Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Charlton fan runs for mayor

No.1 Charlton fan Jonathan Acworth has declared his candidacy for Mayor of London - if he can find enough mugs to stump up for his deposit. Others have suggested a fund to send him to a deserted island.

Acworth was last heard of asking for a 'high up' job in the club after his claimed role in brokering the takeover, but no one has seen him in the floodlights yet.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Sordell hat trick secures vital win for Charlton

A hat trick from the much criticised Marvin Sordell gave Charlton a 3-2 victory at Sheffield Wednesday today and put them in 18th place at the top of the Championship Relegation League given generally favourable results elsewhere. Sordell had previously only scored four goals this season.

Wednesday's Atdhe Nuhiu put the Owls ahead after two minutes and Chris Maguire added a second from Nuhiu's pass five minutes later. But Sordell finished from Callum Harriott's cross in the 10th minute and equalised two minutes before the break.

The Addicks got off to a poor start in the third minute when Nuhiu volleyed in from a tight angle from Miguel Llera's cross. The hosts doubled their advantage when Nuhiu broke down the right and crossed for Maguire to curl in from the edge of the area. But Sordell pulled one back soon after when he made the most of defensive hesitancy from the Owls to guide a shot into the bottom corner.

Sordell pulled the Addicks level just before half-time when he latched on to Harriott's pass and beat Wednesday goalkeeper Chris Kirkland.

After the break, Sordell continued to cause Wednesday’s defence problems, shooting wide from distance before forcing Kirkland into a smart save at his near post after shrugging off Oguchi Onyewu’s tackle. Wednesday failed to heed those warnings as Sordell completed his hat-trick and a remarkable turnaround in the 63rd minute. He intercepted Nuhiu’s sloppy back pass, broke between two Owls defenders and dribbled forward at pace before coolly stroking in a right foot effort.

Interesting to note that five of the players who started for Charlton had come through the Academy.

Another challenge on the road

Charlton's punishing schedule continues with another tough away game at Sheffield Wednesday this afternoon. The Owls won 4-2 at Bournemouth on Saturday. Their home record is rather mixed, having won nine, drawn four and lost eight. However, they can score goals, 36 at home, compared with Charlton's away tally of 14. They are currently 13th in the form table with Charlton at 16th.

The game at The Valley in December ended in a 1-1 draw. Charlton then won 2-1 at Hillsborough in the FA Cup in February - their only win in the last four meetings in all competitions. However, the Addicks have won two of the last three meetings at Hillsborough in all competitions, losing one.

Blackpool are away at Brighton and Barnsley are at Derby, encounters at which they are unlikely to secure any points. There are three teams one point ahead of Charlton, and two of them, Millwall and Doncaster are playing each other. If Charlton won, Birmingham failed to beat Blackburn and Millwall and Doncaster drew, the Addicks could overtake all three. The permutations are quite complex to calculate if Charlton draw. However, the most likely scenario is that Charlton will remain in 21st place this evening.

The scale of the task is shown by the odds: Wednesday, 21/20, draw 12/5, Charlton 5/2.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Fox up for Massive challenge

Morgan Fox made his first team debut for Charlton in the FA Cup against Sheffield Wednesday in February. He told today's Football League Paper 'Wednesday were physical when we played them and it turned into a bit of a dog fight in the end and we scrapped the win. We have got to stay confident, everyone is fine and we all feel we are good enough to stay in the league.'

'José Riga says play with no fear, and the pressure is off because I and the rest of the boys all trust in you. It is the chance I have been waiting for. I didn't expect to be in the team before the end of the season as Rhoys has been playing well. I have great memories from my previous game [at Hillsborough] so I am looking forward to it.'

Friday, 18 April 2014

A useful point?

Charlton drew 0-0 with Bolton at The Valley this afternoon to secure what might have been a useful point if they had beaten Barnsley on Tuesday. As it is, they have gone ahead of Blackpool on goal difference. The Seasiders lost 0-1 at home to Burnley and sound as if they are in free fall. Their assistant coach was sent to the stands after he shoved a substitute in the face as he was about to go on the pitch and fans halted the match by throwing hundreds of tennis balls on the pitch in protest at owner Karl Oyston.

By contrast at Charlton fans got behind the 'sea of red' day. I paid the price for wearing an old CASC top by being stopped by someone at London Bridge with a question about the CAS Trust. Director Katrien Meire came on to the pitch before the game to address fans and was listened to respectfully and was politely applauded, although in the excitement she almost left her capacious handbag by the dugout.

In the first half I felt that we were giving Bolton too much space to attack, especially down their right. Our own efforts to score were way off target. We started to get on target more in the second half, but the key moment was when Church took the ball off the keeper and appeared to be ready to score when the keeper brought him down with his leg. However, the portly referee did not award a penalty and his linesman rubbed it in by repeatedly shaking his head in front of the East Stand.

Astrit Ajdarevic, Reza Ghoochannejhad, Simon Church and Johnnie Jackson all squandered first-half opportunities. David Wheater volleyed over for Bolton and Matt Mills had a header cleared off the line for the visitors. Ajdarevic fired wide and keeper Adam Bogdan did well to block Ghoochannejhad from having a shot. Church also missed a header and Ajdarevic, Ghoochannejhad and Jackson all failed with poor efforts.

Wheater and Mills had chances for Bolton either side of half-time, with Diego Poyet clearing the latter's effort on the goalline. It took 63 minutes for Charlton to have a shot on target, with Bogdan saving Ghoochannejhad's weak shot, and moments later the keeper had to make his second save, this time from Church. Ajdarevic had another effort saved and Jordan Cousins, Jon Obika and Michael Morrison all missed the target. The Addicks would have been made to really pay had Danns done better after Bolton charged down the pitch to find space in front of goal but he scooped his effort over the bar.

Once again we played some neat football, but failed to find the back of the net.

Match analysis

There were a number of strong contenders for the Silver Bone but Ivy the Terrible finally awarded it to Michael Morrison. It was good to see him back and he was strong when he needed to be. Hamer did not have a lot to do, although he did dither unnecessarily once or twice. Dervite was very solid, although one or two attempted passes were poor. Fox had an excellent debut at The Valley, dealing with his opposite number well, making himself available and putting in some good crosses. Wilson got forward well and put in some good passes. One Addick commented rather cruelly that watching Jackson was like seeing a family pet at the end of his life. He did try his best, but he is slowing down markedly. Cousins is knackered, having played too many games at his age at this level. It showed, for example by giving away an unnecessary free kick in a dangerous position. But he did make some good contributions. Poyet once again displayed his natural talents. Astrit is clearly affected by his chest infection, but put in a good shift and was warmly applauded when he was substituted. Reza is disappointing in terms of speed and reaction for someone who is an international player. Church was very involved and was unlucky not to win a penalty. Green seemed to be peeing in the dugout before he came on. He was completely clueless, wandering out of position and making no real contribution. Obika changed very little when he came on. Hughes is often a substitute, but rarely makes it on to the pitch. This was one of the exceptions and he was brought on to shore up the defence and hang on to the point.

Rescue Cat Reg has given the Hiss of the Match to the East Stand linesman who displayed some poor decision-making. The referee was also reluctant to notice pushes in the back.

Some of that old black magic

Charlton face an in form Bolton at The Valley today as they continue their struggle against relegation. The Trotters, as they were once known, are currently 2nd in the form table and have secured a comfortable mid-table position having been in danger of being drawn into the relegation places earlier in the season.

Something special is going to be needed and one helpful suggestion has come from a supporter in Nairobi: 'I'm a Charlton fc supporter in Nairobi kenya. I'm very concerned about the position of the club in the tables where we are at risk of relegation. It's time we should offer to perform anything that can help rescue the club from this danger. I've got an idea here that I believe can help the club win all the remaining games and help survive although it will require the support of willing fans. I've organised with a local and famous traditional magician whose work is very powerful and has made wonders. He has accepted to perform a magic to the club but at a small fee. What do you think about this idea?'

Meanwhile, the club is trying to weave its own brand of magic by getting fans to wear red today. I have a big collection of shirts to choose from but may settle for an old CASC top.

With Yeovil away at Blackburn and Barnsley and Millwall not playing, this is our last game in hand and a chance to make some ground on relegation rivals. Bolton have won only one of the last six meetings between the two clubs in all competitions, drawing two and losing three. Their only win since 2006 was 2-0 at home in the Championship last season. Charlton have won the last three meetings at The Valley in all competitions, since Bolton's 1-0 win there in the Premier League in October 2005. However, it has to be said that the Addicks were putting out better sides in those games.

Odds are Charlton 17/10, Draw 9/4, Bolton 13/8.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Morrison may leave

The following report has been carried by Sky Sports.

Sky Sports understands Charlton face a battle to hang on to star defender Michael Morrison this summer. Morrison has been one of Charlton's shining lights this season and he is out of contract at the end of the season. Charlton are yet to tie down Morrison to a new deal and a number of clubs are monitoring his contract situation.

The 26-year-old is regarded as one of the best defenders outside the Premier League, having made over 300 league appearances already in his career. Morrison, who has only missed three league games since 2011, has played a key role in helping the club climb out of the bottom three in the Championship in recent weeks their last ten games.

Charlton are expected to offer Morrison a new deal, but they may struggle to match offers from elsewhere as his suitors look to lure him away from The Valley.