Charlton centre half Yado Mambo has joined Shrewsbury Town on loan for the rest of the season: Mambo
Happy New Year to all our readers.
The general view was that we were unfortunate not to get anything out of our home game with Watford in October when we went down 1-2 to the 10-man opposition: Watford. However, the chances of getting anything more than a draw at Vicarage Road tomorrow are not that promising. Watford are currently 3rd in the home table and Charlton are currently bottom. The Hornets have been defeated just once in 11 games.
I saw the quite long excerpt on The Football League Show of Watford's 3-1 victory at the Amex over Brighton and Hove Albion (it is certainly a longer excerpt than Charlton customarily get). The Hornets looked full of confidence and particularly strong in the counter attack.
Czech international Matej Vydra, on loan from Udinese, is clearly a danger man. At Brighton he scored two goals and provided an assist, as well as forcing a good save from the Albion keeper. Troy Deeny's goal was also excellent and he provided the assist for Vydra's second. In midfield Chalobah was calm and composed on the ball, delivering well-weighted passes throughout: just what we haven't got at Charlton. Fitz Hall did everything that was asked of him in defence, but Alumnia in goal made a silly mistake to give away the penalty. Although clearly a more than competent keeper, he can be pressured to make errors.
Charlton will be without Michael Morrison in defence. As Hungry Ted has noted in his blog, the consensus among the Addickted is that Chris Powell should have taken him off at half time. Even just listening to the commentary, it was clear to me that the rotund referee had him in his sights. It has been observed that he has been playing below his usual standard in recent games and this has led him to make errors that can attract cards.
Bradley Wright-Phillips impressed on Saturday and arguably did enough to earn a starting place. Bradley Pritchard was his usual vigorous self. After a hesitant start, Evina did well, certainly better than Seaborne who was angling for a permanent berth in a programme interview a few weeks ago: thanks, but no thanks.
I can make one prediction with confidence about this match: the symmetry of Charlton's away record will end. Currently we have won four, drawn four and lost four. Watford have lost as many matches at home as away (four), but I fear a loss for the Addicks to start 2013. Odds are: Watford 5/6, Draw 5/2, Charlton 10/3
Whilst we shouldn't blame referees for our own poor performances, it's not good news that Trevor Kettle is refereeing this match. He rewarded the horror tackle on Grant Basey at Bristol Rovers by Dominic Blizzard with a yellow card, although he did have the grace to apologise afterwards. Views by fans of this cloud of steam are far from favourable: Kettle
In the event of a defeat, if Chris Powell is not provided with a taxi then or shortly afterwards, he is probably safe for the rest of the season, barring a complete collapse. We don't need to add to the crazy turnover of Championship managers.
Chris Powell made five changes in the Charlton line up against Derby County at The Valley this afternoon, reports Paul May. Frimpong, Green and Seaborne disappeared altogether. Wilson returned from suspension on the right, Evina came in on the left, Pritchard and Jackson were in midfield and Kermorgant replaced Hulse up front. There were three strikers on the bench.
Derby secured an early free kick in a promising position. Kermorgant headed behind for a corner. The ball was volleyed away for a throw in. Haynes and Kermorgant combined to win Charlton’s first corner. Jackson’s corner was dealt with easily. Hughes was shown a yellow card for bringing Pritchard down with a slightly late and careless tackle.
Morrison was shown a yellow card for a tackle on Hughes. The free kick from Davies was tipped over by Hamer for a corner which led to a goal kick. Derby were showing some pace up front. A free kick from Davies curled just wide of the far post by inches. Another free kick was awarded to Derby as former Sunday League referee Boyeson imposed himself on the game. Brayford’s header from the penalty spot did not have enough power and it went wide of the post.
Charlton were losing the midfield battle and the bench shouted instructions to Pritchard, but he lost control to Hughes. Haynes held the ball up, having obtained it from Kermorgant, and scored a goal out of nothing, arrowing the ball into the corner of the net. It could be a goal of the season contender.
Solly shot on his 100th appearance as Charlton started to buzz, having been lifted by the Haynes goal. Evina dallied on the ball and was robbed and Hamer had to save from Robinson. Pritchard put a shot in and it was deflected for a corner. Stephens put in a decent delivery but Cort did not read it right.
Kermorgant and Haynes were combining well. As soon as Kermorgant got the ball, two players were on him. Evina made an important defensive header. Derby won a corner through Brayford. Solly was able to clear, but then Haynes leant towards the ball and he was in agony as his hamstring went. Wright-Phillips came on in his place.
Hamer had to make a great save with his left hand from Tyson who burst out of nowhere. Morrison committed a foul and was given a final warning after the referee had initially reached for his pocket for a second yellow. Davies put in a shot from the free kick for 40 yards out but Hamer was well positioned.
The shaven haired charm merchant O’Connor pushed Wright-Phillips in the back. Hughes put in a dipping volley from 30 yards out which went over the bar, Hamer had it covered. Keogh got a yellow card after he fouled Kermorgant. Wilson put in a ball, Kermorgant chipped the ball in and Morrison had a free header but did not time it well.
Solly got the better of Tyson. Wright-Phillips got past Keogh and drew a good save from the keeper. Charlton advanced again, Wilson put in a shot when Kermorgant was free. Wilson broke away and was cynically brought down but O’Connor said he had dived. Wilson made his point to the referee as he headed for his dressing room to check the radiators.
Half time: Addicks 1, Rams 0
Wright-Phillips got away from two defenders and Jackson’s header went wide. Solly got round the defender, Evina hit it well and the keeper put it over the bar. The keeper punched out the corner from Stephens and the Rams were eventually able to clear. Solly floated the ball in and Stephens put it over the bar.
An effort by Stephens was charged down by the Derby back line. Kermorgant was flattened by Keogh. The referee issued a final warning. O’Connor took Pritchard down with a rugby tackle. Stephens took the free kick, Jackson hit a great ball and Legzdins in the Derby goal made an excellent save.
Cort had to make a last gasp defensive header at the expense of a corner. The move led to a second Rams corner. The Addicks were able to clear. A shot from Wright-Phillips went straight at the keeper.
Stephens dispossessed Tyson. Morrison conceded a corner. Charlton got a free kick after Cort was held. The attendance was announced as 17,761 with 1,300 away fans. The total included the likes of Wyn Grant who had been deterred by forecasts of monsoon like weather which turned up later than forecast.
Tyson kicked out at Jackson and Charlton got the free kick. Tyson, who had been losing the plot, was taken off and Sammon came on. Derby won a corner off Kermorgant. Charlton broke quickly and Solly fed Wright-Phillips in a flowing move, Kermorgant knocked the ball down for Pritchard who hit the underside of the bar.
A knackered Hughes went off and Ward came on. Derby won another corner. A penalty was awarded after two players went for the ball and Morrison was sent off. This was a poor decision by the former Sunday League referee who awarded a penalty against Charlton at Huddersfield last season. The substitute Ward sent Hamer the wrong way to equalise. There was a bit of a trouble behind the goal as a Derby fan got on the pitch.
Stephens came off and Dervitte came on. A Derby corner was punched clear, the ball came in again and Hamer had to make a great save as the rain poured down. The Rams had their ninth corner and Charlton were under the cosh. Sammon had made an impact since coming on.
Derby won their tenth corner as they turned the screw. The header was wide of the target. Hamer was booked for kicking the ball away as Derby won another corner. Dervitte put in a great defensive header. Charlton were under more pressure and Solly had to make a defensive header. Chris Powell was giving instructions to Evina. The rain hammered down.
Derby won another corner. Ward had to come off and ‘Crackers’ Jacobs came on. The header from Brayford hit the base of the post. Kermorgant came off and received a standing ovation, Fuller replaced him with five minutes of normal time left. Wright-Phillips got away from the defender with a great run, but a Derby defender was able to stop the ball reaching Fuller.
The pitch was cutting up quite a lot. Derby won one corner and then another one. Evina got the ball away from danger. Charlton launched an attack through Wright-Phillips, Derby counter attacked and Wilson intervened.
Four minutes were added on. Evina defended well. Dervitte averted danger. Derby won their fourteenth corner off Jackson. Brayford had a free run again but did not time it properly. The whistle went for a point.
It has been raining very hard here in Warwickshire and if that is replicated later on an already wet surface at The Valley, it's difficult to see how the game can go ahead. I would say the chances of a postponement are more than 50-50 and there is nothing more frustrating than travelling to London to find there is no match.
Paul May is on standby to provide a match report if the game does go ahead.
Charlton have asked for nine or ten fans to volunteeer to fork the pitch ahead of tomorrow's game with Derby County. They are needed from 12 noon to help remove standing water. A number of Football League games have already been called off.
The club will have a precautionary pitch inspection at 9am tomorrow. Despite the recent heavy rain, the pitch is currently playable but Charlton are concerned about the weather forecast for heavy rain tomorrow in the hours before the 3pm kick off.
Head of operations Mick Everett said: 'At the moment, although it's very wet given the recent weather, the pitch is playable, and apart from the odd shower, the rest of today and overnight should be dry.'
'However, we're concerned that the pitch cannot take much more water, and from around midday tomorrow the forecast is for torrential rain in the three-hour period leading up to kick-off. We're very conscious of supporters' travel arrangements and want to provide them with as much information as we possess.'
As a result, and because the weather forecast could change during the course of Friday or overnight, we intend to have a precautionary pitch inspection at 9am on Saturday.'
Even if the game does ahead, wet conditions and high winds will not provide the optimal setting for quality football. There is the risk of freak goals being scored.
A further element of unpredictability is referee Carl Boyeson who has enjoyed a rapid ascent from the Hull Sunday League. He refereed Charlton's away match against Huddersfield last year, sending off Daryl Russell and awarding a penalty against the Addicks, the match ending 1-0 in favour of the home side.'
Odds: home win 7/5, draw 12/5, away win 9/5.
West Ham have renewed their interest in Chris Solly with a view to acquiring him in the January transfer window. Sam Allerdyce wants to go back in for Solly when the transfer window opens as he seeks to strengthen his injury hit side. The Hammers boss only currently has Guy Demel to play at rightback with Joey O’Brien being forced to play out of position at left back and Solly could solve his problems in one swoop.
However, Fulham are also said to be in the reckoning, as well as watching Ben Hamer.
Just before Christmas, Chris Powell noted that speculation season was beginning. He said, 'I can try and stop people taking players from here for ludicrous bids. I hope they don’t. We don’t want their heads turned by people putting in bids that wouldn’t even buy one of their legs, let alone all of them.
'I want these players to stay and continue their education here. We will deal with it in the right way.'
Among Charlton fans who went to the Boxing Day defeat, there is a general consensus that the midfield were woeful, Stephens in particular giving away possession again unnecessarily, leading to one of the Ipswich goals. The front pairing could hardly be blamed for not doing more when the service was so woeful.
One long-standing fan commented: 'The strike pairing worked hard at competing for the ball, which they only saw from punt-clearances from the back four, as, apart from Haynes in the first few minutes, the wingers were rarely given decent balls to work with, and there was little end-product ...or none in the case of Green, who frequently drifted even deeper than Solly when there was a crying need for a wide player for an out-ball. From where I was sitting, Green, Frimpong, Stephens and Seaborne were consistently poor first half, and it came as no surprise to see the former two replaced at half time. Pritchard proved to be part of the solution, at least wanting and using the ball.'
Another fan commented, 'Firstly 3 of the 4 midfielders just didn't turn up. The fact Stephens survived his first half horror show only serves to show just how abysmal Frimpong and Green were. The introduction of Jackson and particularly Pritchard turned the game in our favour. Pritchard brought pace, tempo and bite to the middle, Jackson improved the passing, the harrying and in particular the delivery into the box.'
'Secondly our back four looked decidedly like they'd had too much Christmas pudding. Solly had his poorest half of football in a long time and Seaborne looked like a debutant wearing his boots on the wrong feet. Exposed to the pace and skill of Ipswich's outstanding forward players Campbell and Martin, Morro and Cort looked like they had the manoeuvrability of the Titanic.'
'That first half showing was our worst for some time. Second half, with the changes in midfield, we at least looked like a Championship side. To give Stephens a little credit, at least he looked like he cared that he was putting in a mare, unlike the two subbed. God, you'd think Green would at least look like he wanted to take his opportunity.'
'Central midfield needs to be a priority for any money made available to Powell in January, if he's given the chance to spend it (and it would be a travesty if he's not.)'
The Deepest Darkest blog has dared to invoke the memory of Keith Jones. Much criticised at the time for passing sideways or even backwards, he at least kept possession and found Charlton players with accurate passes.
Derby have themselves suffered two successive defeats, so they are by no means invincible and offer a chance to get back to winning ways.
Charlton went down to their third successive defeat, losing 1-2 to form team Ipswich at The Valley today.
Jackson was dropped to the bench against Ipswich, as was Kermorgant reports Paul May. Kerkar, who has been disappointing of late, was nowhere to be seen with Harriot promoted to the bench. Green and the returning Stephens started. Haynes was played out wide left at first, later switching to the right. Hulse and Fuller were paired up front. There was a minute’s applause to mark the passing of club historian Colin Cameron.
Cresswell shot from an early free kick conceded by Morrison, but it went over. Haynes put in a spectacular right-footed shot and the keeper just managed to put it over the bar. There should have been a second corner as the ball came off the keeper, but the referee did not agree. Hamer looked as if he had damaged his hip and was wincing in pain.
Cort had to battle with Orr and managed to avoid the corner. A wild swing from Trinidad & Tobago international Edwards went wide. Frimpong made a good challenge, but Smith defended well in the subsequent attack.
Solly cleared from danger and Charlton counter attacked, but Green’s shot was charged down. It was a nice move, even though it was ultimately unproductive. Frimpong put in a great tackle in the box. Fuller held the ball up well with three defenders around him.
Lee Martin was brought down by Frimpong, I am not certain that was in the box. The penalty by D J Campbell on 17 minutes was apparently saved by Hamer diving to his right, but it must have come off the post as the referee did not give a corner. Hamer had to come off his line to save well from D J Campbell who had burst forward.
Haynes played the ball into the box, but Fuller’s attempt was charged down by the Ipswich back line. Green failed to track the left back. Hamer still did not look comfortable and would probably have been taken off if he was an outfield player.
Fuller shot but the keeper dived to his right to save. Campbell shot but Hamer got down quickly to save. Fuller won a free kick for the Addicks. The effort from Stephens hit the base of the post with the keeper nowhere.
The ball was drilled back in from the right hand side with Murphy keeping it in and Campbell scored the opener for Ipswich on 35 minutes with a volley into the bottom corner ten minutes before half time. The tractor drivers in the Jimmy Seed came to life.
Fuller shot straight at the keeper when he should have passed the ball. Morrison caught Drury and got a yellow card. The free kick was not taken well and went wide. Green went for the shot when he should have passed. There was insufficient collective work in the final third.
Hamer seemed to be moving more freely. The Addickted were subdued with Charlton not coming into the game much after thet went behind. Ipswich doubled their lead through Murphy after Hamer made a final initial save from Lee Martin on the stroke of half time, Charlton having fallen asleep.
HT: Addicks 0, Tractors 2
There was a double substitution after the break with Frimpong and Green going off and Jackson and Pritchard replacing them. Haynes put a good ball in, Jackson was about to let rip with his left foot and Fuller took it off him. Solly floated the ball in, Hulse got the header, but it was a comfortable save for the keeper.
Ipswich were playing keep ball, but Charlton eventually won the ball back with the rain starting to lash down to dampen the atmosphere even more, at least for all except the 1,319 Ipswich fans in the notional crowd of 18,380. Solly got in behind and the corner was awarded. The keeper punched out Jackson’s corner and the move ended in a goal kick.
Hulse threatened but was forced wide. Fuller won a free kick 20 yards out just to the right of centre. The free kick took a deflection leading to a corner, but Ipswich were able to clear their lines. Hulse was caught by Orr, but nothing was awarded. Ipswich took off Drury and brought on the experienced Nigel Reo-Coker. He trained with Charlton before his move to Ipswich.
There was another odd offside decision by the East Stand linesman. The corner flag snapped and the game was halted. Haynes floated the ball into Hulse and the keeper tipped it over as a safety first move. Charlton kept up the pressure after the corner from Stephens and won a second corner. It was a great delivery by Jackson, but eventually the keeper, who flapped initially, was able to gather.
Pritchard was taken down by Cresswell, having got round him, but the East Stand lino awarded the free kick to Ipswich. Pritchard tried to feed Solly in the box, he was brought down, and the penalty was awarded. Haynes had insisted on taking the penalty and made no mistake in drilling the ball high and wide of the keeper.
Seaborne put in a poor ball to Hulse, it came back to him and then he headed it out for a throw. Fuller went down and put his arm up straight away. The doctor was summoned. It appeared to be a problem with his left shoulder. Fuller came off and Kermorgant came on. Stephens put in a free kick from 30 yards and the curling ball was just wide as the rain lashed down.
Kermorgant won a corner for Charlton. Once again the keeper displayed his Dracula problem, but it did not lead to a goal. D J Campbell went off and Hyam came on. Charlton were unable to create anything in the closing minutes of normal time. Four minutes were added on. Stephens gave the ball away. Handball was awarded against Kermorgant, Ipswich made their third substitution to waste a bit of time, Murphy taking his time going off as Emmanuel-Thomas came on. Ipswich failed to clear the ball, Stephens could have equalised, but he hit it first time and put it wide. Hamer came forward as Charlton won a corner, but it was to no avail.
The second half was much better from a Charlton perspective, and indeed the first fifteen were good enough, but the damage was done in the rest of the first half.
Ipswich Town are raring to go at The Valley this afternoon, according to Kiwi international Tommy Smith. What is more they have been working with the medical staff to ensure that they have the right nutrients after the Christmas period. The mind boggles: is it Weetabix all round on the coach? One possible reading of what he says is that they are going for a draw: Ipswich
An Ipswich site names Ricardo Fuller as the danger man and forecasts a 2-1 defeat for the Tractors: Tractors
Tributes have been pouring in after club historian Colin Cameron passed away early on Christmas Day. Rick Everitt described him as 'the number one Charlton fan, bar none.' Steve Brown referred to him as Mr Statistic, describing him as a 'fine human being.' From the United States Doug Chapman said, 'A very nice man who possessed more knowledge about the history of Charlton Athletic than anyone else. A virtual walking encyclopedia who loved his club and its supporters.' Phoptographer Tom Morris has said how helpful he was when he needed to identify anything. Fans have talked about his approachability.
In a message to the club, Colin's family have said, 'CAFC was Colin's life for 60 years.' Perhaps one day we can have a small museum at The Valley and dedicate it to him.
Colin was meticulous in his collection of data about Charlton. There was a time when I covered the odd youth team match in the Midlands for the Greenwich Mercury. Charlton won 6-1 at Rushden & Diamonds and Colin questioned me rigorously about whether we had scored the last goal or had it been tipped in by the keeper to make it an own goal.
Charlton Home and Away is one of my most treasured books and the one I would take on a desert island. I often consult it for these posts and the same applies to The Valiant 500. His contributions to the programme were always among the most interesting items. Truly, we will not see his like again.
With Chris Powell's future at Charlton cast into doubt, Paul Mortimer has given the Addicks supremo a ringing endorsement in Pravda. Chris Powell will complete his century of games with Charlton on Boxing Day: let's hope it's not a hundred and out.
Morts warns that the South Londoners could face a fight in the future to keep the 43-year-old, one of the brightest young bosses in the game. 'He has done a fantastic job and Charlton's problem will be holding onto him,' said Mortimer, who played alongside the Valley manager when the club were in the top flight.
'It is great to see a young boss being given a chance, there are so many underneath. Chris is leading the way - and long may that continue. He has been nothing short of brilliant. It has been an incredibly successful period of time.'
'Charlton were fifth when he took over and they finished 13th that season - managers have lost their jobs for less than that. So the board have got what they deserved for backing him. That gave him confidence. He is a very good manager, no doubt, and things have gone from strength to strength.'
'The side had a sticky start in the Championship but he sprinkled some magic dust - he pulls people together and they play for him. He represented England, making his debut in his thirties, and there is very little he hasn't done. Players respect him straight off the bat.'
'Powelly is hard but he's fair. Honest and straightforward - you want to play for a person like that because they don't come along very often.'
Leon Clarke, who has not had a future at The Valley for some time, has been taken on trial by Coventry City with a view to a permanent move: Clarke
Where he will be moving to is an interesting question. If Coventry City can't settle their rent dispute with their landlords at the Ricoh Arena, it could be Nene Park, Irthlingborough, the former home of Rushden & Diamonds. Or beautiful downturn Burslem and Vale Park.
Have Ipswich Town finally got into gear under Mick McCarthy or are they still stuck in the mud? McCarthy replaced Paul Jewell weeks after he failed to do the decent thing and succumb to the curse of Charlton.
Ipswich are currently 5th in the form table (Charlton are 20th), having won three, drawn two and lost one of their last six games. They haven't scored many goals away (seven) and have conceded 26, but still have managed to win three games and draw two on the road.
They stuttered somewhat in Saturday's 1-1 draw with fellow relegation strugglers Bristol City. McCarthy commented, 'I was happy to take a point from a game we could have lost, to not lose twice on the bounce and not to crumble when we could have done. In terms of performance it was nowhere near as well as we played against Nottingham Forest or Millwall.'
Up front D J Campbell was quiet, while Daryl Murphy had a frustrating afternoon. Murphy is a doubt for Boxing Day after picking up a knock to his knee on Saturday, but McCarthy is hopeful he will make the trip. Lee Martin can deliver a good corner, but N'Daw was sloppy with has passing and was caught in possession too often. Andy Drury did provide some power and pace in midfield, but skipper Carlos Edwards had another quiet afternoon, creating very little danger from the right. The defence looked quite strong with Tommy Smith defending stoutly and scoring the goal. Bradley Orr made a brilliant first half block.
Of the four most recent games we have played at home to Ipswich in the second tier, we have won three comfortably: the exception was an end-of-season celebration when we had already been promoted to the Premier League as champions.
Odds are 5/4 for a home win, 12/5 for a draw and 21/10 for an away win. Pessimists have already been out in force virtually this morning, one arguing: 'Powell's baffling tactics, team selections, ineffective substitutions and turgid style are causing concern.'
The vapourings of the usual suspects aside, Chris Powell is clearly under pressure. An often reliable source has stated this morning, 'I think it would be very unsurprising if Jimenez sacked Powell before or after the Watford game, should we fail to pick up, say, four points over Christmas. There are strong indications it was intended to sack him after the Cardiff game and a meeting had been scheduled for the following morning.'
The suspension of Lawrie Wilson is a blow as he is a real menace down the right. Even so, I am going for a 2-0 win for Charlton, although I should warn you that I am bottom of the West Sussex branch prediction league.
Happy Christmas! Greetings from the players and Sir Chris here (well worth a watch): Christmas
Chris Powell has explained his encounter at half time with referee Gary Sutton at Hillsborough yesterday. He said: 'There were a number of challenges on Lawrie Wilson, there was an offside goal that was actually onside, and then we had a penalty decision that we thought we should have been given.'
The manager continued: 'At half time I went to speak to the referee. I didn't swear, I didn't point at him, so I felt I approached him in the right way, but he said go to the stands.'
'So if I can't talk to him in the correct matter when I'm not abusing him or doing anything that would put me in potential trouble, what can you do? He said it's for the image of the game that I came onto the pitch and left my technical area.'
I said "it's half time", and he said it should have been in the tunnel. We spoke at length at half-time in the referee's room but he's made the decision and he's not going to change it.'
Wednesday manager Dave Jones admitted, 'It looked like a penalty and I'd have been disappointed if it had gone against me. Maybe we had a Christmas present nice and early.'
With Charlton suffering two successive 2-0 away defeats and falling to 18th in the table, the usual suspects are coming out of the woodwork and renewing their criticism of Chris Powell's stewardship as manager.
One well-known critic complained, 'Powell may be a nice bloke , but I am concerned because he does not seem to learn from game to game he still picks same players and formations even when it is clear its not working, not sure new owners will stick with Powell too long if we don't at least look like we are moving the right way, but I would like to see an old head brought in to help Powell like Curbishley.'
However, one of Chris Powell's defenders responded, 'We're 18th as it happens, but as many points from the playoffs as we are from the relegation places - closer to the playoffs on goal difference. If we were to get 2 wins from our home games we might find ourselves a lot higher placed.'
'The Championship is an odd league - anyone can beat anyone and clubs tend to go on mini runs. If you get carried away with a couple of bad results then you deserve to look silly when a couple of wins come in. Yes it's one win in 6, or it's 4 wins, 3 draws and 2 losses in our last 9, both losses coming away from home.'
'Powell is doing just fine, especially considering the constraints on strengthening the side in the summer. We're a mid-table side with mid-table form. What's to complain about?'
Leon Cort replaced Dorian Dervitte while Kerkar came in for the suspended Dale Stephens as Charlton faced a massive game at Hillsborough this afternoon in Yeovil-style weather reports Paul Mayfrom among the 500 or so Addickted in the 20,000+ crowd. Ricardo Fuller was on the bench.
After a great attack down the right by Haynes, Llera almost put the ball in his own net. Johnson cynically brought down Wilson after being beaten again, but got away with just a talking to from the referee. In the play following the free kick, Kerkar put in a poor high ball to the fury of Wilson.
Morrison dealt with a Wednesday attack as they got forward for the first time. Hamer punched the ball away from the throw in and then Cort had to stretch and clear off the line for a corner. Wednesday had a chance from eight yards out but put the ball over.
Wednesday put in a deep cross to no one in particular and Kerkar cleared the ball. Frimpong gave the ball away in midfield, but fortunately the final ball was poor. Seaborne defended well as Wednesday threatened again.
Johnson brought Wilson down for the third time and finally the yellow card was shown. A head injury to Kermorgant led referee Gary Sutton to stop the game to the indignation of the home fans. A loose pass from Frimpong gave Wednesday another chance to attack but to no effect.
Hamer punched a throw in away well. Frimpong released Haynes, but Wednesday were able to defend. Solly showed great persistence but Haynes got into an offside position.
Morrison had to turn the ball behind for a corner as Wednesday applied some pressure. McCabe put the ball in the net with a volley which gave Hamer no chance making it 1-0 to the home side on 20 minutes. It was his first goal for the club since joining from Rangers. Wednesday put in a shot, but it went straight through to Hamer. Antonio put in an effort but it was wide.
Wednesday continued to apply pressure. Kerkar won a free kick on the left. Cort did not connect well with Jackson’s free kick.
Frimpong was warned by the referee after a tackle. The goal seemed to have taken the wind out of Charlton’s sails after a very good start.
Seaborne lost his man, Antonio fired his shot and it went inches wide. Seaborne gave the ball away again. Haynes advanced and Kermorgant was flattened by a shove in the back as he tried to get his shot away and felt he should have had a penalty. It looked like a penalty to me.
Wednesday created a shooting chance but Frimpong put their player off and it went straight through to Hamer.
Haynes put the ball in the net but the flag went up against him very late. Charlton had come back into the game in the last ten minutes of the half. Solly advanced well in the last minute with a great run. Chris Powell complained to the referee about his failure to award a penalty and also the failure to send off Johnson. The referee sent him off and he reappeared in the front row of the directors’ box in the second half.
Half time: 1-0
Charlton got a free kick for a handball by Prutton, but Kirkland did well. Kermorgant was flattened by Johnson who continued to deal with his frustrations after not playing for three months.
Johnson went down, but Charlton continued their attack. Wilson was given a yellow card, it was not clear why. A free kick from Llera led to Gardner’s header dropping just outside the post. Hamer was not happy with his defence. Morrison made an error and Cort had to come to his rescue. Hamer saved comfortably from a shot by O’Grady.
Haynes totally missed his kick from four yards out in front of an open goal when he could have made it 1-1. Kerkar was taken off and replaced by Fuller. Kermorgant dropped deeper.
Prutton, who took a blow to the head, was withdrawn and replaced by Chris Lines. The game went into a bit of a lull, but then Charlton won a corner through Fuller. Charlton kept up the pressure from the corner, but eventually Kirkland was able to gather.
Solly gave possession away dangerously, but Charlton were able to recover. Frimpong did well to deny Antonio. A spell of pressure from the Addicks led to a corner. A volley from Kermorgant went out for a goal kick.
Hulse and Green came on and Haynes and Frimpong came off. Good work by Green won a corner. There was a chance, but Morrison’s touch went wide.
Solly burst into the area, but eventually Green over hit the ball. A shot by Fuller on target was blocked by Llera. Wednesday counter attacked, but Hamer claimed well. A delivery from Hulse went straight to Kirkland.
Green was cynically fouled by Helan. Jackson curled it round the wall from 30 yards out but it was just beyond the post . Llera was all over Hulse, but no free kick was awarded.
Hamer had to put the ball behind for a corner. McCabe put the ball just over the crossbar. Four minutes were added on. Solly made a good run, Fuller was taken out. Hulse couldn’t get a connection from the free kick. Helan took on the whole defence by himself and the Manchester City loan player made it 2-0.
Charlton suffered another defeat ‘oop North. The last time they won in the pre-Christmas match was in 2004.
Former Owl Michael Morrison is expecting a physical encounter at Hillsborough tomorrow: Morrison
The latest issue of Four Four Two has a big picture of Morro with his boot firmly implanted in the face of a Burnley player during the match there.
Sheffield Wednesday are still sore about their 0-1 home defeat by Charlton and the way in which the Addicks ground out a result. Now, coming on the back of their 1-0 away win at Barnsley last Saturday, they want to end a run of four home defeats with a win against Charlton on Saturday: Charlton
Manager Dave Jones has brought in experienced coach Stuart Gray to help Wednesday to climb out of the relegation places: Gray
Without a squad number and denied first team action, Nicky Weaver may have to quit Sheffield Wednesday in the January transfer window: Weaver
Weaver says that he has good memories of his time at Charlton, even if things did not go well, and is pleased to see the club doing well under Chris Powell.
The Boxing Day match against Ipswich Town will go ahead, despite the fact that there are no trains to Charlton and there will be no tube service to North Greenwich because of action by ASLEF charm merchants.
Chris Powell celebrates his hundreth game in charge of Charlton at Hillsborough on Saturday. Here is an excellent in depth interview with Sir Chris in which the all round quality of the man shines through: Sir Chris
Charlton were named as London football team of the year in the Evening Standard
Turkish interest in Charlton appears to be alive as the Turkish group were spotted in the directors' box as guests of Mr Jiminez at the last home game. However, a Swedish millionaire is also rumoured to be interested: let's hope he is a multi-millionaire rather than just a millionaire. Last but not least, the 'cash' is said to have been made available again, hence the loan signings of Hulse and Frimpong.
Two second half goals from substitute David Ngog saw Charlton go down to a 2-0 defeat at the Reebok this afternoon. Although the usual suspects are blaming Chris Powell, it should be remembered that Bolton were in the Premiership last season and still have a number of quality players.
The former Liverpool striker scored twice within six minutes to help the Trotters to only their second win in eight games, and condemn the Addicks to their first away defeat since September 18. Until the Frenchman's introduction the visitors looked most likely to break the deadlock, with Danny Haynes spurning two good opportunities, while Wilson looked lively.
Chris Powell made a couple of alterations to the Charlton team, with Bradley Pritchard making way for Dan Seaborne (who some of those there thought a disappointment) and Yann Kermorgant recalled in place of Rob Hulse.
It was Freedman's side who carved out the best chance in the opening stages, with Chung-Yong Lee playing a neat one-two with Chris Eagles before side-footing wide after 10 minutes. At the other end, Dale Stephens' through ball released Haynes clear on goal, but a crucial last-ditch tackle from Mears denied him, just as he was set to pull the trigger.
The Addicks had Ben Hamer to thank for keeping the scores level soon after, as he reacted quickly to deny Eagles' swivel shot with an instinctive close-range save.
Nine minutes before the break, Haynes had a second opportunity to open the scoring after Lawrie Wilson stood up a right-wing cross, but he headed wide when well-placed. Charlton continued to find joy on the break, with Adam Bogdan needing to be alert to keep out Kermorgant's left-footed strike.
Both teams struggled to find any fluency after the interval, with Kermorgant's 55th-minute wayward header the closest either side came to breaking the deadlock. But it was a double substitution eight minutes later, replacing Chung-Yong Lee and Butterfield with Martin Petrov and Ngog, which would prove to be pivotal.
The substitution failed to make an immediate effect, indeed the Addicks continued to threaten, with Haynes' shot from a tight angle forcing Bogdan into an important save. But the Trotters pair were soon able to combine, as Petrov fed the ball into Ngog, who beat two defenders before poking the ball past Hamer to give the hosts a vital lead in the 74th-minute. The Frenchman secured the victory six minutes later, exchanging passes with Kevin Davies before drilling the ball into the back of the net.
A bad day at the office, particularly for the over five hundred Addickted who made the trip. Charlton are now 14th in the table.
Bolton Wanderers manager Dougie Freedman has called on his players to step up to the plate against Charlton on Saturday as the Whites are hit by an injury to another key player: Bolton. Bolton have won just twice since the former Palace maestro took over at the Reebok.
This match preview by a Bolton fan from the States dwells on the injury problems which have particularly affected the 'defense': Lion of Vienna. The attack is seen as less of a problem, although the quality of the finishing could improve. The Addicks are seen as lacking a particular danger man, but Bolton will have to be careful not to lose their shape against them.
Ricardo Fuller is recovering from his hamstring injury and may be available, but is likely to feature on the bench.
It's a bit of a surprise to saw Bolton 18th in the table, although in part that refects a large number of draws (eight). However, Brighton have also drawn eight matches, but are in eighth place, but then they have managed to win four away games. Bolton have won only twice on the road as against Charlton's four.
The Addicks have only lost twice away and Bolton have lost only twice at home, so if statistical patterns mean anything, we are heading for a draw at the Reebok. Four of Bolton's last six matches have been drawn as have three of Charlton's games. But then both teams may decide they want to break the habit.
The pundits at Four Four Two had no doubts at the beginning of the season that they would end up as champions, but then they had the Addicks finishing 18th last season. However, the Football League Paper agreed with this assessment, while The Times had them finishing 3rd. Their fan pundit in Four Four Two had them finishing 2nd. I have to admit that they were one of my promotion picks.
Things clearly did not go to plan and Palace maestro Dougie Freedman was brought in to replace Owen Coyle with the club needing a quick return to the Premiership. Injury worries have not helped and now, after scoring one and creating one in the 2-2 draw at Huddersfield, 'legend' Mark Davies is out for three months: Davies
Most of the individual players seem to fill their positions well, although Zat Knight, who scored an own goal at Huddersfield, has his critics. However, the general view being taken, not least by Freedman, is that the quality of the play is improving and the points will soon start to accumulate against weaker sides like Charlton. We shall see.
Unfortunately our ace away reporter Paul May is being taken shopping by his new girl friend at Bluewater on Saturday, but we shall contrive to get some kind of report from the Reebok.
More than one site is linking Fulham's Martin Jol with a move for Ben Hamer. One Fulham site says, 'The six feet four inches tall twenty-five year-old is starting to carve out a reputation at the Valley and is possibly seen as the long term replacement for forty year-old Mark Schwarzer.'
However, Jol may have competition as Nottingham Forest are also reported to be considering making a move for the keeper in the January transfer window.
Hamer has his critics and is still developing as a player, but his departure would be a blow. Button remains an unknown quantity.
Congratulations to the youth team on their 1-0 victory at Wolves last night in the FA Youth Cup. Holmes-Dennis scored the winner in the 65th minute. Wolves threw on their secret weapon in the form of Dylan Stringer-Moth, but to no avail.
Dan Seaborne has extended his loan at Charlton on a week-to-week basis. He was expressing a wish in the programme a couple of weeks ago for something longer term, but I doubt whether that will happen.
October 7 1980 was a Tuesday evening and there was just 3,359 fans at The Valley to see a third division match between Charlton and Walsall. It was a match which Charlton won and Walsall lost rather woefully, but for some reason Saddlers fans wish to recall it: Saddlers
Charlton ended the season being promoted in third place and Walsall finished fifth from bottom.
Charlton maintained their unbeaten run with a 2-2 draw at home to Brighton and Hove Albion at The Valley today. The Addicks moved up to 12th in the table.
A win was beyond Charlton's grasp because there were too many unforced errors and misplaced passes, notably a rare mistake by Michael Morrison which set up Brighton's first equaliser. Brighton played some attractive football in what was one of the better games we have seen at home this season and it would be difficult to claim that a draw was not a fair result.
The supposed foul which set up the free kick for their second goal looked like a fair tackle to me, but the referee was inclined to give every marginal decision to the visitors while ignoring their pushing and pulling in the box. Even though he came from Surrey, I don't think he was biased, it was just a case of another referee trying to show he is not a 'homer' by giving the benefit of the doubt to the visiting team.
Haynes set up a corner for Charlton. Corners in the first half were taken as part of a new short cormer routine. This one was caught. Wilson put in a good cross. A mistake by Kuszczak in the Brighton goal gave Charlton a corner. It was taken by Dale Stephens, and the subsequent goal was initially attributed to him, but it was Lawrie Wilson who put the Addicks ahead.
An effort by Hulse was turned over the bar by the keeper and from the subsequent corner Morrison headed over the bar. Frimpong was brought down and the free kick led to a Charlton corner which was punched out by the keeper and eventually cleared. Brighton then launched a threatening break, but Chris Solly dealt with it very effectively.
A Brighton corner was eventually cleared, but Hamer was furious with his defence. Solly provided excellent cover. The Covered End launched into a rendition of 'We hate Palace more than you do.' From a Brighton corner Hamer eventually claimed the ball. With the linesman refusing to lift his flag for offside, Hamer did well. Charlton launched a good attack, but the ball seemed to ping off the woodwork, although the keeper may have played a part. A fierce Brighton shot from distance went not far over, but Hamer had it covered and it was always going to go over.
Morrison then made his disastous error with an attempt at a back header. He might have been able to put into touch or let the ball run and Hamer could have dealt with it, but Mackell-Smith was able to score for the equaliser.
Haynes won Charlton a free kick, but it was caught. After a spell when the Seagulls had been dominant, Charlton were getting back in the game more and an attack ended up with the ball in the side netting. A good build up provided a chance for Dale Stephens, but he was off target.
Half time: Addicks 1, Seagulls 1
Brighton won a number of corners early in the half, one leading to a follow up but Hamer was able to catch the ball. Dean Hammond was given a yellow card for a foul on Dale Stephens. Brighton continued to push and pull in the box under the benign gaze of the referee. A Charlton error in a pass across the pitch allowed Brighton to attack and Wilson committed a foul and received a yellow card. Brighton took off Hoskings and brought on LuaLua before the free kick was taken, but it came off the wall at the expense of a Brighton corner.
Charlton launched a good attack and Bradley Pritchard was able to put the ball in the net from close range to make it 2-1. A Brighton free kick was awarded on the 'D' for what I thought was a good tackle. The ball took a deflection off the wall, allowing LuaLua to make it 2-2.
Either side could have scored in the remainder of the game, but although the vigorous contest continued, it ended all square. The chairman confidently predicted a 20,000+ attendance in the programme but in fact it was 19,080 which was a bit disappointing given that the away end was sold out. Perhaps some people were down at Bluewater.
Ivy the Terrible has given the Silver Bone to Dorian Dervitte. I was quite surprised to see Cort dropped after his highly rated performance at Millwall, but Dervitte was excellent in defence and contributed throughout, not least in the four minutes added on. Hamer was not really at fault for the two goals. He had to make a few saves, including an excellent one from Dobbie in the first half, and was particularly good at catching the ball from corners and crosses. A surprising number of Brighton shots went well wide. Morrison made a serious error, but otherwise he was up to his usual standard. Wilson made an excellent return, scoring a goal and making a storming run up the pitch in time added on. Solly excelled once again, even though he was playing at left back. Stephens showed some real touches of class. Great to see Pritchard score, and it was clear from the way they piled in that this team mates were delighted as well, otherwise he was his usual busy self. Frimpong showed that he has pace as well as class. Jackson had a few nice touches, but there were limits to his contribution. Haynes showed his pace, but he needed better service. Hulse was energetic, but he looked isolated quite a lot of the time. Kermorgant didn't make a big difference when he came on. Kerkar was disappointing.
The Hiss of the Match was given to the East Stand linesman by Juneau the Soccer Cat. He seemed to have a poor understanding of the offside rule and ignored repeated infringements by Brighton players.
Full report tomorrow.
With over 23,000 season ticket holders at their new stadium, the largest number in the Championship, Brighton and Hove Albion are once again a formidable force after many difficult years. Their average home attendance of 25,446 is the biggest in the league and the Jimmy Seed Stand will be sold out on Saturday.
Given all this, the pundits were not very generous to them pre-season, rating them as 5th, 7th and 12th. They are currently 8th which is the average of the predictions. The Times described them as 'error prone'. Their away record is impressive, however: won four; drawn three; lost three.
The position of keeper was a bit of an issue last season, but Tamasz Kuszczak was brought in on a free from Manchester United to address that problem. Ex-Valencia right back Bruno Saltor can make the occasional error. Also from Spain is Andrea Orlandi, but he was injured in the 3-0 defeat at Palace. In midfield Liam Bridcutt was last year's player of the year. Craig Mackall-Smith leads the strike force, although he missed a golden opportunity against Palace. The Seagulls are perhaps over reliant on him to score the goals.
Michael Morrison will be back to reinforce Charlton's defence, although Leon Cort did a valiant job at Millwall. The Football League Paper said that he 'marshalled the defence in impressive fashion' and named him in their team of the week. The often criticised Ben Hamer was 'solid and dependable as ever behind an excellent defensive showing.
The midfield also came in for some praise with Dale Stephens being singled out, although it was noted that Bradley Pritchard needed to improve his end product. Johnnie Jackson 'has lost pace but his vision remains'. Understandably, analysis of the attack was more lukewarm and one wonders if the Hulse/Kermorgant pairing is one that works well. Kermorgant is also still shaking off the rust from his enforced absence.
Gus Poyet has got his side to play aesthetically pleasing and free-flowing football and hopefully this will be an enjoyable match to watch that also serves up three points.
Twenty years ago Charlton returned to The Valley as the result of the tireless efforts of many Addicks who united in a common cause.
Here is some media coverage: The Valley
And here is a picture of a laughing policeman, an archbishop and a skeleton - you can work out the meaning of the imagery yourself: Return
Millwall's winning run ended with a 0-0 draw with Charlton at the New Den. The Addicks slipped to 14th in the table, but are nearer the play off places than the relegation zone. The Addicks are now undefeated in six games.
Fuller had not recovered from the hamstring strain he had suffered on Tuesday and Hulse and Kermorgant started up front. Dervitte replaced the suspended Morrison in central defence. Stephens replaced Frimpong who dropped to the bench.
The Addicks made the slightly better start but the home side started to knock on the door with Chris Taylor having a header and a shot go wide. Millwall went closest when Liam Feeney burst past Seaborne and turned Andy Keogh’s chip across the face of goal and wide. Chris Wood then was the next Spanners player to test Charlton goalkeeper Hamer but his weak effort was comfortably dealt with. Kermorgant flicked the ball into the path of Hulse whose shot was blocked by Josh Wright.
Hulse's left footed volley from a narrow angle flashed wide after 27 minutes. Former Addick Josh Wright put more pressure on his old club with his control and volley going just over the bar with 10 minutes remaining in the opening period. Feeney should have done much better with his effort three minutes before half time, blazing the ball high and over the bar into the upper tier of the Charlton fans.
The second half started just like the first with the Addicks having the better of the opening exchanges. Abdou should have done better midway through the second half but he fired his shot well over the bar.
Charlton put the pressure on, winning a corner, but Millwall counterattacked with Hamer tipping Keogh’s shot over the crossbar and Adam Smith headed over from the resulting corner.
Millwall then had two golden opportunities to take the lead as the match entered its closing stages. Wood nearly broke the deadlock when Taylor capitalised on a loose ball with Johnnie Jackson making the important block. From the corner Danny N’Guessan, on as a second half substitute for Feeney, had his header cleared off the line by Chris Solly. Wright-Phillips was introduced nine minutes from the end of the game.
The Spanners continued to knock on the door but were unable to breach the defence and Hamer stood strong in his goal.
Yann Kermorgant wants to atone for the home defeat by Crystal Palace by securing victory at Millwall on Saturday: Kermorgant
Chris Powell admits that Charlton came nowhere close to signing Dany N'Guessan from Millwall on a permanent deal in the transfer window. Powell still rates N'Guessan who is currently specialising in cameo roles from the bench: N'Guessan
According to an Everton website, Bohemians defensive prospect Kevin Feely has confirmed via Twitter that he will be joining Charlton Athletic when the transfer window opens in January.
Everton were reportedly very interested in bringing Feely to Goodison Park but the teen felt his immediate prospects were better in South London.
The 19-year old spent four days at Charlton in the summer, although he did not play a match. His League of Ireland appearances are well into double figures, and he has also played in the Europa League.
Elsewhere, Emmanuel Frimpong has been cleared to play his international football for Ghana: Frimpong
Charlton beat Peterborough 2-0 at The Valley last night to take thirteen points out of fifteen and go thirteenth in the table. However, they made hard work of it with a particularly lacklustre first half. There's no doubt that we rode our luck, but then there have been other games when we have been unlucky. Once again the midfield seemed to be awol or at least outpaced and we were often generally too slow and hesitant in our reactions. One of the negatives to come out of the match was that Morrison and got a fifth yellow card, earning a suspension.
Perhaps the highlight of the evening was the arrival of the Bloke Beside Me, Paul from Bexleyheath. Having flown in from Zurich, he landed at just before 7.05 p.m. and he was in his seat half an hour later to enjoy the spectacle.
Yann Kermorgant drew a save from distance early in the match, leading to an unproductive Charlton corner. Following a corner for the visitors, Ricardo Fuller won a free kick, but the referee did not give them every time he was fouled.
A Charlton corner taken by Jackson led to a second, but the ball went over the bar. Hamer had to make a fingertip save. A Charlton corner taken by Jackson was poor. Jackson had a great chance to score after a good cross came in, but he put the ball over.
A Peterborough free kick was well worked, but after some subsequent play Hamer was eventually able to save. Morrison received his yellow card. The visitors were getting some free kicks in promising positions and following one near the corner flag Hamer had to punch the ball out and then save it from subsequent play. Hamer had to make one more save before the half came to an end and some of the boo boys exercised their lungs.
Half time: Addicks 0, Posh 0
Chris Solly put in a good cross and Kermorgant just missed the target. Solly put in another cross and Pritchard hit the outside of the post. Peterborough were winning some corners and taking them short which we did not seem to deal with very well. Ricardo Fuller won a free kick, but Kermorgant put the ball over.
Frimpong was taken off and Danny Green came on. Fuller put in what looked like a hopeful shot from distance, damaging his hamstring in the process, but the ball soared over the keeper into the roof of the net. After what looked like a potentially disastrous 'after you', Kermorgant scored to make it 2-0. To their credit Peterborough did not give up, but we will able to contain them.
Some doubts have been expressed about the attendance figure of 17,377 and certainly the jackpot draw prize was low and I was able to get to the station with greater ease than usual. However, remember that season ticket holders are counted whether they are there or not.
Ivy the Terrible has added to the collection of Silver Bones held by Ben Hamer. He made some excellent saves which kept us in the game. Morrison had another good game apart from the yellow card. Cort was generally solid, but sometimes his headers are a bit directionless or lack sufficient power. Solly shone again. Seaborne put in a decent shift without being particularly outstanding. Frimpong did not have as good a game as on Saturday. Kerkar showed some nice touches but was not at his best. Opinions differ about Jackson but I thought that he was often too slow. Pritchard was not comfortable playing on the right and got hacked off the park. Fuller did what as asked of a forward, even if he was a little too greedy sometimes. Kermorgant also did what was required and got warm applause when he was substituted, shame that his free kick was not up to his usual high standard. Green was much more effective than on Saturday when he came on. Hulse contributed very well when he came on. Jonsson had a cameo to please Olafur Johansson listening in Grindavik.
Juneau the Soccer Cat has awarded the Hiss of the Match to the Bloke Behind Me. A game like this brings out the worse in him on the lines of 'if I can see it, why can't they see it.
Charlton fans will be hoping for thirteen points out of fifteen tonight as they face bottom club Peterborough. However, it's always dangerous to fall into the 'easy three points' syndrome, particularly given Charlton's stuttering home form. There was a worrying shortage of ideas on Saturday, although it is hoped that both Dan Seaborne and Danny Haynes will be available tonight, avoiding the need for experiments in the left back position and giving us more oomph up front. Chris Powell may, however, want to rest one or two players in anticipation of Saturday's clash at Millwall.
When Peterborough went down 1-4 at home to Blackburn on November 17th, the view of commentators was that Posh were extremely accommodating and the scoreline was in no way harsh on them. It took them half an hour to register an attempt on goal and that went whistling over the bar. In goal Bobby Olejnik was left badly exposed. Nathaniel Knight-Percival didn't know who to pick up at times and Shaun Brisley couldn't handle Blackburn's front men.
In their 1-1 draw at Ipswich last Saturday, Posh showed their battling qualities with manager Darren Ferguson saying 'We've got character in abundance' which is another way of say 'never mind the quality, feel the commitment.' Brisley and Knight-Percival certainly improved on their performances the preceding week. George Thorne looked a class act in central midfield, but up front George Boyd was once again rarely involved.
The Addicks and Posh have only met four times at The Valley in the League with the Addicks winning three of those matches with Posh winning the other one. The solo Posh win came back in the 1992/93 season when Posh won 1-0 in the Division One encounter.
I would expect Peterborough to go for an early goal and a third away win of the campaign is not out of the question. What I would not expect is a draw and I am going for a 3-1 win for the Addicks.
Rumours about a possible Turkish takeover have been circulating for a couple of days now, but I cannot find any independent verification of them, although once again there have been reports of sightings in the directors box where there were extra efforts to ensure that seats around Mr Jiminez were dry on Saturday.
The conglomerate Koc (pronounced 'Koch') could certainly afford to fund the club and is in the market for acquisitions, but a football club is not specified in its latest list: Koc
The time has come to stop talking and start winning and the fight back for Peterborough United starts at The Valley tomorrow night according to manager Darren Ferguson: Posh
Ferguson acknowledges that Charlton have strong forwards and a good squad and have been on a decent run, but is calling for more consistency from his squad. However, their morale has not been improved by the theft of two Rolexes and a wedding ring from the away dressing room at Ipswich: Theft. Suffolk police are looking for someone seen driving away from the ground on a souped up tractor.
Following a recent incident in Peterborough, four players were fined and transfer listed by the club. They included the club captain, but he protested that he doesn't drink and had to be up at 8 a.m. the next morning to go to church: Discipline
300 Peterborough supporters have bought tickets for the away end tomorrow night. Come to think of it, I have never met a Peterborough supporter.
Charlton drew 1-1 with 10-man Huddersfield at The Valley today and slipped back to 15th in the table. Next Saturday's opponents Millwall moved into the play off places after a win at Blackburn.
It's not necessarily easy to play against ten men, especially on a very wet surface, but I don't feel we took as much as we could have done from the notional advantage. When a team is down to ten men you need to harry them, pressure them and tire them and we didn't really do that. There was too much neat passing of the ball around at the back while we tried to make our mind up what to do.
Haynes and Seaborne both picked up knocks in training which did not help us, particularly with Haynes currently on form. Kerkar was slotted in at left back which is a position he is far from comfortable in.
Whilst not exactly scrappy, the first half was far from inspiring and it would not have been much of a game for the neutral. Charlton finally went ahead on 60 minutes through Hulse taking advantage of a pinpoint cross from Bradley Pritchard. However, after failing to deal with a series of crosses, we conceded the penalty that gave the visitors a chance to level.
When I read in the programme that the last time Charlton had won four second tier games in a row was 2007, I knew that the chances of equalling that record were not good.
Huddersfield won an early corner following an error by Solly in midfield that gave away possession. The corner from Northern Ireland international Norwood was dangerous and was played back in before being over the bar. Ricardo Fuller launched a counter attack. Charlton won a corner but it was caught. The visitors then broke, but put the ball wide. A Huddersfield corner on eight minutes was caught authoritatively by Hamer.
Jackson put in a good tackle to break up an attack. Dale Stephens over hit a free kick. Hunt looked dangerous on the right. Huddersfield started to step up the pressure as the half hour approached. Lynch went down in apparent agony, something to be repeated later in the game. Fuller won Charlton a couple of free kicks. Charm merchant Dixon got a yellow card, I think for dissent. A Charlton corner was tipped over the bar. Huddersfield launched a counter attack but good work by Bradley Pritchard won Charlton a free kick.
A Ricardo Fuller run ended with the ball going across the face of goal. Hamer was able to claim the ball at the second attempt. Southern put in a high challenge on Morrison in midfield, I thought it was going to be a yellow, but referee Mr Collins had no hesitation in showing the red. Chris Powell said after the game that it was not a red card.
Bradley Pritchard got a yellow card for nothing in particular. Morrison conceded a rather unnecessary corner.
The half time was enlivened by the news that Rick Everitt had won one of the smaller Valley Gold prizes which should be a useful supplement to his jobseekers' allowance. Huddersfield won a corner but Hamer saved confidently. Stephens won Charlton a corner, but the move ended with an offside decision. Chris Solly put in a poor cross. But he redeemed himself on 59 minutes with a nice shimmy which allowed Bradley Pritchard to put in a great cross from which Hulse scored.
Ricardo Fuller broke away, he was fouled but continued to advance. Unfortunately, his shot was just wide. Adam Clayton won a yellow card for his attentions on Fuller. Kerkar put in some good work. The attendance was announced at 20,012 which was encouraging, particularly given that some regulars were on the Lewisham A & E march.
A Huddersfield corner led to some frantic play as the crosses came in. Solly was judged to have committed a foul. Simon Grayson said afterwards that he did not think it was a foul, but the referee was keen to even things up. Clayton dispatched the ball past Hamer into the bottom left-hand corner of the net.
Charlton did apply some pressure in the last four minutes, drawing a save from Smithies and winning two corners, but they were unable to score. It was a disappointing result and performance and the moaners have been out in force blaming Chris Powell's ineptitude. However, it is difficult to see who else he could have played at left back, as moving Solly across would have meant moving Morrison to right back, where he is not comfortable, and bringing in Dervitte. Just too many changes. It is four games unbeaten which is good for a team with mid-table ambitions.
Ivy the Terrible has awarded the Silver Bone to debutante Emmanuel Frimpong who fully lived up to his billing, showing commitment, energy and some really nice touches. Our play lost something when he had to go off after picking up a knock, apparently it was just cramp.
Hamer dropped the ball in the build up the penalty. In the first half the ball slipped out of his hands and he had to pounce on it. If the attacking player had been more alert, he might have scored. Morrison was solid throughout and moved the ball forward nicely on occasions. Some of the headers by Cort were insufficiently powerful or well directed and nearly got us into trouble. Kerkar was uncomfortable at left back, was unable to contribute to attack in his normal way and was given a torrid time by Hunt. Solly contributed well and set up Pritchard to deliver his cross for the goal. The penalty was awarded against him, but I don't blame him for the preceding chaos and confusion. Pritchard was his useful busy self, but sometimes lacks pace. Stephens did not contribute that much and one potentially promising free kick was disappointing. The contribution by Jackson was also relatively limited. Hulse was anonymous for much of the game, but did what was required when the scoring opportunity presented himself. Fuller shows real touches of quality and good pace, just needs a little more accuracy in the final delivery.
Bringing Danny Green on posed some interesting questions. He looked lacklustre and rusty at first and didn't get forward enough, although admittedly he was at risk of being caught offside. His team mates seemed reluctant to pass to him, which perhaps suggests a lack of confidence in his abilities. He did come into the game much more in the last few minutes, but by then it was too late. The arrival of Yann Kermorgant was warmly greeted by the Addickted as a promise of better times, but he did not have many opportunities to contribute.
Juneau the Soccer Cat has given the Hiss of the Match to charm merchant Jack Hunt. He is not lacking in ability, but spent the whole game arguing with the referee and was lucky not to get booked.
Huddersfield Town boss Simon Grayson feels that his side are entering a defining part of their season. He is expecting a tough game at The Valley today, acknowledging that Charlton are a hard working side who give their all and are not entirely without quality: Huddersfield
Grayson faces injury worries in his attack. Jermaine Beckford and Sean Scannell are doubtful while another forward, James Vaughan, has been out for five games with a thigh strain. Grayson is likely to start with Simon Church, on loan from Reading, and Lee Novak.
In the 1-2 home defeat to Brighton last Saturday Novak found his job difficult because of a lack of possession in the final third while Church missed a glorious chance in the first half, but scored later on. In goal Alex Smithies was let down by poor defending. Oliver Norwood is a busy and lively midfielder who always makes himself available for the ball.
Two of the pundits had Huddersfield finishing 18th at the beginning of the season and the other 14th. A lot was thought to depend on whether Jordan Rhodes would stay, which he didn't. However, Huddersfield have confounded expectations and are now in eighth place having won four of their eight away games. Fans are now demanding investment in the Christmas transfer window to make a push for the Premiership.
It's my fourth trip down to London this week after the House of Commons, UCL and the Sky studios at Millbank, but one I am particularly looking forward to with hopes of a home victory by two goals to one.
Richard 'Creepy' Crawley has tweeted that Swindon wanted Danny Green on an emergency loan, but Charlton did not agree. Three younger players went out on loan yesterday to gain experience: Loan
The bookies have Charlton as favourites to win tomorrow, but Huddersfield are hoping that their solid away record and the indifferent record of Charlton at home will count in their favour: Huddersfield
The weather forecast does not look too promising with the prospect of heavy rain arriving by the start of the game and possibly high winds as well which does not make for a good match.
Jose Semedo has returned his Player of the Year trophy to Charlton which means that it will now be presented to the runner up, Chris Solly, on the pitch before the game against Huddersfield on Saturday.
Andy Hunt once pointed out that most players will play for several clubs during the course of their careers and it is unreasonable to expect them to have a special attachment to any one of them. Indeed, most players support other clubs, e.g., Chris Powell and Spurs.
Nevertheless, returning a trophy you won through the votes of fans is a little unusual, although no doubt many such trophies are hidden away in bottom drawers. Semedo told the Sun, 'I was very happy at Charlton but this one is the true happiness, I’m a 100 million times more happy here.'
Semedo has, of course, become very popular at Sheffield Wednesday, forging a special bond with their fans. At Nottingham Forest on Saturday Owls fans staged a special Semedo Day or Portugal Day complete with Semedo masks: Semedo. Nothing wrong with that: indeed, living in a town with a large Portuguese speaking population, I have asked for a course to improve my very limited Portuguese for Christmas.
Of course, it could serve as a distraction from Wednesday's current position just above the relegation zone. However, Dave Jones said after Saturday's match, 'There's no one in this division who's any better than us.' Admittedly, former Addick Miguel Llera deciding the match with a own goal was unluckly, but there's a limit to how much can be put down to bad luck or biased referees.
Described as a 'coup' by the media, Charlton have signed Emmanuel Frimpong on loan from Arsenal until January: Frimpong .
The news is particularly welcome with Dale Stephens currently out of action. It has not gone down too well in Wolverhampton with Wolves venting their annoyance on Twitter. You can read some comments from dismayed Wolves fans at the bottom of this report: Wolves .
The loan signing has captured some attention as Charlton is trending on Twitter which doesn't happen that often.
Charlton defeated Burnley 1-0 at Turf Moor in their third consecutive victory. They are now 14th in the table but on the same number of points as Millwall in 11th place (that was before Millwall's winning goal against Leeds United in the last minute of injury time). They are five points away from the last play off place.
The home side started off brightly and Chris McCann tried to break the deadlock in the eighth minute by shooting from just outside the area, but his effort missed the target.
Then Kieran Trippier was sent off on 15 minutes for a handball offence in the penalty area, but Lee Grant in the Burnley goal managed to save a relatively weak penalty shot from Johnnie Jackson.
While the home side were able to weather the storm of being down to 10 men in the first half, the second half was a different story as Charlton began to get on top and launch a number of attacking efforts. Their pressure paid off when Danny Haynes found the back of the net from a headed effort inside the penalty area courtesy of a cross from Robert Hulse. Mirror football tweeted that it was a goal straight out of the strikers' manual.
The home side piled on the pressure in the closing minutes. With six minutes to go, an Austin header was blocked and the follow up saved by Hamer. Chris Powell brought on Dervitte and Taylor to shore up the defence. Dale Stephens was unable to play because of illness.
The Football League Paper reports that Chris Powell 'was involved in an angry confrontation with home fans after the final whistle'. Powell later said, 'Tensions and emotions run high and I understand that. But, of course, if they feel my language was wrong, then I feel it was two-fold.' Certainly the home fans were very aggrieved after the sending off decision which was on the harsh side.'
Eggert Jonsson was given his first start for the Addicks, but was substituted after 53 minutes by Fuller as Chris Powell went for a more attacking formation to secure the win. However, he is given a rating of only 5 by the FLP which was the lowest rating for a Charlton player.
Four players received 7 scores: Michael Morrison; Johnnie Jackson; Salam Kerkar; and Danny Haynes.
Reports are circulating that Charlton may sign Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong on loan on Monday with a view to a permanent deal in January, although Frimpong is quoted in the Daily Telegraph today in saying he is only interested in a loan deal. He has eighteen months left on his Arsenal contract.
There were reports in June that the Addicks were interested in him. He was born in Ghana, but moved to Haringey at an early age.
Wolves had been interested in taking him on loan, but were not convinced by his fitness. The midfielder picked up a serious knee injury last season. Ipswich Town are also said to be interested.
More about Frimpong here: Frimpong .
Charlton have lost only two league games away this season, but Burnley have lost at home only once and have won five of their eight games at home. All this makes for an interesting clash at Turf Moor tomorrow, although Charlton have lost their last two games in the Championship there. I was at the last one, a 2-1 defeat on a murky Tuesday in February. Burnley are no doubt hoping for a fifth successive home win against the Addicks, a sequence that started in 1983.
The pundits had Burnley in positions between 10th and 19th pre-season, but since then they have lost their manager with Sean Dyche now in charge. However, while there is not much expectation that they will get into the play offs, they are unlikely to be relegated either. They appeared to be out of their depth in their one season in the Premiership, but they are solid enough at Championship level.
Up front former brickie Charles Austin was the top scorer last season with 16 goals. However, in the 2-1 defeat the Clarets suffered at Ipswich last Saturday he was very quiet and well shackled by the Ipswich defence. In defence Michael Duff was strong in the air and on the ground, while Chris McCann was the best midfielder. He kept pushing and probing and never gave up.
On Monday I was phoned by a rather bemused and flustered reporter from the Bristol Evening Post. There is certainly an issue about why Bristol is punching below its sporting weight, but the relatively small and far from prosperous town of Burnley has long punched above its weight in football terms. This match is between two of the least glamorous and fashionable teams in the Championship. All the officials are from 'oop north and it may be that northern grit will end Charlton's good run on the road which has lasted since mid-September, but I am going for a draw.
Four Four Two used social media to ask their readers what they thought was the greatest goal they had seen their club score. The quest was focused on the relatively recent past.
Charlton fans nominated Sean Bartlett's goal against Leicester City at The Valley on 1 April 2001: 'Like everyone else inside the groud that day, Foxes full-back Gary Rowett expevts the South African maestro to take a touch rather than attempting a visionary Valley volley. But with both feet off the ground, striker Bartlett dispatches Graeme Stuart's raking diagonal pass with enviable nonchalance. A worthy Goal of the Season winner.'
I still have the commemorative t-shirt. But what other goals might qualify? One by Johnnie Robinson away at Huddersfield from distance was certainly good. A memorable goal, if not a great one, was the header by Richard Rufus in the play-off final. A scruffed goal scored by Keith Jones in a 1-0 win against Liverpool at The Valley comes to mind. Luke Young scored a rather good goal at home to Liverpool in a 2-0 victory.
But I'm sure there are many other candidates.
Former Addick Carl Jenkinson has been called up to the England squad, a move that partly reflects a more proactive stance by England towards the dual nationality issue. He has already played for Finland at under-17 and under-19 level.
His father works for London Underground refurbishing trains, but was once an athlete, training with Seb Coe and competing in the 1983 World Championships in Helsinki. Perhaps that explains where he met his wife he does the payrolls for a firm near the family home in Harlow.
Reflecting on the move from Charlton, Jenkinson told the Evening Standard, 'To go from Charlton, who were then a League 1 club, to a club with a lot of focus on it was a huge shock. I was a bit blown away by the interest from the press. I've gradually adjusted to it with practice but I'd be lying if I said I was a natural.
He has just re-signed for Arsenal until 2018 and is on a £1.8m a year deal, so that should help the adjustment process.
As expected, Danny Hollands has gone out on loan, but not to join Bournemouth once again. Rather he is joining Paolo di Canio and the Rocking Robins in Swindon.
Hollands is one of the players who has found the transition from League 1 challenging. However, apparently Scott Wagstaff has not been doing too well at Orient. In any event he has now returned to the Addicks: Wagstaff
Rob Hulse has talked to the The Football League Paper about the way in which he was shunned by first Neil Warnock and then Mark Hughes at QPR. He returned in the summer to find that he had been left out of the Super Hoops' 25-man squad and not even given a shirt number.
As a result, he was left to spend long, lonely Saturdays traipsing round the department stores of London. Former Addick Luke Young was another victim of the 'left out in the cold' treatment. 'We were made to train at different times, stay away from games.'
You'd generally be in training on a Saturday morning. Then you'd have the rest of the day off, which was pretty weird. You'd be walking round John Lewis with the kids. Then you'd get to the TV department and see all the scores coming in or a match on telly. It just felt really, really wrong.'
Hulse continued, 'I'm not just used to being on the bench and I've only made 12 starts for QPR in two years. That's made me very moody at times.'
Speaking of Charlton he said, 'there's no lack of quality here. It's just a case of adjusting to the pace and power of the division and then beloeving they're good enough.
Charlton won a convincing 2-0 victory over Bristol City at Ashton Gate this afternoon. This puts Charlton 16th on the table, albeit ahead of three other teams on goal difference, but we are only two points behind Blackpool and Wolves.
Loan player Danny Seaborne came into the Charlton side at Ashton Gate at the expense of Dorian Dervite, reports Paul May. The minute’s silence at the beginning of the game to mark Remembrance Sunday was impeccably observed.
Charlton had more of the opening play, but they did not threaten. Danger man Adomah put in a cross, but Solly put in a fine block to stop the attacking Bristol player (not quite sure who it was). An effort by Kerkar, after Haynes had launched an attack, was tipped round the post by the keeper to give the Addicks the opening corner of the game. A second corner followed, but Jackson’s corner went out of play for a goal kick.
Pritchard floated in a cross, but Jackson could not connect and Bristol launched a counter attack which did not lead to a real threat.
A shot by Kerkar from distance had the keeper back pedalling, but the ball went over. One time Charlton prospect Sam Baldock put in a shot from distance which was well wide. Stephens hit the post, Haynes scored from the follow up and glanced anxiously at the assistant referee, but the flag was not raised. The home players dropped their heads.
Hulse was offering good link up play. Pritchard was up against Fontaine who is a much taller player, but he won the header. Haynes was not sure if he was offside and hit the outside of the post. Baldock suddenly came alive and Stephens had to deal with the attack. As Adomah threatened, Hamer dived to claim the ball. The home supporters started to boo skipper Fontaine.
City supporter Hamer had to save from Baldock. Haynes gave the ball away and went down and Solly had to put in a hard but fair tackle. Bristol City won a free kick. The delivery was poor, and after a deflection which improved it, Hamer was able to claim the ball.
Hulse was brought down and a free kick was awarded. Stephens put in a decent delivery, but it was cleared. Solly fed Pritchard who fed Haynes and the home side had to concede a corner with Kerkar threatening. The corner from Stephens was decent enough, but the move ended in a goal kick.
Briggs ran cynically into Pritchard, but there was no booking. Charlton continued to apply pressure and the home fans were restive. Some of them drifted out for an early pie. Solly got round his man, but was not able to feed Haynes or Hulse. Bristol City did come into the game more as half time approached. Hamer had to come out to deal with a cross.
Baldock won a Bristol’s first corner in the 45th minute. Hamer punched clear, Kilkenny floated the ball in and Hamer dealt with it well under pressure to the admiration of his relatives among the home fans. As the half time whistle was sounded, there were some boos from the home fans. Of the crowd of 13,009, 1017 were Addicks.
HT: Robins 0, Addicks 1
Haynes broke through, but shot wide. Bristol City won a corner. The ball was cleared from danger. Charlton continued to harry when necessary and give the home side no time on the ball. Baldock clearly thought he was playing for owner Steve Lansdown’s rugby side and put the ball way over the crossbar.
Jackson intercepted well as Adomah threatened. Stephens shot and the keeper had to tip the ball over the bar. The corner was saved, but on 56 minutes Morrison scored to give the Addicks a vital second goal (the BBC attributed it to loan player Seaborne). Bristol made a double substitution. On 69 minutes the home side us up their final substitution.
After they went 2-0 down, City started to cause more problems, particularly through Adomah and Dervitte was brought on in place of Haynes and the Addicks switched to 4-5-1. Fontaine wrestled with Hulse and Charlton won the free kick nearly 30 yards out. Jackson’s left footed effort went just wide.
Bristol City won a free kick about 35 yards out, but it went harmlessly wide. Ben Hamer made a save with his fist, but then Seaborne had to clear on the line at the expense of a corner. The offside flag was raised and Ricardo Fuller came on in place of Rob Hulse, who had put in a good shift, on 86 minutes.
A tiring Kerkar was taken off and replaced by Taylor in the four minutes of time added on.
Quite an interesting article on this subject: Bristol
Should Charlton win today, they will move ahead of Leeds United and Birmingham City. To get past Bolton they need to win by a two goal margin. Bristol City are in the middle of their worst run since 2005 when they lost ten games in succession.
It's going to be an odd day for Ben Hamer as he was a season ticket holder at Ashton Gate for four to five years and all his family still support them.
The Football League Paper predicts the following line up: Hamer; Seaborne; Morrison; Cort; Solly; Karkar; Jackson; Stephens; Pritchard; Haynes; Hulse. How much confidence one should have in their predictions is open to question as they name Albert Adomah as the Charlton danger man.
Four Four Two said of Adomah at the beginning of the season, 'the £3m-rated winger was playing for Harrow Borough four years ago. An impressive spell at Barnet saw him join City for £150,000 in 2010, where his trickery has made him a favourite. His fine wing play was one of the few highlights last term.'
Olafur announces the news
Grindavik, Iceland: I am mightly chuffed to see that Charlton once again have an Iceland international in the squad, reports No.1 Iceland Addick Olafur Johansson.
Eggert Jonsson was signed by Wolves from Hearts at the beginning of the season but has only made seven appearances for the Black Country side.
Jonsson is a versatile player who is normally a central midfielder but can also play at centre back: Jonsson
Pravda is tweeting that Danny Hollands is likely to go out on loan. Third choice goalkeeper John Sullivan has joined Colchester United on loan.
Bristol City boss Steve McInnes has urged his players to fight the fear and apprehension they feel as they face Charlton on Sunday: Fear factor
I can see why the Robins supremo may be apprehensive, given that his side have lost six games on the trot and Charlton have a strong away record. However, I am not sure 'overcome your nerves' is the best message to send out to his players. Indeed, the usual implict message when the Addicks visit is 'easy three points'. One wonders if what McInnes is really frightened of is succumbing to the curse of Charlton and losing his job.
While Tuesday's victory over Cardiff will have given the team a confidence boost, it is clear that the injury wracked Charlton side is fragile at the back, although getting Solly and Morrison back into position must help. The performance by Danny Haynes was also a bright spot on Tuesday.
The City fan writing in Four Four Two at the beginning of the season wasn't too optimistic about their chances. He noted 'Relegation is a genuine possibility this year' and forecast a bottom six finish, noting that the team 'lacked quality'. Indeed, this was evident in a season-long struggle against relegation and a 20th place finish last season. Four Four Two had the Robins finishing 23rd, but The Football League Paper had them finishing 20th again.
The Times also had them at 23rd (where they are now) noting that 'The somewhat underwhelming raft of summer arrivals does little to suggest the club can improve on their scrape with relegation.'
So what is going on down there? Bristol is a major city with a strong sense of pride and identity: it is the only city voting for its own elected mayor this month. Admittedly, there are two football clubs in the city in what has always been egg chasing territory. Indeed, City chairman Steve Lansdown became the major shareholder in the leading local rugby side earlier this year, having been bankrolling them since 2008: Egg chasing . They don't seem to have been that successful either.
Chairman Lansdown is by nature fairly cautious, although plans for a new stadium had run into all sorts of problems with NIMBY opposition. The club faced a legal setback in their battle earlier this year and one wonders how much it has been a distraction from building up the team: Ashton Vale . With his business partner he built up Hargreaves Lansdown from a back bedroom operation into a major listed company providing a funds and shares supermarket service. [They are my stockbrokers and I have to say that I am very satsified with them]. He sold a 4.7 per cent stake in the company for over £47m in 2009 and now lives in Guernsey. In 2010 he realised another £58m. But evidently he is not in the business of splashing his hard earned cash on the team.
I originally had this game down as a draw, but the Addicks could well win. Odds (Coral) are: Bristol City 11/8, Draw 5/2, Charlton 9/5.