Wednesday 31 August 2022

Youngsters display their skills

Charlton went top of group A of the Papa John's Trophy southern section last night with a 3-0 victory over Gillingham.  The average age of the side was 20.

Following an opening own goal, Aaron Henry and Miles Leaburn scored.

Assstant coach Scott Marshall said: 'Really pleasing. It was a dominant performance so to get three goals on the back of it, a really good evening. Some young players got some good experience there and performed to a high level.'

Six clubs in for DJ

Six clubs are interested in loaning DJ, there is also renewed interest in Alex Gilbey from two clubs:

Coach is fan of pizza trophy

In advance of tonight's game against the Caravan Club in the Pizza Trophy, assistant coach Scott Marshall says that he welcomes these games because of the opportunities they provide to younger players:

Gillingham haven't had the best start to their stay in League Two.  They are fourth from bottom, having won just one match.

Tuesday 30 August 2022

Sandgaard hopes to bring two more in

Thomas Sandgaard hopes to bring in a forward and a centre back before transfer deadline day, but there seems to be little hope of players leaving.  He explains his cost reduction strategy which requires players to sign on a no fee basis:

Saturday 27 August 2022


The Wycombe centre half, charm merchant Scowen, got an early yellow card for bringing down Clare.    The Chairboys won the first corner of the afternoon.

The first Charlton corner led to a shot that was not too far wide, Rak-Sakyi rippling the side netting, but then Wycombe won another corner.  The ball was punched away.  McCleary found space and squared for Mehmeti who scored the opening goal on 13 minutes but within two minutes it was 1-1 through Rak-Sakyi.

Wollacott made two big saves, first from Wing and then from McCleary.   He then made another stop at his near post.

A McCleary volley was headed clear by Inniss at the expense of a corner.  

It looked as if Ben Garner was booked again.  Charlton were struggling to get out of their half and exert pressure higher up the pitch.  Sean Clare was booked for expressing his displeasure at the referee's performance.

O'Connell made a big block as Wycombe pressed.    Rak-Sakyi was booked for preventing a quick throw in.

Kirk put in a deep cross, but Stockley headed over.

The referee added to his collection of yellow cards by giving one to Wing.  Mawson was the booked for Wycombe.   Kirk went down, but was able to continue.

In time added on, Morgan was hauled down just outside the area and Gape was booked.  Charlton applied some pressure, but Clare shot wide.

Critique from the pundits

Curbs thought that Wycombe had caused more problems than us in the first half.  It was noted that Wycombe had had ten shots to four despite Charlton having 62 per cent possession.   Steve Brown said that we tended to have slow build ups, we weren't getting in the final third enough.  For the Wycombe goal, there was no organisation and communication.  Curbs said everyone was looking at the ball and no one was looking at the man.  Stockley had been isolated again, he had hardly had a touch.  Steve Brown said that Stockley was up against two centre halves every time, he felt a bit sorry for him.  Curbs asked where the goals were going to come from.  Steve Brown said that Wycombe do what they do very, very well.

HT: 1-1

An early Stockley header was wide of the post but offside anyway.  Charlton made a lively start, following on from the last five minutes of the first half.

Wollacott tipped over a Mehmeti strike.  The corner ended in a Charlton free kick.

Wheels picked up a knock so Freeman replaced him.  

A shot by Fraser after good work by Rak-Sakyi looped off a defender and was claimed by the keeper.

Inniss went down hurt and Lavelle was ready to come on but Inniss continued.  Inniss went down again and was replaced by Lavelle.  Wycombe made a double substitution.

Morgan was replaced by Payne on 78 minutes.  Wycombe made another substitution.  

Dobson put in a great tackle, one of many in the game.   At 86 minutes Kirk came off and Leaburn came on.  Clare made a great block from McCleary's shot.

McCleary got the first booking of the second half for kicking the ball away.

Six minutes were added on, a chorus of Valley Floyd Road broke out from the 1638 Charlton fans in attendance of 6,139.  Leaburn was cautioned for a pull back.  

Charlton have slipped back to 8th.   Possession was 61 per cent, but 16 to nine shots in Wycombe's favour.   Steve Brown said that you needed ten on target to win a game in League One.

The pundits

Curbs said that a better performance would have got us three points, it was still early days but he couldn't see enough goals at the moment.  Stockley seemed so isolated.  We never fed the ball into his feet.  Steve Brown thought there was a real drop off in fitness levels in the last 20 minutes.  Curbs said for the goal we had four or five players in a line not doing anything.   Steve Brown said there was a lack of leadership in terms of communication.

Steve Brown said the Charlton goal was a good one, the finishing into the roof of the net was very good.   We didn't test the keeper anywhere near enough.  

Curbs thought it was an opportunity lost.   Steve Brown said we did deal well with the set pieces second half.   Curbs said we needed another player up front.   Steve Brown said the squad was not just deep enough.  'We do try to play football.'

Ben Garner

'Very hard fought, it was a good game, they are very good at what they do.  We had to dig in.'  He felt that Charlton deserved a clear payment 'but we don't get those decisions.  We were the side pushing to win it. We were much better with the ball second half.  It's a really tough place to come, pleased with a point, it wasn't a point where we were hanging on.   I thought second half we had some brilliant positions, it was just our decision on which pass to play.   As the seaxon progresses, I expect him to become a lot more clinical.  Ryan is being assessed at the moment.  There's one or two areas we'd like to strengthen, it's going to be down to availability.   Hopefully we can finish this window strongly.'

More comments from Ben Garner criticising the referee here:

He also talks about turning possession into chances:

No one wants to beam up Kirk

There have been no bids for Charlie Kirk in this transfer window and Ben Garner is enjoying working with him:

Friday 26 August 2022

Garner wants to hold on to Clare

Ben Garner wants to hold on to Sean Clare who is the subject of interest from Sumderland and Norwich and says there have been no bids yet for DJ:

Sean Clare has been one of our best players this season and his departure would be a blow.   Opinions are divided about DJ, although he is arguably a useful squad player. 

It should be noted that Sunderland manager Alex Neil is in talks with Stoke City about their managerial vacancy.

Garner praises Clayden

Ben Garner praises Charles Clayden for the way he has slotted into the left back role:

The CAS Trust preview looks at the possibility of getting all three points at Wycombe:

Thursday 25 August 2022

Two clubs in for DJ

MK Dons and Lincoln City are interested in signing DJ:

It looks as if a deal for Alex Gilbey is off despite Lincoln's interest as he wants to stay close to home.

Referee admits he let Steve Brown down

Charm merchant referee Mike Dean recalls the time he sent off Steve Brown at The Valley when he was on a stretcher.  'That wasn't ideal.' he admits to Four Four Two.

If he had his time again, he wouldn't have sent Brown off, 'but like any job you need to make mistakes to make yourself better.'

Charlton fans made their feelings known by throwing club shop catalogues attached to their seats on to the pitch.

Steve Brown confirmed on Charlton Live that it was a deliberate handball and he should have been sent off.

Tuesday 23 August 2022

In for a pound

Charlton reached the Carabao Cup third round for only the second time in 14 seasons with a 1-0 win at League Two outfit Walsall's Poundland Stadium.

The League One visitors made eight changes but Diallang Jaiyesimi's cool second-half finish proved enough to see off a spirited Saddlers side.

Charlton's Joe Wollacott was the busier goalkeeper in the first half, producing a smart low stop from Andy Williams' cross-shot and thwarting Isaac Hutchinson's 20-yarder.

The Addicks went close themselves as Albie Morgan swept Richard Chin's cross just over from 15 yards.

Walsall thought they were ahead on the stroke of half-time as Williams seemed to chest home Taylor Allen's near-post cross but referee Ollie Yates disallowed the goal and booked the disbelieving charm merchant striker for handball.

Jaiyesimi broke the deadlock on 57 minutes, shrugging off Saddlers defender Liam Bennett to fire Miles Leaburn's through ball across Walsall keeper Owen Evans.

The Addicks almost sealed progression four minutes later as Chin strode into the box but Evans produced a fine save to push his shot wide.

Charlton should have added a second in injury time only for Evans' legs to thwart Jesurun Rak-Sakyi before Walsall's Tom Knowles wasted a great chance to take it to penalties by curling wide.

Ben Garner said: 'a few younger players got opportunities. I thought Walsall were excellent.... but really pleased to get through. Alex Gilbey was due to start tonight but had a 'slight knock that wasn't worth risking,' says Ben Garner. Says he'll be ok by the weekend.

Some rare good news. CBT isn't too bad - Garner says: 'It's really good news on his scan. Just bruising to his knee, no structural damage. It won't be long, we'll get him back as quick as we can when swelling goes down. Not a long one at all.'

Charles Clayden didn't travel, but was just being rested.

Walsall eye cup 'upset'

Ben Garner gave Walsall some grief as Swindon manager, but the Saddlers are looking for a 'surprise' victory in tonight's Carabao Cup fixture:

Both teams are expected to feature fringe players.

Monday 22 August 2022

No bid for McKirdy

Ben Garner is a big fan of Swindon ace Harry McKirdy, but doesn't have a transfer fee to bring him to Charlton:

Chuks Aneke is still on the sidelines and is having another scan, while Corey Blackett-Taylor is being scanned, but there is better news on Conor McGrandles:

Saturday 20 August 2022

Garner wants another centre back

Ben Garner wants another centre back before the transfer window closes:

Steven Sessegnon and Conor McGrandles are out injured.

Disappointing draw

A first half goal on 41  minutes by Fraser was cancelled out in the second half by a Cambridge equaliser after some poor marking by Charlton, although Woolacott made a  good save to keep out the initial header.  This gave Cambridge confidence and momentum, although Charlton applied pressure in the six minutes added on.

Former Charlton keeper Dimitar Mitov denied his old club when he turned an Albie Morgan free-kick around a post in the eighth minute, while Jayden Stockley dragged a good chance across the face of goal.

The Addicks went ahead in the 41st minute, Scott Fraser on hand to head in from a few yards out after Mitov had initially kept out Jayden Stockley's close-range effort.

Cambridge levelled on the hour mark, reward for an improved attacking display after the restart. Joe Wollacott superbly kept out Sam Smith's header but Shilow Tracey's follow-up shot was helped over the goal line by Knibbs.

Stockley had the chance to restore the lead but volleyed wide from substitute Corey Blackett-Taylor's left-wing cross.

Blackett-Taylor came on as a substitute but had to be withdrawn injured.   Aaron Henry replaced him for his league debt and impressed, but Dunk blocked his goalbound strike.  Ben Garner was booked for complaining about the Blackett-Taylor incident.   Ben Garner has apologised for his conduct but thinks that the Cambridge player should have been sent off:

Steve Brown said that Cambridge pressurised enough in the second half for an equaliser.   Garner would be frustrated that they had not won.   We had been forced into wide areas and has to put crosses into the box.

Ben Garner said it was a frustrating afternoon.  We gave Cambridge momentum in the second half with some of our decision-making.   The last ten minutes we were much, much better.   We could have moved the ball a bit quicker, in the second half we were a little bit slow, a little bit sluggish.   The officiating didn't help in the second half.   There was a spell of fifteen to twenty minutes when we didn't get a decision at all.   Blackett-Taylor was being assessed, it was a heavy whack.

He says that the team are learning from every game:

Charlton had 66 per cent of the possession, but shots on target were just five to four.  Corners were eight to four.

Charlton remain 6th in the table.   Reported attendance 12,644, 792 away fans.

Friday 19 August 2022

Rak-Sakyi will stay the season

Ben Garner is confident that Rak-Sakyi will stay with Charlton for the season (although it does imply there is a January break clause):

Miles Leaburn admits that it was his ambition to score at the Covered End just like his dad:

After Tuesday's 5-1 win, I thought that the pessimists would find it difficult to construct a coherent critical narrative, but they were out in force on social media on Wednesday, albeit not very coherently.

Cambridge's 4-1 defeat at Portsmouth on Tuesday suggests defensive weaknesses, but every team in the division is here on merit and we need to work for a win.   The CAS Trust preview is here:

Thursday 18 August 2022

Transfer interest in Gilbey

Alex Gilbey is attracting transfer interest from three clubs:

Also out of favour is Jake Forster-Caskey as Ben Garner tries to create space for more signings.

Stockley admits headers need to get better

Jayden Stockley admits he keeps heading at the goalkeeper:

Richard Cawley has stated that Lyle Taylor will not be returning to The Valley despite recent rumours.

Chuks Aneke will not be available on Saturday.

Wednesday 17 August 2022

Tuesday 16 August 2022

The old five

Charlton moved back into the play off places after a 5-1 victory over Plymouth Argyle tonight showed that goals can come from all over the pitch.

Jesurun Rak-Sakyi made an instant impact on his Charlton debut,  The teenage wiinger finished from close range after Argyle keeper Michael Cooper could only parry Jayden Stockley's header after 11 minutes.

Plymouth were fortunate not to be trailing by a bigger margin before James Wilson was sent off for handling Charlie Kirk's goalbound shot. Stockley stepped up to send Cooper the wrong way from the spot in the 41st minute.

Sean Clare arrowed in a spectacular third goal from the edge of the box just before the first half ended.

Plymouth pulled one back when Morgan Whittaker punished a loose Jack Payne touch to drive in on goal and tuck away a low right-footed finish on 71 minutes.

But Charlie Kirk extinguished any faint hopes of a comeback as he converted an Albie Morgan cross at the back post before substitute Miles Leaburn capped off a miserable evening in the capital for the Green Army.

Attendance was 12,392 with 1,160 away fans.

Olly Groome sacked

Ten year employee and CAFC fan Olly Groome has been made redundant from his position as communications officer.

Richard Cawley commented: 'Really sad to hear that Olly Groome has been made redundant by Charlton. Always great to deal with and a long-serving member of staff who is also an ardent and passionate supporter of the club.'

Monday 15 August 2022

Charlton unlikely to sign a striker

Charlton are unlikely to sign a striker before the end of the transfer window.  Any ins will depend on outs, but Ben Garner thinks he has a competiticve squad:

Good strikers are like gold dust, but there are some with potential in the non-league system.  Accrington got Colby Bishop from Leamington for £32.5k and now he is delivering for Portsmouth.

Glaziers boss praises Charlton

Five other clubs wanted to sign Jesurun Rak-Sakyi, but Patrick Veira says that Charlton were a good club with a very good manager:

Saturday 13 August 2022

Wednesday subs overcome tiring Charlton

Charlton made a positive start against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsbrough.   The visitors pressed well. Good play from Sessegnon led to a Charlton corner.   The home team had not settled.  When Wednesday did threaten it was through their wing backs.

By the time of the drinks break there had been no real clear cut opportunities.  

Kirk put in a cross to Fraser, but he spooned it over to the derision of the home supporters.  Sessegnon put in a shot which was wide.

An effort from Blackett-Taylor following a pass from Morgan was cleared off the line by Palmer.   The game came to life in the closing minutes of the half as Wednesday got back into the game.

Scott Minto said he was the best 45 minutes so far against the promotion favourites.   Curbs said he thought we looked like the home side, we had never let Wednesday get going.   Steve Brown said we should have been ahead.

HT: 0-0

Wednesday applied early pressure.   Blackett-Taylor had a chance after getting beyond his man but couldn't hit the target.

A Windass ball was cleared away by Inniss in a lively start to the second half.

Sheffield Wednesday made three substitutions.  

Payne and Leaburn came on, Stockley came off along with Kirk, both of them had made a limited impact.

Clare got a yellow card for a foul.   Charlton cleared the free kick.

Sheffield Wednesday made another change and DJ came on for a tiring Blackett-Taylor at the drinks break.

Charlton were caught out in the final third and O'Connell had to step across.     Wollacott was fouled from the corner.   Fraser was looking tired in the heat.  The home midfield was looking more effective with the substitutions having an impact.   Their bench is strong.  Wednesday made another substitution.

The ball went into the box and Wednesday scored, a great cross being converted into a header.  Charlton had stopped playing.  Ben Garner made a double change.  McGrandles and Clayden came on.   The home side got a yellow card after Clare was fouled.  

Clare stopped Wednesday going 2-0 up.  

Six minutes were added on, but Charlton could not create anything.   They are now 14th in the table.

The pundits

Steve Brown said there were many positives to take from the game.  Curbs said we played ok and deserved a point.  We ran out of legs and they got stronger as the game went on.   For Steve Brown this was more about strength in depth.

Friday 12 August 2022

Sandgaard sets out his stall

Thomas Sandgaard believes it should be possible to double turnover at Charlton even without promotion to the Championship.  The aim is to halve the £8m loss this year and break even next year.  Season ticket sales are stable:

Garrner warns Wednesday

Ben Garner has served notice on Sheffield Wednesday that Charlton will not be a pushover in their tough test at Hillsborough tomorrow:

The CAS Trust preview notes that this is our stiffest test to date:

We will not be facing Akin Famewo tomorrow as he picked up a serious injury on his debut.

Congratulations to Mark Kinsella on his 50th birthday and to Alice Kinsella on winning a silver gymnastics medal in the European championships following her Commonwealth Games success.

Thursday 11 August 2022

Rak-Sakyi on his way

Having beaten off competition from five other clubs, Charlton are set to sign Crystal Palace starlet Jesurun Rak-Sakyi on a season long loan:

Ben Garner also looks forward to Saturday's tough test against the Massives.

Henry relives his wonder strike

Aaron Henry relives his wonder strike against QPR and also talks about his spot kick.   He says that Bem Garner has been wonderful with the younger players since he came in:

Wednesday 10 August 2022

Praise for Payne

Ben Garner says that Jack Payne is a good role model for younger players at Charlton: 

Ben Garner has told Louis Mendez last night that Chuks Aneke is still a doubt for Saturday's game against the Massives after hoping he'd be available. "Outside chance. Probably doubtful. Maybe. He's been on the grass today, he's picking up. This stage of the season it's certainly not worth risking a player.#

MacGillivray on his way

Craig MacGillivray may be let go in the transfer window, the fact that he did not play in the Carabao Cup last night being an indication that his days are numbered:

Nathan Harness would then be No.2 keeper.

Tuesday 9 August 2022

Charlton go through on penalties

Charlton knocked Queens Park Rangers out of the first round of the Carabao Cup after a 5-4 win on penalties following a 1-1 draw.

The Championship side improved after the break when Wales forward Tyler Roberts took less than 20 minutes of his debut to blast the Super Hoops ahead as his superb right-footed effort nestled into the top corner.

But an even better goal levelled it as youngster Aaron Henry smashed a half-cleared corner into the top corner from the edge of the box in the 90th minute.

QPR's Stefan Johansen saw his opening penalty kick in the shootout saved by Joe Wollacott - the only miss from 12 yards as Eoghan O'Connell converted the winning spot-kick for the Addicks.

Charlton - who made eight team changes - edged a goalless opening period as Miles Leaburn had two early chances, while Diallang Jaiyesimi and Jake Forster-Caskey also went close.

Ben Garner commented: “A high performance game, a good level throughout. Really proud of our performance, especially first-half. They made changes and became stronger. Disappointed to be behind but reaction pleasing. Showed desire to get what we deserved from the game.”

QPR manager Beale said: ‘The best team on the night went through. Ben and his team were better than us, especially first-half. We were decent enough second- half. But we brought 3,000 fans here tonight and they wanted to see more from their team.    No complaints. Charlton for large parts of the first-half were better than us and that’s on me. It’s bitterly disappointing.”

Attendance was 5,629.

Sunday 7 August 2022

New arrivals on their way

Ben Garner never wants to see another first half like that against Derby County on Saturday.  He thinks that only Joe Woollacott was at the correct level and if it hadn't been for his heroics in goal Charlton would have gone behind:

Many fans have been critical of the failure to start with Dobson and think that the side improved considerably after he came on after McGrandles was injured on the half hour mark.

Garner hopes to announce some new arrivals shortly with both the defence and the forward line needing strengthening:

Louis Mendez provides his four takeaways on the game:

Saturday 6 August 2022

Three point start at home

Ben Garner's Charlton secured three points in their first home game, Corey Blackett-Taylor scoring the only goal on 62 minutes.  It was a great move down the left, Morgan slipped in and his cross was palmed into the path of CBT.

Charlton made a slow start in the heat and Derby threatened in the first half, hitting the base of the post just before half time.

Morgan, whose astute game management drove Charlton on in the second period, almost made it 2-0, but his low shot was turned around the post by Wildsmith.

Charlton are 5th in the tentative table.

Wednesday 3 August 2022

Hibs in for Kirk?

Reports from the Daily Record have to be treated with a large pinch of salt, but there may be something in report Hibs interest in Charlie Kirk:

However, it now appears that loan club Blackpool and cash strapped Reading are also interested: