In a surprise move by Phil Parkinson, returning striker Chris Dickson starts this afternoon against Brentford up front with Akpo Sodje in a 4-4-2 formation. Wagstaff returns to the starting line up (on the left) at the expense of Shelvey, Racon is on the bench along with Mambo recalled from Staines Town.
Former Addick Charlie MacDonald is not starting for Brentford because he got the first red card of his career at Gillingham on Boxing Day.
At the moment we have no contact with match reporter Paul May. He is of stocky build, middle aged and of medium height and is wearing shades. We have now located Paul May but he has a bad headache and the report may not be of the usual quality.
Charlton had an early chance after 90 seconds when the Brentford keeper came rushing out, but Dickson tried to chip him and the ball went just over. The referee is the banker from Billericay, Andy d'Urso.
Bostock put in a dangerous delivery from a set piece, but Llera and then Basey managed to cope with it. Elliot made a poor clearance, but eventually Spring won a free kick on the edge of the area as the Addickted found their voice.
Sam put in a decent cross, but it was cleared by the Bees defence. The Brentford keeper (on loan from Derby) dealt well with a header from Sodje after a Charlton throw in.
Chris Dickson won a free kick for Charlton off the lino with d'Urso being unwilling to give anything other than a letter warning you to reduce your overdraft (as issued to the late Queen Mother). Llera's final touch put the ball over into the Ealing Road stand full of buzzing Bees.
Brentford advanced well, but the attempt from a tight angle was comfortably saved by Elliot. Wagstaff was taken out on the left and Foster was given a yellow card and a letter charging him £25 in additional fees. There was a scramble on the line and Llera nearly scored as it all kicked off in the stand as the boys in blue plunged in, Brentford having sold tickets to Charlton supporters (around 1,800 in a crowd of nearly 8,400) to make some extra money. It was a pretty minor rumble, involving perhaps a dozen people.
The lively Sam made a great effort from a central position, it deflected and the keeper had to dive to palm the ball away, it stopped on the heavy pitch and he was able to gather as the 20 minute mark was reached. Charlton threatened again through Wagstaff and Charlton won a corner after last ditch defending by the Bees, but Bailey's corner went out for a throw in. The Addicks kept up the pressure.
Spring dealt well with a rare Brentford attack. There was a little bit more aggro in the crowd. Omozusi floated one in, but the whistle went. Sodje and Dickson, not surprisingly, looked a little unfamiliar with each other.
Semedo put in a late tackle and he received a yellow card which was a bit worrying given that he is not playing in his usual position. Wagstaff was in a good position, but the ball bounced off a patch of sand for a Brentford throw in.
Brentford threatened and a decision was made against Semedo on the edge of the area. The Bees effort was poor, Bailey was able to clear and two Brentford players managed to obstruct each other. Semedo fell awkwardly and he needed some treatment, holding his head as he went off the pitch.
Sam went for an early cross rather than taking his time and the home defence were able to clear. Charlton won a corner after Dickson threatened. The ball was only partially cleared. With a Brentford player down, Charlton played to the whistle and Price had to make a good save off Sodje. After the corner Price had to save well as Llera threatened.
Brentford threatened again, but Basey got to his head to the ball to avert a dangerous situation. Spurs loan player Bostock tripped Spring and he received a yellow card and a leaflet about a personal pension.
Semedo dealt well with Ben Strevens. Bailey, who had been rather quiet in the game as a whole (lacking his usual partnership with Semedo), was not at his best, but Semedo restored control. Murphy shot on target and Elliot had to go down in the mud and dirty his striking kit. Ryan Dickson required treatment after he collided with Sodje and looked dazed when he went off. Three minutes were added on. Word came through that the game at the Bescot between Walsall and Norwich had been called off because of a frozen pitch.
Sam played a good ball forward, Dickson tried to chip the keeper and it went just past the post. He should have scored and Parky gave him a blast, having missed for the second time in the match.
Charlton started well, but Brentford came into the match more. The Addicks had the two best chances, but Dicko was not able to take them. The heavy pitch did not help predictable quality football.
Half time: Bees 0, Addicks 0
The half times showed Colchester leading Southampton 1-0 through poetry in motion from Wordsworth. Brentford brought on experienced danger man Cort (enjoying a short-term contract at Griffin Park) to replace the less experienced Murphy. Semedo dealt with an early effort by him.
Brentford won a corner through good work on the left. Bostock took it and, predictably, Cort scored from just a few yards out. Arguably, Semedo and Llera could have done better in defending from the corner. The home fans came to life.
Bailey had a go, but to no effect. Charlton won a corner after good work by the impressive Sam. Price punched out, Spring had plenty of time put ball the over. Wagstaff was taken off after a rather indifferent display and Shelvey was brought on to hopefully give an added threat.
Basey responded well after Bailey had given the ball away and Spring had slipped. Sodje was fouled by O'Connor and the Addicks won a free kick halfway inside the home half, but it did not lead to anything. There was a penalty shout after Sam went down following a shove from Ryan Dickson.
Price came flying out of his goal and brought down Dickson this time the penalty was given. The keeper received a yellow card, although there could have been a case for a red as he was the last man, but d'Urso gave him the benefit of the doubt and some advice on current account options. Bailey smashed the ball down the middle in front of the Addickted to make it 1-1 on 56 minutes to put him one goal short of double figures (although there are those who say that penalties don't count). My hangover seemed to clear.
Sam Wood was replaced by Myles Weston. He advanced down the left, but Elliot cleared. Bailey won a free kick off Bostock. Bailey's free kick was superb and Brentford did well to defend. Price had to respond quickly to deal with a ball from Shelvey.
Brentford took off the youngster Bostock and a more experienced player in the form of Saunders (at least with Dagenham) was brought on. Charlton won another corner in front of their fans. Price stayed on his line as danger man Llera came in at the back post, leading to another corner. This time the move broke down.
Weston won a corner for Brentford. He always did look a threat down the line, but nothing came of the corner. Charlton were caught offside. Charlton won another corner taken by Basey. The Bees tried to break, but Semedo dealt with the potential threat. A cross from the impressive Weston was deflected behind by Shelvey. Elliot completely missed it and Balkestein could have scored, but the keeper gathered at the second attempt.
It was end-to-end stuff in the battle between South and West London. Brentford won a free kick in a dangerous position after Saunders evaded Basey. Saunders managed to hit the crossbar with Elliot beaten and the Bees kept buzzing after a period when Charlton had been on the up.
McKenzie replaced Dickson who was congratulated by Parky as he came off. The referee blew up after Bailey went down to the annoyance of the home side. Word came through that Colchester were 2-0 ahead.
Bailey's tackle on Weston was judged to be fair. Brentford kept up pressure on the left, Saunders tried to feed Cort but he was not able to connect. Eventually Semedo cleared well for the Addicks.
The game entered the last five minutes of normal time. Saunders shot after the Bees advanced well, but put the ball wide. Both teams were involved, but it was getting a bit scrappy. The Bees buzzed down the left again, then a free kick was given against Spring.
Semedo won the ball back off Weston. Price engaged in a little bit of time wasting, four minutes of time were added on. Brentford won a throw in deep inside the Charlton half taken by Leeds target Ryan Dickson. Cort was beaten by Llera in the air. Bailey did well under pressure to preserve the point for Charlton. The Bees looked most likely to score, but Llera cleared away again. Charlton advanced, Sam tried to get in a cross, but Dickson dealt with it. Basey found McKenzie, his shot was deflected for a corner. Bailey's corner was cleared, Sam was brought down and the Addicks had a free kick. What a dramatic finish to the game. Bailey's effort was not one of his best.
One has to admit that a draw was a fair result in an exciting encounter, but it means that Charlton have drawn three games in a row, but in very different circumstances. Jack Frost stalled Norwich's momentum. What a hangover cure.
Wyn Grant adds: Colchester won 2-1 so they and Norwich are both three points behind Charlton with a game in hand - but those games have to be converted into points. A Busy Bee texted me: 'I think we shaded it, but had your players been on song you would have won quite easily.' Or if Burton had been available.