the armchair critics would have dealt with the absence of key players.   I suppose the answer would be 4-4-2 which is supposed to solve everything.

Dobson comes across as a very modest player who just gets on with it.   He says he would like to get a couple of goals a season, but insists he is no Frank Lampard:

For once it's good to see a defensive midfielder being appreciated by fans.   It is actually one of the most challenging positions to play in.  Perhaps I appreciate because my father played at what was then called left half.   However, two unsung heroes at Charlton are 'Squib' Hammond and Keith Jones.

Pessimists are saying that Dobson will be sold over the summer.  I don't think he is very high profile, but clearly any move in that direction by Sandgaard would be very unpopular.

Sunday 10 April 2022

Jacko praise Macca, Pearce, Morgan and Dobson

Smiling supremo Johnnie Jackson has praised Craig MacGillivray, Jason Pearce and Albie Morgan after their performances at Rotherham:

Jacko said that Macca has responded well to criticism and improved the aerial aspect of his play.   He was commanding his penalty box.   Albie Morgan had given him the mature performance he was looking for.  Jacko admitted that Morgan had made a couple of mistakes, but said that he stuck to the script well. Jason Pearce was 'Mr Dependable'.   [I hope he will have a coaching role next season and keep his player registration for emergencies or pizza games.  He was the man of the match in the Football League Paper].

Jacko was also full of praise for George Dobson:

Dobson is clearly going to win player of the year, and deservedly so, but who should come second?  Most promising newcomer would be Corey Blackett-Taylor.   Conor Washington opens up defences when he is playing.

Louis Mendez gives his four takeaways from the match here:

Saturday 9 April 2022

Clean sheet win on the road

Charlton made five changes for this afternoon's game against Rotherham at a sunny New York stadium.  Some of them were enforced with Fraser and Lee having had knocks.   Jason Pearce was captain and alongside Akin Famewo in defence.   DJ was replaced by Blackett-Taylor.  Albie Morgan came in with Forster-Caskey on the bench.  Nile John was given a chance to warm the bench.

Rotherham showed off the pizza trophy before the game started.

Kick off was delayed because of a medical emergency in the crowd.  442 Addicks were present.

Rotherham won the first corner after four minutes.  Matthews headed clear.

Pearce made an important block as the home supporters urged their team on.   Pearce and Matt Smith were in a battle.

A free kick was headed away by Gilbey.   A follow up strike was wide.  There was not much to choose between the two sides.  The impressive Smith put the ball over the bar, but he was offside anyway.

Charlton won their first corner after 20 minutes.  It was headed clear by Wood.   After subsequent play, Morgan sent the ball sailing into the stand.

Charlton started to struggle in terms of controlling the ball allowing the home side to take charge.  A corner was conceded.  The ball went to Washington, but Rotherham countered.  

Charlton had an opportunity to score but Rathbone got his foot in on Washington at the expense of a corner.  This was headed away comfortably.

Famewo conceded a corner, his position not being the best.   Pearce headed clear.   It was a brave header and he went down.

Famewo collected the first yellow card of the game after he got a tackle wrong.  Peter Shirtliff said it was naive.  The ball was headed away by Clare.

The home support was quieter except when they were shouting for free kicks.   The half came to a rather scrappy close.   Blackett-Taylor had a chance for a shot but it ended up as a cross and a Rotherham throw in.  Two minutes were added on.

Old school Rotherham

Rotherham had put Charlton under pressure but only had two clear opportunities.   It was a game of not many chances but Charlton had defended well.   Curbs said he was not expecting Rotherham to be so direct.  We couldn't get the ball up to the front two and if we did it wouldn't stick.  Forster-Caskey's stepdad said that the home side were an old fashioned team.  Curbs said we saw so much possession based football these days, but the Millers were old school.

HT: 0-0

Charlton conceded an early corner from the kick off.  Stockley headed clear and then again.  On the whole it was a quiet and indecisive start to the second half.

Clare broke away and created a chance for Charlton.

Morgan fed Dobson who scored a great goal on the volley from just outside the penalty area to make it 0-1 on 56 minutes.

Rotherham were rattled as the home supporters tried to rally them.   Blackett-Taylor put the ball over the bar.   The home side made a double substitution.  

Dobson had to scramble the ball clear for a corner.  The ball was sent over the bar.  Rotherham made a third substitution.   It looked as if Rotherham were going three up top.

The home side applied some pressure, trying to get the ball forward at every opportunity.  Stockley headed the corner clear.   Pearce had to intervene at the expense of another corner.  Macca claimed it well on the edge of his six yard box.

Gilbey's ball was blocked away leading to a Charlton corner which was unproductive.  Dobson's shot was gathered by the Swedish keeper.

Morgan did not give Stockley good service.  Leading goal scorer Smith scuffed a shot.

The home side won a corner.  There was a lot of pushing and shoving.  The referee decided that Macca was fouled.

Stockley tried to chip it over the keeper but he got back in time.  Dobson conceded a free kick.   It was a tricky one for Macca but he caught it superbly out of the sun.

Three minutes were added on.   Blackett-Taylor was replaced by Purrington.   The Charlton fans started Valley Floyd Road.  Rotherham were awarded a free kick, but were unable to take advantage.  

Peter Shirtliff noted that Washington was always running in behind and stretching the home defence.

The pundits

Curbs said that the three centre backs dealt with Rotherham's direct play.   They were magnificent and dealt with everything that came in.   Gilbey and Dobson picked up a lot of the second balls in midfield. Dobson scored a cracking goal.   Forster said that in the second half we took the game to them.  Rotherham kept doing the same thing.   We gave as good as we got.   Stockley had worked his socks off, to a man they had worked their socks off.

George Dobson said he was delighted to score his first goal for the club.  'I just thought I'm going to have a swing it.  When it went in the net there's no better feeling.   Coming across the body it's the toughest technique.  We're putting in good performances, getting ready for next season.   We knew we had to stand up the battle, using Jayden and Conor on the counter attack.  We've just got to use it as fuel for next season.  The start of the season put us in a really tricky situation. '  [Dobson was not part of the Atkins diet].  

Curbs noted he was nowhere under Nigel Atkins, not even on the bench 'he puts in everything.  He's been excellent since he got in the side.  MacGillivray took a lot of pressure for us today.  It's a good run we're having at the moment.  If we finish as strong as we can, it will make us more attractive.'

Jacko: 'It was a really good away performance, I would have liked one or two more goals.  We limited the opposition to a few chances.  I thought we defended brilliantly today, especially in the penalty box.  We worked a lot on that, the lads implemented it brilliantly.  I thought we looked really fit, really strong, full of energy.  I did freshen it up a little bit.   I thought everyone still looked strong in the second half. When you've got a front partnership like Jayden and Stockley it gives you an opportunity to get better results.   We're in a good place, the boys are bouncing in the changing room.'

Charlton remain 15th, but they are just one point behind three teams.   Charlton had five shots on target to Rotherham's one. 

Friday 8 April 2022

Henry thinks that loan spell has been a big boost

Aaron Henry talks about the progress he has made at Wealdstone and hopes this will help put him in contention for the first team squad next season.  I have certainly read favourable reports in The Non-League Paper

Henry talks about being signed by Arsenal at five and released at eight.   This almost seems exploitative to me.  

He also makes it clear that Nigel Adkins was not his biggest fan and did not try to develop him as much as other managers.   Another black mark for the Adkins diet.

Red card will not affect Inniss's future

The red card awarded at Wimbledon will not be a deciding factor in a contract extension for Ryan Inniss says Johnnie Jackson:

I agree with many fans who thought it was a reckless and totally unnecessary challenge which may well have cost us a win against a poor side.  More generally, I think that Inniss's injury problems disqualify him from an extension.

On another matter it appears that multiple tickets have been made available to Greenwich University students for the match against Morecambe.   One fan has complained that the last time students came in numbers it was clear they were out for a jolly and had been drinking before the match.   Of course, many fans do that, but they are interested in the match.

I don't really buy the argument that those with free tickets will buy a lot of food and drink at the ground.  Season ticket holders and other regulars are getting fed up with the number of freebies and a much more targeted approach is needed such as existing fans bringing a friend.

Charlton to go through the mill

I have a lot of time for Rotherham manager Paul Warne.   Opposition managers always try to big up Charlton because it looks better if they win and helps when they get their book of excuses out after a defeat.

Nevertheless, Warne says: 'They've got some outstanding players.  I know I always speak highly of the opposition, but as we have seen, respectfully, every team can cause you problems.  They're a really good footballing side, so when we get the ball back we're going to have to be effective.'

More from Warne on the game here:

Rotherham are fresh from their pizza trophy triumph over Sutton United, albeit it wasn't an easy ride.  Before that they lost 0-3 at home to Shrewsbury and are behind Charlton in the form table.   However, they have won 13 out of 20 home league matches, losing just four.   They have scored 40 goals at home and conceded 20.

I thought that the Millers played some good football in the Championship and were unfortunate to be relegated.   As far as one can judge from highlights on the Football League show, they are a well-organised side who pass well and have pace.

Following midweek results, Rotherham have fallen back to third, although they have two games in hand over MK Dons in second.   For most of the season Curbs has been saying that Wigan and Rotherham will take the automatic promotion places and I agree, although the Franchisees are improving all the time.

I had this down as a 1-1 draw at the beginning of the season.   That might be possible if it wasn't for our shredded defence.   Famewo has not improved to the extent I had hoped, indeed he has slipped back.  There is no doubting Pearce's commitment but pace is an issue.

The CAS Trust preview is here:

Thursday 7 April 2022

Our poor goal scoring record

We have rightly been concerned about our ability to defend from set plays and having Lavelle out for the rest of the season with a dislocated shoulder (very painful, but Derek Ufton used to play on) doesn't help.  However, Stockley is a great presence in defence.

An Addick has made a good point online about our ability to score: 'Charlton’s expected goals (xG) of 2.32, compared to Lincoln’s 0.73, shows just how wasteful Stockley and Washington were in front of goal. It also backs up Jackson’s feelings post-match where he said he couldn’t believe his side were beaten with the number of chances they created.

The Addicks had the second highest xG of any side in League One yesterday and went one better last weekend when they topped the charts in the division but still only had one goal to show for it.'

Up to last Saturday, just four teams had a worse goal scoring record at home and two of them are bottom and second from bottom. Saturday's opponents Rotherham have scored 12 more at home and conceded five less. Away from home, only four teams have scored fewer than us: Crewe and Doncaster again, the Gills and Accrington who rely on their home form.

No doubt some will argue it's the formation that is to blame, but we don't seem to score as many from midfield as in the past and the service is inconsistent, although Blackett-Taylor certainly helps.

Tuesday 5 April 2022

'Crazy' game leaves Charlton with central defence problem

Johnnie Jackson reflects on a 'crazy game' against the old crazy gang.   He reckons that Charlton would have won if Inniss had not been sent off.  Lavelle's injury was a turning point.   Towards the end of the game the Addicks were effectively down to nine with Purrington carrying a knee injury:

Sam Lavelle has had a touch of the Derek Uftons and dislocated his shoulder:

With Inniss suspended and Lavelle injured Jacko faces a central defence selection problem against a rampant Rotherham on Saturday.

Ten men Charlton hold on for score draw

Charlton drew 1-1 with Wimbledon at the new Plough Lane tonight after indiscipline saw the Addicks reduced to 10 men.

A Stockley overhead kick was dealt with by the defender and the resultant corner was unproductive as the game started at a fast pace.  The Charlton end was sold out.

The ball pinged around in the six yard box but the keeper saved from DJ.  There was then another save from Washington.

Charlton were in the ascendancy, Stockley was winning the aerial battles, but Lavelle went down in a challenge. 

Wimbledon then got into the game more and after some sloppy play in midfield DJ conceded an unnecessary free kick, but it ended in a Charlton free kick for handling.

Wimbledon advanced on their left and won a corner.

Charlton were less crisp and bright than they were in the first 20 minutes.   Sean Clare shot over.

The game was getting a bit scrappy although it was being played at a fast pace.  Charlton were not being very creative.   As Wimbledon grew in confidence, we looked exposed on our right.   Jacko was screaming instructions.

Charlton were caught in possession and conceded a corner.   Steve Brown said we were not showing much fluidity and the passing was not great.

In time added on, a Washington half volley went over.  

Curbs: 'flat and uninspiring'

Curbs said in the first ten minutes we created two or three good chances and didn't take them.  After then it had been flat and uninspiring.  Wimbledon looked the strongest going into the second half.   The ball should not be knocked up to Stockley too early.   The first goal would be vital.   Wimbledon were a poor side and we hadn't taken advantage of it,

HT: Wombles 0, Addicks 0

The home side piled on the pressure and won a free kick, Lavelle having to come off and was replaced by Inniss who had to concede a corner.

Dobson took one for the team receiving a yellow card.    Inniss got a red card for a reckless challenge. Blackett-Taylor was going to come on.   Forster-Caskey came off and Famewo came on.

Charlton were on the back foot and under heavy pressure since the red card.  DJ made way for Blackett-Taylor.

After great work by Matthews on the right, he in a good cross and Stockley scored with the header.

Wimbledon made a double substitution.   Macca had to tip the ball over the bar after a home corner.

A free kick was awarded against Dobson in a central position.    The shot came off the wall.

Blackett-Taylor needed treatment.  Purrington got a yellow card.   Jacko got a yellow card,  Dobson dealt with the free kick well at the expense of a corner.  A second corner followed and Wimbledon equalised on 87 minutes.

In eight minutes added on Famewo was brought down and the Wimbledon charm merchant got a yellow card.  A Wimbledon corner was wasted.

Steve Brown said we were hanging on towards the end.

Curbs said he couldn't understand Inniss making that sort of challenge on the halfway line.   We desperately needed Inniss to be available against Rotherham.

Away point against Wombles?

Charlton face AFC Wimbledon this evening and already the gloom and doom merchants are out forecasting that this will bring the home side's winless run to an end and even forecasting a 3-0 victory for them.  If I was so pessimistic I would have to stop actively supporting the club.   As it is, I encounter more negativity in relation to Charlton than any other aspect of my life.

Wimbledon get very favourable treatment because they are seen as a fan owned club and a model for the lunatics taking over the asylum elsewhere.   However, it should be noted that they have a very prosperous fan base and have also sold bonds with a very attractive coupon.

Charlton does have some moderately prosperous fans and when Peter Varney was chief executive tried to get money from some of them.  A friend of mine then in the music industry was invited to The Valley for lunch.  He was told that for an unspecified sum, presumably five figures, he could ask for something like a five year free season ticket with lounge access.

At my non-league club the approach is more unsophisticated.   The chairman rang me up and said that the drains on the training pitch were knackered and could I send over a few k in exchange for shares which I donated to the supporters' trust.

The problem with buying shares in a football club is that there are generally few tax benefits.   If I could have found some way of reducing February's one off £40k tax bill, I would have been delighted.  (Try and make sure you have not exceeded your lifetime allowance before you reach 75). However, my family would certainly have something to say if I started handing over significant sums to a football club, given that they see my support for Charlton as a harmless eccentricity at best.   My father certainly gave me a mixed inheritance when he started supporting the club almost 100 years ago.

At home Wimbledon are draw specialists, having won just two and drawn eleven.  My hunch is that a draw will be the outcome tonight.   Away from home Charlton have scored just 19 goals, although five teams in the division have a worse record.   Charlton are currently mid-table in the form table while Wimbledon are second from bottom.

There is a lot riding on this game for the Wombles and not that much for Charlton even though we are not mathematically safe.

Monday 4 April 2022

Inniss back for Wombles game

Ryan Inniss could be available for tomorrow night's game at AFC Wimbledon, presumably from the bench.  However, Jacko has hinted that he needs to refresh a 'tired' squad:

From earlier remarks by Jacko it appears that Jayden Stockley is one of the players in need of a good rest:

Supporters are getting rather tired of this season, but a good finish might help summer recruitment as Curbs has suggested.

Sunday 3 April 2022

Jackson talks about Charlton managers

A long interview with Johnnie Jackson in which he talks about working under Karl Robinson and Lee Bowyer.   I am no fan of Gobby, but Jacko is full of praise for him and no doubt saw a side of him that we didn't (I notice he was complaining about referees once again at the weekend):

He talks about a whole series of managers and in particular he praises José Riga saying he was 'really impressive' and wishes he could have stayed on.  I always thought he was one of the best of the Roland era.

He notes that he could have gone with Bowyer to Birmingham, but has less to say about recent challenges. However, he does say that Sandgaard was 'serious and different to what we had before.'   The fear of players not getting paid went away.

Of course, he is hardly likely to criticise the owner.   I still think we have reason to be grateful to him, but his initial irrational exuberance was unfortunate to say the least and created expectations that could not realistically be met.

Saturday 2 April 2022

The season ticket offer

The Chicago Addick has criticised this as 'staid and unimaginative'.   VOTV editor Rick Everitt has tweeted: 'Overall this isn’t bad; simplification is needed and it was never realistic that the cheaper prices would fall. Charlton are in a difficult position because the existing structure is nuts and the football on offer has been poor.

The Rickster added: 'Also the price increases will make it more difficult to market season tickets after May and some fans will be looking for evidence of improvement next season before they commit.'

Leaving aside the question of poorly targeted freebies which have led many to question the value of a season ticket, the cost of living crisis is going to hit many fans.  Inflation could be close to double figures before long (not such a big deal for those of us who remember the 1970s) and pay rises are unlikely to keep pace.

My view is that lower league clubs will be hit hardest.   Demand at the top clubs is price inelastic, i.e., it doesn't respond a great deal to price changes because they are generally appealing to relatively wealthy fans who like to boast about 'their' adopted club.  They also have long waiting lists for season tickets.

I think that the decision of many fans will be influenced by signings in the summer which is an additional argument for acting as quickly as possible.

Meanwhile, credit where credit is due.   Because of some mobility issues I have had, the ticket office have reassigned me to a seat in the lower west and I hope to make the last two games of the season (particularly on Good Friday when a friend celebrates his 70th).  I will thus experience for the first time the sound of silence and the company of the living dead - or I will learn that these caricatures are unfair.

Lincoln do the double over Charlton

Lincoln did the double over Charlton at The Valley this afternoon.   Not a great surprise given their away record.  I had this down as a Lincoln win at the beginning of the season.  We lacked sharpness in front of goal until Stockley scored a consolation.   Charlton are now 15th,

It was an unchanged team for Charlton against Lincoln City, but Jake Forster-Caskey was on the bench after his long absence.   His play when he came on was one of the few positives.  It was a sunny afternoon in SE7 as the game started.

Curbs pointed out before the game that a good run in would help to attract players to the club over the summer.

Matthews put in a pass to the edge of the box, Washington chested it down for Stockley who took the early shot and it went wide.

A flowing move from Lavelle brought the ball out of defence, it was worked wide to Gilbey who see his cross headed behind for a corner.  A second corner ended in a free kick as the Imps called for a yellow card.

Clare defended superbly from a threatening cross, Lincoln showing what they can do for the first time.  Their plan was evidently to get the ball up to Cullen with runners on either side.

Steve Brown thought we were struggling to break down their defensive pattern.   We weren't penetrating enough.  Scully was breaking well down the left hand side for them.

The woodwork saved the visitors on 23 minutes.  Gilbey got to the byline and drilled across a great cross and Stockley got a thigh on it from close range and the ball crashed back off the bar.

Charlton got their 100th league booking of the season as Gilbey received a yellow card.  At least we are top of the league for something.

The Addicks were back in the game more after the Imps had enjoyed a good spell.  However, Steve Brown felt the front two had to hold the ball up better.

Blackett-Taylor advanced well, having not been in the game that much, but Lincoln had enough bodies to stop Washington's shot.

Lincoln score, Gilbey sent off

Purrington had to head over a shot after some good build up play by the Imps.   Blackett-Taylor cleared the corner at the expense of a Lincoln throw.   Charlton couldn't get the ball off Whittaker and he scored for the visitors on 32 minutes.    It was a poor ball to give away.   Steve Brown said that Lincoln were soaking up the pressure and were looking good around the penalty area.  Washington had had a couple of opportunities when he could have done better.

Gilbey got a second yellow card and was sent off on 36 minutes.  He should have been more cautious when he was on a yellow.  Pulling back a player's shirt let his team mates down.  No Charlton player complained about the decision.   Steve Brown said he thought we were looking a little bit tired and sluggish.

Birthday boy Brian Cole reminded the crowd that it is a no smoking stadium.  

Steve Brown said we were getting totally overrun in midfield, Dobson and Fraser couldn't cover the ground.   Stockley was finding it difficult to hold up play.   Lincoln were in control and starting to play through the lines.  We didn't look clinical or sharp enough in the penalty box.   We had to set the press off some how. Lavelle had to receive treatment.

Curbs said we started off ever so well, but Lincoln always looked dangerous on the break.  The goal was a really good finish in the end, we were chasing the ball and no one was getting there.   It was a very open first half, but we couldn't find the killer ball.  We looked dangerous when Blackett-Taylor got the ball.

Curbs said that when you were battling away and there was a lack of confidence it led to a lack of bookings.

Curbs suggested that Stockley might need to come off as he was returning after a long period injured.

HT: Addicks 0, Imps 1

Charlton won a corner taken by Fraser.  Lincoln had almost everyone back and broke.  Matthews won a generous free kick for Charlton.   Steve Brown said it would be very difficult for us to get back in the game.   There weren't going to be many chances to outplay them unless they gambledd.

Dobson conceded a free kick in a central position but some 30 yards out.   The ball went harmlessly over the bar.

Washington had a good run but his cross was cut out.   Purrington put in a cross for Stockley but it was saved on the line on 54 minutes.   The whole ball was not over.

It's ten against ten

Whittaker got a red card for a late studs up challenge on the Cat.   The crowd was lifted.

Washington put in a cross for Stockley but the keeper saved from his free header, he should have put it into the ground.   The corner was unproductive.

Fraser made way for Forster-Caskey, his first appearance since the end of last season.   He soon took his first corner.

A Forster-Caskey header went wide.  Leko came on for Matthews on 73 minutes in an attacking change.

Lincoln came down the left again, Robson had time and space to pick out Scully who made it 0-2 on 76 minutes with a ball into the top corner of the net.

Steve Brown said it was difficult to find quality strikers who could finish one chance out of three or four in League One, even Championship clubs couldn't get them.

Dobson went off and Elliot Lee came on with four minutes of normal time remaining.  

From a Forster-Caskey corner, Stockley scored with an excellent header in terms of power and direction.   Washington was just wide of the post after some good football by Charlton.

Four minutes were added on.   A corner gave Charlton a last throw of the dice.   Clare's header sailed over the bar.

Steve Brown said we had missed too many gilt edged opportunities.

The pundits

Curbs said we would be kicking ourselves that we hadn't taken anything from the game.  Why had Gilbey pulled the shirt back twice in the centre circle?   This was so naive.  

Charlotte asked if there was a lack of concentration from a defensive point of view.   It was agreed that Clare needed to get tighter for the first goal.   Curbs said they scored two goals which should have been stopped.

Peter Shirtliff said that Stockley could have had a hat trick with his chances.   Curbs thought the ball was over the line.   

Curbs said it had taken Stockley 45 minutes to get going, that happened when you had been out for a while.   They could have three or four games and then hit a wall.   Peter Shirtliff said one of the bright things was the passing of Forster-Caskey when he came on, he was picking people out.  Curbs said he put dangerous balls into feet.

Jacko said he did not know how we had lost the game with the chances we had.  He was disappointed with the goals we conceded.   It was impossible to say whether the ball was over the line.  He couldn't have any complaints about Gilbey being sent off.  'I think the centre forwards will be disappointed they didn't take their opportunities.   There was a lot of positives, even in defeat it was a positive performance.  On another day we would have won.'    Jayden was not back to moving as freely as he was, but he was getting there.   It was fantastic to see Forster-Caskey back.  'I thought  he added something really, really good.  That's another option for me now.'

Can we get another clean sheet?

As the season winds down, Lincoln City come to The Valley today.  They are not completely free of relegation danger, but are probably safe.  Charlton are hoping for another clean sheet win with Macca recovering from a dip in form:

A few places below Charlton in the form table, the Imps have won more games away than at home (six versus five), scoring 24 goals in the process as against 19 away for Charlton

Louis Mendez has given a lowdown on Charlton for the local paper, but it looks similar to last week's effort for Doncaster:

I had this down as a 2-3 Lincoln win at the start of the season, but it could be a score draw.

Friday 1 April 2022

Jacko: I select teams to suit Charlton not Spurs

Johnnie Jackson has hit back at clickbait stories that Tottenham Hotspur are 'furious' that Nile John has not been given more game time.   Clearly Spurs would like to see him get more action, but as Jackson points out he selects a team to suit Charlton not the Haringey club: