Tuesday 31 August 2010

Charlton win cup match

Washington DC: I have received my second soccer shock since arriving here with the news that Charlton have beaten Dagenham & Redbridge 1-0 in the paint drying cup in front of 4,630. And it was that man Racon who got the yellow booted winning goal on 57 minutes.

We put on a strong side with Sodje and Benson starting up front, Abbott coming on as a substitute in the 67th minute. It wasn't too easy for Benson to play a team that knew him so well. We edged possession and had six shots on target against three from the Daggers. If it hadn't been for some excellent saves by the Dagenham keeper, the scoreline could have been more in our favour.

One other plus is that Worner (why do the BBC keep calling him Warner?) made an excellent save in time added on.

I think this competition is a diversion but it is so long since we have won a cup match that it is a welcome relief.

Racon off to Greece

Washington DC: I arrived here to learn the news that Racon may be going to Greece. Paninionis have until Wednesday to seal the deal (the transfer window closes 24 hours later in Greece).

Even if there is no fee involved (I think his contract expires at the end of the season) there would be a substantial saving in wages if we assume that he is on something like 5k a week or 200k a week. It is likely to be in that ball park given when he arrived at the club. That is a lot for someone who is not a regular starter.

My view is that Racon has talent, but shows it all too rarely for whatever reason. The question that fans are asking is whether we have an adequate replacement.

0-0 at half time against the Daggers, then. Haven't got time to listen is as a pile of E mails has built up while I have been en route.

Monday 30 August 2010

Two new signings

The signing of Paul Benson has finally been completed but the fee has not been disclosed yet (but it may be £200,000 plus £50,000 if we go up). The BBC thinks he may make his debut in the paint drying trophy clash with his old club tomorrow, but I think that is less likely. The Charlton tradition is to give new signings a familiarity with the bench: Benson

Completely unheralded is the signing of 25-year old Joe Aniynsah on a free from Carlisle. Formerly at Preston North End, the attacking winger found the back of the net 12 times last season.

Unconfirmed reports state that Jon Fortune has signed until January.

Super Al sacked

Super Alan Pardew has lost his job at Southampton two days after they beat Bristol Rovers 4-0: Pardew

Apparently the Southampton board think that Super Al cannot achieve their targets, i.e., promotion. Seems that the penny has finally dropped on the south coast. Shame we can't claim a share of his compensation.

It has been pointed out that Iain Dowie is available.

Benson latest

This has been a long saga and I don't have any corroborated information from reliable sources. However, the rumour mill is saying that he has had his medical and will sign for £250,000.

Apparently Charlton had to fend off interest from a Championship club, hence the size of the fee.

We certainly need another striker. They also need service and by all accounts that seems to be a bit inconsistent at the moment.

Saturday 28 August 2010

Charlton slip to 8th

Charlton fell back to 8th in League 1 after a 3-1 defeat at Huddersfield Town today. They were certainly in the game in the first half and McCormack came close. But with Elliot not available in goal because of back trouble, the Terriers put two goals past debutante keeper Ross Worner just before the break. It's difficult to come back from 2-0 down away at somewhere like Huddersfield.

The Terriers scored a third in the second half and it was Matt Fry, who had come on in the 88th minute, who got Charlton's consolation in time added on.

Charlton had almosr as much possession as Huddersfield but only one shot on target in the whole game and nine off target. They did have more corners (six to four) but making use of them is not one of the side's strengths.

Elsewhere, Luke Varney scored his first Premiership goal in Blackpool's 2-2 draw with Fulham. Lisbie and Mooney also found the back of the net.

Brakes end losing streak

Leamington ended their run of three defeats with a 0-0 draw against Chippenham Town at the New Windmill Ground today. It was a scrappy match in blustery conditions with heavy showers of rain. Chippenham adopted a very physical approach to the game with Corbett in particular continually fouled to which the fifth rate referee responded with benign indifference.

Manager Paul Holleran made a number of changes in the side and Brakes looked better defensively with with the returning Guy Sanders combining well with Liam Daly. In the second half, Tony Breeden made a number of excellent saves. He was injured a number of times, but the referee was very reluctant to allow the trainer on to treat him. The lack of a reserve goalkeeper was thrown into stark relief.

Leamington had their first real chance on goal in the second half when Faulds burst through and the keeper, on loan from Bristol Rovers, tipped the ball on to the post. Perhaps the best chance fell to Wilding with a great pass from Sanders but he shot wide.

Friday 27 August 2010

Benson quest ends

The quest for the signature of Dagenham and Redbridge striker Paul Benson appears to have ended in success: Benson

The Daggers have agreed an undisclosed fee for their prize player and he is now in talks about his contract. It is believed that his salary will be enhanced by 2k a week.

Varney becomes Premiership player

Luke Varney is not coming back to Charlton. He has joined Blackpool on a one-year loan deal with the prospect of a permanent contract: Varney Ian Holloway is a great admirer of his pace.

The streets around The Valley seemed relatively calm after the release of the news.


Charlton's visit to the Galpram Stadium tomorrow has been billed as a tough test and rightly so. Huddersfield were given odds of 2-1 for promotion at the beginning of the season, although 4-4-2 had them finishing 6th and facing another play-off test. Last season the Terriers produced a free-flowing brand of football and only lost at home once.

In their time, when Herbert Chapman was manager, Huddersfield were one of the top teams in English football. Times have changed, but one could still argue that they are punching below their weight.

All my memories of seeing Charlton at Huddersfield are happy ones as I have only see them win there, including a Johnnie Robinson strike which I rate as one of the great Charlton goals of all time.

Manager Lee Clark, who was named Manager of the Month three times last season, has one of the biggest budgets in the division to play with. Over the summer he brought in Scottish international Gary Naysmith, Burnley midfielder Joey Gudjonsson and keeper Ian Bennett (Gordon's brother) on a free after his contract at Sheffield United had expired. Former Tractor Jordan Rhodes managed 23 goals last season.

The Terriers have had a somewhat faltering start to the season, reflecting a concern expressed in the fan's view in 4-4-2 that 'Our signings don't gel with the existing squad, meaning a slow start.'

There is no sign of the three Charlton signings flagged up at Monday's meeting, but even if they were signed today they could intervene from the bench at most. It seems that some silly prices have been asked for far from impressive players. Apparently we are still chasing Paul Benson and talks have been taking place with Jon Fortune and we are reportedly close to a deal.

I know this sounds like a cop out, but I genuinely believe that this is a game that could go three ways. I am plumping for a 1-1 draw which would be acceptable in the circumstances.

Thursday 26 August 2010

Huddersfield sign Glazier

Having gone down 5-1 at Everton in the Carling Cup, Huddersfield have signed a striker from Crystal Palace to strengthen their squad: Lee

Huddersfield haven't been finding it to easy to score. Let's hope he is not our nemesis on Saturday.

Wednesday 25 August 2010

Charlton still interested in Varney

Charlton are reported to be still interested in Luke Varney, alongside QPR, Bristol City having pulled out of the race: Varney

Not sure how keen I would be on this move. He has pace, but lacks shooting accuracy. But perhaps he could perform better at League 1 level.

Meanwhile, the South London Press has reported that Phil Parkinson has been quoted £1m for a League 2 striker. This presumably refers to Paul Benson from Dagenham and Redbridge.

There are also persistent rumours that we are going to sign Jon Fortune.

Tudors secure their reign

Leamington went down 2-3 at home to a much improved Hemel Hempstead Town (who seem to have raided Windsor & Eton for players in the close season) at the New Windmill Ground last night. Perhaps the depleted crowd of 388 knew what was coming. Brakes have now lost three matches in a row by a single goal and if they are not careful they will be in a relegation battle.

The Tudors went ahead on 18 minutes through Dennis Fennemore. There was a foul in the build up which was ignored by the referee and the striker was through with only the keeper to beat.

After hitting the post, Leamington equalised on 31 minutes. That man Jacko was involved in the build up and he scored the goal. A minute later Brakes were ahead. There was a great run on the left, an excellent cross and Luke Corbett put the home side 2-1 ahead.

Half time: Brakes 2, Tudors 1

The game was played at a fast and furious pace throghout and the visitors came out of the traps after the break determined to secure the equaliser which they did through Ross Lafayette. It was Lafayette who then put the Tudors ahead.

Brakes did their best to get back in the game and secure the equaliser, but there was too much hoofing of the ball and not enough fluent passing on the ground. The Tudors were also accomplished at dispossessing the home side.

Tuohy had to be substituted after taking a knock and Danny Edwards had to hop off the pitch with what looked like an ankle injury so there could be injury worries.

I felt that we were missing the pace of James Husband on the wing. Tony Breeden also worries me in the way that he rushes out of his area to play the ball, although it didn't cause any problems on this occasion.

Brakes have a chance to redeem themselves on Saturday against Chippenham.

Tuesday 24 August 2010

A return to winning ways needed

Leamington need to return to winning ways when they face Hemel Hempstead Town at the New Windmill Ground tonight. Having started the season well with a 2-1 in at home against promotion prospects Bashley, they went down 3-2 away to Cambridge City midweek, failing to convert a last minute penalty. They then lost 1-0 away to newly promoted Windsor & Eton in an evenly fought game.

A win against Hemel Hempstead should be achievable. The Hertfordshire side would have been relegated last season (having been defeated by Brakes in their last match) but won a reprieve after the dissolution of Merthyr Tydfil.

However, Brakes supremo Paul Holleran faces a challenge in keeping his squad together. Not all the players can be offered the regular football they crave. As a consequence some non-contract players have upped sticks and headed for the Anne Hathaway stadium with its first rate training facilities. Among those to temporarily join Stratford Town are nippy winger James Husband. In all there are five former Brakes players with the Bardsmen at present.

At the time of writing, we believe that we will be the only Charlton blog covering tonight's game.

Murray in charge

Richard Murray is in sole charge of Charlton after yesterday's extraordinary general meeting, but three members of the old board are back on the new one: Richard Hatter, Stuart Butler-Gallie (the non-executive director who wrote the explanatory letter) and David White. Sir maurice Hatter has reportedly offered to give £100k to the running costs of the Academy if he can get matching donations.

The club is hoping to make three signings this week,so perhaps there is something in the Benson story. Murray putting in £5m to cover a £4m loss, plus outstanding liabilities.

For Jonjo Shelvey we get £250k for every 10 appearances that he makes on top of £1.7 original fee, up to a 60 games limit. There is a sell on clause plus a bonus for an England cap. But the £1.7m was factored so it is only worth £1.5m.

King's Hill Addick attended and has an excellent report.

Monday 23 August 2010

Benson deal?

Unconfirmed reports are stating that Charlton have finally sealed the deal for Dagenham and Redbridge striker Paul Benson at a fee of £230k and a wage increase of
2k a week.

Charlton have not relented in their pursuit, so there may be some truth in this, but I emphasise that it is uncorroborated and may well be false.

Lifetime achievement?

I have just been awarded a lifetime achievement award by my professional association. The citation states that I am 'a lifelong supporter of Charlton Atheltic'. An achievement or a burden? Well at least I have stuck with the Addicks and there have been many good moments as well as frustrating ones.

Shrimpers turn down McLeod

League 2 Southend United have decided not to offer a contract to Izale McLeod on the grounds that he is 'not good enough': McLeod

McLeod was previously turned down by Brentford and failed to agree terms at Rotherham. Walsall have expressed a slight interest, but they have not seen him play. It makes you wonder how we came to pay so much money for him.

Rumours that Luke Varney might be returning to Charlton seem to have little foundation. It looks as if he might be heading for Bristol City.

Saturday 21 August 2010

Below par performance

Oldham Athletic took a share of the spoils from today's clash at The Valley with Charlton and it is difficult to say that a draw was not a fair result. Indeed, Charlton rode their luck at times with the Lactics hitting the woodwork twice. It was a below par performance from the Addicks and although the absence of Daily and Semedo (particulary the latter) was clearly a factor, the central midfield seemed to be absent from the game at times. Charlton gave away possession too easily and sometimes seemed reluctant to chase the ball and keep the pressure on Oldham.

Ironically, Charlton ended the game with eleven men and Oldham were reduced to ten, but the difference did not favour the Addicks in the closing minutes.

With Carlisle winning convincingly at home they have gone top of the table with Oldham in second place and Charlton in 3rd. Sheffield Wednesday also have 7 points.

When I got to the Rose of Denmark some of my earlier optimism about the game had evaporated and I went for a 1-1 draw so at least I got a rollover jackpot as consolation.

Their objective may have been a draw, but Oldham came out of the traps in fast and furious mode. It was very much in your face football, although probably the first half hour was our best spell in the game.

Abbott won a corner for Charlton, but it was unproductive. Reid missed a chance at a sharp angle. Oldham hit the post and I think that Elliot was at fault for hesitating in taking command of the situation.

Jarrett received a yellow card for a foul and this was to be significant later in the game. Wagstaff then put the Addicks ahead with a decisive goal. His maturation is one of the most promising aspects of the season so far.

Reid won Charlton a corner and Jackson secured a free kick, but both were unproductive. An unjustified Oldham free kick for a ball to hand led to a corner for the visitors. The ball was played out and Dean Furman, formerly with Chelsea and Rangers, put in a snap shot to level the scores just before half time. It was an excellent strike which went over Elliot's head, but Furman was given too much space to take it.

Half time: Addicks 1, Lactics 1

The incompetent referee had to re-start the kick off, but even then the same incursion occurred. Elliot made a good save, but his goal continued to be under pressure until the Lactics blasted a chance over.

Chris Taylor was taken off and replaced by Deane Smalley for the visitors. A ball went high up into the upper tier of the West Stand. As a consequence, two balls appeared on the pitch and the useless referee took ages to organise a dropped ball, even though he did have to speak to Dickov about his conduct.

Llera went down following an attack on the Charlton goal, although some believed this was a tactic to hold up play. Thierry Racon, who could be covered by Martin and had failed to impress, was taken off and replaced by Sodje.

What was evident is how little strength in depth we have. Apart from Sodje, there was no one on the bench who could come on and turn the game around: they were all youngsters with limited experience. Once the existing company is dissolved on Monday, hopefully we can make another couple of signings.

Jarratt received a second yellow card for a trip on Reid and was sent off. The charm merchant blasted the ball at the Charlton dugout, something which annoyed Phil Parkinson considerably. The player could face a further charge.

Five minutes were added on, but Charlton were unable to take advantage. Oldham won a corner, but tried to keep the ball in the corner rather than attempting to score and win the match which said something about their ambitions for the game.

Whilst one does not want to dwell on the grief of others, Southampton seem to be less invincible than was predicted before the season. Joe the Saint texted me to say, 'Saints pants, champions my backside.'

Match analysis

Making a welcome return to match day, Belgian shepherd Ivy the Terrible has given the Silver Bone to Scott Wagstaff for his well taken goal and his commitment throughout the game.
Elliot made a couple of great saves but he needs to develop more confidence in commanding his area. I still think the pink top makes him look like a fashion victim. Jackson was once again proficient and competent. Francis did his job well enough but his crossing would benefit from some improvement. Doherty made some good defensive headers and generally got stuck in. Llera did not make any serious errors, but his concept of defending is too much focused on the big hoof. Racon had some nice touches, but he often seemed to be out of position.McCormack wasn't always as in evidence as he should be and he had an exchange of views with Jackson at one point. Reid was very effective in the first half with good runs forward. He faded a bit in the second half, but came back strongly at the end. Martin looked a bit lightweight against the big northerners and got himself into an offside position too often. Abbott showed some nice touches but he was manhandled throughout the game and got no protection from the referee. I think that bringing Sodje on was a good idea, given that we were up against some big lads, but he was not able to turn the game around.

Hiss of the Match This has been given by Juneau the Soocer Cat to a particularly inept bunch of officials, especially the referee. A dropped ball incident and the sending off led to long delays and he should have had the guts to second Dickov to the stand.

Crowd rating The recorded crowd was down on the Bournemouth game, but they developed their voice in the second half. 7/10.

Abbott is the danger man

Oldham think that their former player Pawel Abbott is the danger man against them at The Valley today. They will show Charlton a lot of respect and have been on hold any orders for an open top bus for their championship celebrations: Abbott

Indications from the Oldham camp are that they think a draw may be possible so expect them to play rather defensively and try and hit Charlton on the counter attack. Llera will have to be lively.

Friday 20 August 2010

Oldham fans pull their weight

Oldham fans have made it to the Top 20 fat league in English football with 51.2 per cent of them overweight: Fatties

As not many of them seem to be coming tomorrow, the Jimmy Seed stand should take the strain, but extra stocks of pies are being laid in.

Thursday 19 August 2010

And now Oldham

It's sometimes difficult to remember that Oldham Athletic played in the Premiership, but of all the former Premiership sides in League 1 they are the least likely to get back. Indeed, their ambition last year was to stave off relegation which they did with the help of Pawel Abbott.

Before the start of the season I would not have predicted that this Saturday's match would be a No.2 v No.1 clash. So how have Oldham done so well, given that 4-4-2 predicted a 17th place finish? Well, Tranmere and Notts County were not exactly the most challenging teams to start the season against.

Charm merchant Paul Dickov is now in charge at Boundary Park as a player-manager and I remember him directing a shower of spittle at Charlton supporters in an away game at Blackpool. As a Lactics fan said despairingly in 4-4-2, 'We've tried everything since Joe Royle left 15 years ago - even Joe himself.' It's not easy to be a club in a less than prosperous town on the fringes of Manchester, although it would be interesting to do a compare and contrast with Bolton.

The worry for Charlton is the absence of both Semedo and Dailly. Racon will no doubt try to weave his yellow booted magic, but he doesn't have the Portugeezer's grit and determination. Llera gives his all, but he has his weaknesses.

Neverthless, I am going for a 2-1 win by what will be the table topping Addicks.

Wednesday 18 August 2010

Club to run two teams in league

The ice hockey season is about to get under way and on Sunday we go to the Skydome to collect our Coventry Blaze season tickets. Meanwhile, a shock development has been that last year's bottom feeders, Hull Stingrays, who had folded had been taken over lock, stock and barrel by Blaze.

The Coventry Blaze ownership team of Andy Buxton, Mike Cowley and Paul Thompson, along with Blaze General Manager, James Pease (he of the wobbly appearance on the ice last year when the team was short benched), have assumed full operational control of the Hull Stingrays.

It couldn't happen in football as Robert Maxwell discovered.

Saturday 14 August 2010

Charlton slip to 2nd

Brakes are off

Charlton fell back to 2nd after today's npower League 1 matches, next week's opponents Oldham going ahead of them on goal difference. With a number of draws in today's game and two matches called off, Charlton and Oldham are the only teams on six points.

Elsewhere, Leamington opened their Zamaretto Premiership campaign with a 2-1 win over the pride of the New Forest, Bashley. The visitors were given as soft a penalty as I have seen on 16 minutes to go ahead, but Brakes equalised before half time through Luke Corbett. Brakes piled on the pressure in the second half and got the winner courtesy of Owen Goal.

Friday 13 August 2010

Ten man Charlton go top with 3-1 win

Akpo Sodje was dropped in favour of Lee Martin to partner Pawel Abbott up front against the O's at Brisbane Road reports Paul May. Racon was drafted in to replace Semedo in midfield, partnering McCormack. Francis replaced Solly at right back.

Reid cut in and put in an effort from his right foot but it was comfortably saved. Charlton conceded the first corner of the game taken by Spring. It was poor and Reid was able to clear. Charlton started a counter attack but Francis over hit his pass.

Omosuzi put the ball into the stand. As Orient threatened, Doherty got there in time to avert danger but at the expense of a corner. Wagstaff cleared down field.

Charlton put some decent moves together, but Orient were able to clear. Orient threatened and Dawson put the ball just over the crossbar. A shot by Reid was charged down. Elliot made a great save from Dawson by palming the ball away. A Charlton free kick went straight into the arms of Jones.

In 26th minute Charlton had their first clear chance, Francis put in a curling ball and McCormack ghosted in and headed the ball into the back of the net to make it 1-0 to the Addicks.

Martin burst into the area, his shirt was tugged, but nothing was given. McGleish got into a promising position, but he scuffed the ball. Racon put in a good tackle on Dawson. The throw by Omosuzi was ruled to be a foul one.

Dailly used a hand in a dangerous position just outside the area and received a yellow card. Spring's effort went into the wall, Omosuzi's shot was cleared by McCormack at the expense of a corner which was poorly taken by Spring, but Reid's ball was poor and Parky was furious with him.

McGleish received a yellow card for a late challenge on Wagstaff much to the veteran striker's annoyance.

Half time: O's 0, Addicks 1

McGleish tried a shot, but Doherty cleared. Abbott threatened, but the O's were able to defend at the expense of a corner. Jones punched out Jackson's effort.

Charlton were on the break, Racon over hit a pass, Cox got on the ball and put a cross behind the Charlton defence and McGleish scored to make it 1-1.

Christian Dailly went in late on Dawson and he received the second yellow and was sent off. Llera was brought on and Reid was taken off. Charlton switched to a lone striker in Abbott. The free kick went to Omosuzi and his deflected effort led to a corner.

Orient made an attacking substitution through Daniels. Wagstaff on the counter attack finished brilliantly to curl the ball beyond the keeper to make it 2-1 to the Addicks. Dawson tried to claim a penalty off Racon.

Good play by Abbott attracted a foul. A header by Revell went wide. Martin was adjusting well to his more defensive role. Orient attacked again, but Elliot was able to save. Cox continued to threaten now he was playing on the right.

The O's won a corner. Charlton could only partially clear, but eventually they won an offside decision. Porter who signed from Cray Wanderers in the summer came on in place of Chambers and Cox switched to the left.

Daniels got between two defenders and won a corner for Orient. Elliot thumped away a cross. The referee stopped play for a facial injury to McCormack as the Orient fans called for a handball.

Abbott received a yellow card. A punch from Elliot came out to Dawson but his effort went wide. As the rain came down, Martin made a good tackle on Porter and got a free kick for a push. The hard working Abbott was taken off and Sodje came on to provide a fresh pair of legs.

Revell who picked up a knock in a collision with Elliot was taken off and replaced by another striker in the shape of Jarvis. An effort from Spring thumped against the flats and received a derisory cheer from the 1,593 Addickted in the East Stand.

Porter's inexperience was showing time and again and he hardly looked like the secret weapon claimed by Orient. Sodje pressed forward and had to be tackled. Charlton were defending well.

Five minutes were added on as a cross from Porter went straight into Elliot's arms. Elliot gathered well from a cross with Jarvis lurking. Solly came on in place of Lee Martin who had worked hard.

Wagstaff created Charlton's third goal getting beyond Daniels, putting in a hard and low cross and allowing Solly to slide in and score with his first touch.

Charlton went top of the table, possibly the first team to reach that position without finishing a game with 11 men.

Thursday 12 August 2010

Orient preview

Tomorrow night Charlton travel through the Blackwall Tunnel to take on Leyton Orient in front of the Sky cameras. Orient started the season with a 1-0 defeat at Yeovil and then won 2-1 at what I suspect are a fading Swindon in the League Cup.

Talk of Orient being a surprise package this year suprises me. Lower mid-table mediocrity is their likely fate after finishing 17th last year, although 4-4-2 have them down to finish 21st this season.

Over the summer the O's lost skipper Stephen Purches to former club Bournemouth and winger Jason Demetriou to Cypriot football. Former Bury captain Stephen Dawson, Dean Cox from Brighton, and defender Terrell Forbes from Yeovil have been brought in.

One to watch is pint-sized winger Dean Cox who followed his former boss Russell Slade from Brighton to Orient. He is known for trickery and pin-point crossing.

The suspension of Semedo has given Phil Parkinson a problem, but hopefully he won't solve it by bringing in Stavrinou who does not seem to have developed much over the past year.

Orient seem a bit short on fan sites and the only one I could find forecast a narrow Charlton victory. I am going for a 1-1 draw.

Tuesday 10 August 2010

3-0 lead turns into 4-3 defeat

It was very much a 2nd XI look for the Charlton side at Shrewsbury tonight. Ross Worner made his debut with other first time starters including Bally Smart, Simon Francis, Yado Mambo and Lee Martin. Carl Jenkinson made his first appearance on the bench and Llera and Stavrinou also featured.

There were no early chances for either side apart for an early sitter for Abbott reports Paul May. Robinson put in a good shot from 35 yards out and he was not far off target. Ainsworth advanced down the right and Llera had to deal with him.

Abbott showed his worth by swivelling well and toe poking the ball under the keeper to make it 1-0 to Charlton. Martin turned provider with a great ball and Abbott the predator got across his marker and slid in to make it 2-0.

Martin advanced, danced inside with a bit of trickery and from some 20 yards out put the ball in the bottom corner to make it 3-0 after 31 minutes.

Smart advanced and fed Abbott but on the half turn he blazed it over the crossbar. Robinson headed the ball down, got inside the Charlton defence and he made it 1-3 with a clinical finish. It was poor defending by Llera and Mambo, but Worner came out well.

A good 40 yard ball from Llera over the top found Martin, he rounded the keeper but the defender was able to clear off the line at the expense of a corner. Robinson threatened again, but this time Mambo was able to clear. Wright put in a ball across the ball the goal, it may have gone in as an own goal from Mambo to divert it beyond Worner and make it 2-3.

Wagstaff advanced down the right, but Smart's effort was blocked by Raven. Shrewsbury advanced and Francis did not defend well. A strike from Robinson deflected for a corner, Racon having been brought down by a challenge and requiring attention. The corner was eventually cleared.

Four minutes were added on. Ainsworth advanced, Mambo made a hash of the clearance, the locals claimed for a penalty for handball against Francis but it wasn't given and Worner cleared. Llera dealt with a cross.

Half time: Shrews 2, Addicks 3

The first half started quietly. Martin had an effort, but it went just over the bar.
Robinson had another effort but it went just wide. Francis defended well. Stavrinou was looking a little tired. Wagstaff made a good run, but he couldn't find Abbott.

Solly dealt well with a through pass. Ainsworth made a good run, he was well tracked by Solly at left back at the expense of a corner. The rather quiet Bally Smart was taken off and replaced by Reid. The corner led to a second one and Shrewsbury equalised through the big centre half O'Donnell.

Charlton won a free kick 10 yards out the penalty area. The delivery by Martin was good but Francis headed it past the upright. Wagstaff put in a decent cross but it was claimed by Smith in the Shrewsbury goal.

An effort from Reid looked as if it was deflected but Charlton did not get the corner. Martin hit the crossbar having got in behind the defence and Abbott put the follow up over.

Mambo was taken off in favour of Doherty. Racon advanced and he was fouled by Disley who got a yellow card. Llera's effort deflected and went over the bar for a Charlton corner which was unproductive. Shrewsbury counter attacked and the unmarked Harold put it in the back of the net to make it 4-3. Chris Solly should have cleared.

Stavrinou was taken off and Akpo Sodje came on. Sodje almost found Abbott with a good header. There was good interplay between Abbott and Reid leading to a Charlton corner. Shrewsbury broke away, but Solly defended well. The Shrews took off Robinson.

Francis won a corner for Charlton. Reid broke, Martin got the ball, Racon put in a shot which was only just past the post. He should probably have passed for a better opportunity. Reid made another good run, but Disley intercepted. Shrewsbury counter attacked, were possibly offside, but hit the post and five minutes were
added on.

Charlton won a corner and kept up the pressure. Martin put in an effort from distance even though he had three men in front of him including Sodje. Francis put in a great cross, but Smith dealt with it well.

All a bit embarrassing, but we haven't got the strength in depth to cope with cups.

Monday 9 August 2010

Francis and Martin to start

Simon Francis and Lee Martin are expected to start in tomorrow's Carling Cup clash at Shrewsbury: Preview

Apparently the Shrews have sold over 5,000 tickets in expectation of an 'upset'. Would it be that much of an upset? We can do without a humiliating exit at this stage, but stay in the competition too long and it will become a distraction from the league.

Saturday 7 August 2010

10 man Charlton defeat 12 man Bournemouth

10 man Charlton defeated 12 man Bournemouth 1-0 at The Valley this afternoon despite the best efforts of referee Grant Hegley. The unjustified sending off of Jose Semedo changed the match and prevented the Addicks securing a decisive victory, but they held out to win all three points.

I arrived at the Rose of Denmark to see two ambulances and a police car in attendance. Apparently there had been a three car crash and the instigator had made off. When Argyle went 1-0 ahead at Southampton, there was a great cheer and chants of 'Green Army' in an appropriate accent. The final result was greeted with a loud chant of 'You're going to be sacked in the morning.'

Charlton started brightly and got a free kick just to the left of the D, but it came off the wall. Our first corner was taken by Jackson, as I think they all were, and I am not sure he is the answer in this role. The effort was caught by the keeper.

Reid was doing some great work and it was a cross from him that produced our goal from Sodje. Charm merchant Arter who had been declaring that he was coming to The Valley bent on revenge received a yellow card.

I felt that after the goal things went a little flat and the play started to become more scrappy. Bournemouth were starting to be more physical. Reid won Charlton a corner later in the half, but it was unproductive.

Half time: Addicks 1, Cherries 0

Arter did not re-appear after the break and was replaced by Michael Symes. Bournemouth were awarded a dubious free kick by the referee and it required good defensive work by Chris Solly to ensure that it was nothing more than a corner. The Cherries had a penalty appeal, but the referee deemed that it was just outside the area and it led to a Charlton goal kick. Ironically, the Bournemouth fans had been chanting 'You don't what you're doing' at the referee.

Reid broke away well, but should have passed the ball to create a real opportunity. Semedo was sent off for what looked like a reasonable challenge and 50/50 on the ball. The Portugeezer looked as if he was in tears as he left the pitch but was given warm cheers by the Addickted. I understand that the club is going to appeal and so they should.

After that it was really a question of hanging on to the lead and Charlton kept pressing forward well, Akpo Sodje winning a corner. Throughout the game Bournemouth's attempts on goal never really looked that threatening and they will have to raise their game if they are not going to go straight down again.

The referee looked as if he was itching to give Elliot a card for time wasting and added five minutes of time on. It looked as if he was going to operate on a 'play until you score' basis, but eventually he blew his whistle. Incidentally, it is at times like this that I miss the clock on the big screen. Even at Leamington we have a screen with the score and time elapsed.

A cynic might argue that the referee had been promised an all expenses paid weekend in Bournemouth, but no doubt he felt he was being scrupulously fair and is probably one of those referees who leans in the direction of the away team to avoid being a 'homer'. However, I don't pay to watch the referee.

I looked for our goal on Sky Sports News, but although even the thrilling 0-0 draw between Rochdale and Hartlepool was featured, there was nothing from The Valley.

Match analysis

Visiting match analyst Homer the Cherry Hound has awarded the first Silver Bone of the new season to Kyel Reid. He created the first goal and his pace always created problems for the Cherries. Elliot improved as the game went on. His kicking out was a little suspect in the first half and he failed to command his area, but in the second half he came out more and made one great block with his hands towards the end. Our centre halves look like a great pairing, Dailly was once again Mr Reliable and Doherty made good use of his head. Jackson slotted competently into the left back role. Solly looked a bit lightweight in the first half, but improved in the second, often outwitting the Cherries, admittedly not the most difficult challenge he will face this season. Semedo was excellent and one realised how good he is after he was sent off for a foul that should have been a yellow. McCormack fed Reid to create the goal, but I am still uncertain about him, although I made a note of some good work by him early in the match. Wagstaff may have been a super sub, but he looked less comfortable starting and we often seemed to be weaker on the right. Abbott didn't make that big an impression on me, but it's early days. Sodje at least showed he can score goals, but when we went to 4-5-1 after the sending off, he looked ineffective. Racon looked polished when he came on and made some nice moves. Martin has certainly got pace and showed a willingness to get stuck in. Francis is a big lad and looks as if he can do the business.

Hiss of the Match This was given by Juneau the Soocer Cat to Grant Hegley but she enlisted her sister Amber to give one to the East Stand linesman for his odd decisions.

Crowd rating The attendance was 16,236 but that included many season ticket holders still on holiday. Those that were there were in good voice. 8/10.

'We can deal with big guns Charlton'

The Cherries skipper is confident that they can handle 'big guns' Charlton and although the view on the coast is that it will be a tough match, they are confident of all three points: Giants

Bromley lad Lee Martin is the latest addition to the squad, on loan from Ipswich Town: Martin . Fortunately, the Tractors will be paying most of the former Manchester United players's £12,000 a week wages.

Many other bloggers have gone for a cagey 1-1 or a narrow 1-0, but I am going to stick my neck out and go for 2-0 (Abbott, Reid).

Friday 6 August 2010

Parky swoops for Springbok

Phil Parkinson has swooped for attacking midfielder Bally Smart and he can be included in the squad against Bournemouth tomorrow. The South African U20 international was a scholar at Norwich and has been on trial with the Addicks.

Cardiff City claim to have settled all their football debts, including presumably the £500,000 they owed us.

Arter keen to show us what we are missing

Your match analyst tomorrow

Sidcup-born former Addick Harry Arter wants to show Charlton what they are missing when Bournemouth visit The Valley tomorrow: Arter

Bournemouth fans are gathering before the match at the Plume of Feathers in Maze Hill. Surely they are not frightened of the Charlton massive? At least it means I will be able to get a drink in the Rose of Denmark.

The Association of Canine Match Analysts have named Homer the Cherry Hound as analyst for the game. Following the death of Emeritus Senior Match Analyst Hooch the Pooch during the summer Homer is now the senior canine match analyst. Normally he carries out duties at Didcot Town on a Saturday, but the Zamaretto Premiership does not start until next week.

Thursday 5 August 2010

He's a card

It's been rumoured all summer, but Woking keeper Ross Worner could be finally on his way to The Valley with negotiations currently under way between both clubs. The Cards' board rejected an initial four-figure fee - plus a similar amount to be paid in January - on Tuesday. But the Addicks have come back with an amended offer which Cards' chairman Shahid Azeem and his colleagues were discussing yesterday evening.

"Ross has his heart set on the move and we want him to follow his dream to play at the highest level but the deal has to right for Woking FC," said Azeem. "The initial offer was sprung upon us and it's only right that as a board of directors, we all sit down and discuss it. The amended offer has various clauses."

Boss Graham Baker had said this week that Worner's departure from Woking was a case of when, not if. Charlton seem determined to get their man, Phil Parkinson thinking the deal was done with Baker earlier this week, only for further negotiations to take place.

Worner is understood to have passed a medical at The Valley on Tuesday. It is thought that he may be able to command £800 a week.

Wednesday 4 August 2010

Charlton to finish 2nd

Charlton will finish 2nd this season according to the season preview in 4-4-2 magazine. Southampton will come 1st, the Owls 3rd and dark horses Brighton in 4th place. Phil Parkinson is seen as the key ingredient in securing success while Jose Semedo is named as the player to watch.

Dean Kiely is a little less optimistic, saying that 'They really need promotion, but I'm worried.'

Basey dons kilt

Grant Basey has signed for Aberdeen. The Dons still have to find the money for his wages: Basey

Former Addick Moutaoukil is on trial at Swansea.

Tuesday 3 August 2010

Rickster in the shower

I don't expect to find Rick Everitt in my shower in the morning, even metaphorically, but his dulcet tones came over loud and clear on Radio 5 this morning as he described today's big Valley seats clean up operation. Apparently one hundred fans have volunteered their services and more are expected on the day. The Rickster commented that it was to the benefit of the fans as they had to sit in the seats which brought a 'mmm' from the presenter.

Rick said that bringing in professional cleaners to do the job would cost several thousand pounds and it was money the club did not have. Asked to explain the club's financial plight, he referred to relegation from the Premiership to League 1, poor choices of manager and the cost of offloading edxpensive players who often didn't deliver.

Asked if he was optimistic for the season, Rick tactfully said that all fans were optimistic at this stage of the season. The club had financial problems, but the spirit was good.

There are renewed but unconfirmed rumors this morning that we are about to sign Paul Benson from Dagenham & Redbridge and that he will take the No.10 shirt.

Monday 2 August 2010

Still no back up keeper after Marshall pulls out

Charlton still lack a reserve goalkeeper after Andy Marshall pulled out because he could not agree personal terms: Marshall

Anyone interested in a minimum wage job (supply own boots) should apply c/o The Valley.

Sunday 1 August 2010

Parky says squad is not good enough

Phil Parkinson has punctured the mood of modest optimism among Charlton fans by saying that the current squad is not good enough to win promotion: Squad

He reckons that you need 19 to 20 senior players to win promotion and at the moment we only have 13. Perhaps he is putting some subtle pressure on the board, although he was full of praise for Richard Murray.