Sunday 28 November 2010

Football record broken

The record for the worst defeat in British football has been broken with the 55-0 defeat by Madron by Illogan (or Illogan British Legion reserves to give them their full name). Apparently Madron turned up with just seven players and no recognised keeper: Madron

The game was played in the top division of the Mining League which is a feeder league for the Cornish Combination. I happen to have a personal link with Madron. Also, my co-presenter on the Radio Scilly sports show, Merryn Smith, was at one time keeper for Madron. But, no, he wasn't there on loan. It's alleged that the keeper leaned against the goalpost.

The two team Isles of Scilly league gets castigated for 'low quality' football in an article the Non-League Paper today, but this is something else.

Charlton match commentaries

I know we don't pay much for this online service, but how much longer are we going to have to put up with Emma Jones?

I was quite surprised to learn from her biography on BBC Radio London that she is regularly involved in sports commentary:

'Emma became a journalist when she realised she wasn't clever enough to be a doctor, or stupid enough to risk a life as an actress.

Started as a news journalist, but found that she was always being asked to do pieces that were sport related like Glenn Hoddle leaving the England job, so finally admitted defeat and became a sports reporter full time.

She regularly presents on BBC London 94.9 as well as reporting on some of the capital's biggest games.'

I have a number of problems with her commentary:

1. She speaks rather slowly and often seems to be behind the game.
2. She sometimes seems to have difficulty accurately describing what is happening on the pitch.
3. She starts chatting away on matters not related to the action so we do not know what is going on. Did we need to know that she got from Peterborough station to London Road by looking for the floodlights?
4. She uses curious phrases like 'the field of play' to describe the pitch. Admittedly, she only used it once on Saturday, but she used it five times at the Peterborough game.
5. Sometimes I wonder how much in depth knowledge of the game she has. She has some strange ideas like thinking that once a penalty has been taken, there should be no follow through.

No doubt she is a good radio journalist, but I don't think she is suitable for the job she is doing. She may be much better at doing studio interviews and commentary.

Unfortunately it looks as if we are stuck with her because the consumer is powerless in these situations. And surprisingly quite a few Charlton fans seem keen to defend her.

I have no objection to women working in sports journalism on football: Gaby Logan would be an example of someone who does this well. As it is, a lot of Charlton fans are reduced to listening to the away commentary although apparently at the Luton game this was some bloke shouting down a cell phone.

Certain defeat but a big pay day

The winner of the Luton v. Charlton replay will face certain defeat at White Hart Lane against on form Spurs (who scored a late winner against Liverpool today). But it will be a big pay day.

I was thinking that maybe should put out a second string team for the replay, but the stakes are now higher. It will make Luton even more keen to win, but I don't think the result is a foregone conclusion given that Charlton are often better on the road.

Saturday 27 November 2010

The last thing we wanted

When I previewed this match in the week I was worried about Luton getting a draw. It's not so much the risk of going out of the FA Cup, but the way in which the replay will add to the demands on our squad.

Our reporter at today's FA Cup tie against Luton, Philippa Nicholson, reports that she is wearing an old sheepskin coat to the game. 'It makes me look like Ron Knee,' she says, 'but it helps to keep out the cold.'

Charlton's central defence has a makeshift air with Llera and Fortune replacing the injured Doherty and the suspended Dailly. Elliot stays in goal wearing his pink top and Jackson replaces the suspended Fry at left back. In the middle of the park, McCormack replaces the injured Semedo which may give us more mobility. Anyinsah returns from his spell of injury to partner Benson up front.

There were about 3,000 Hatters in the Jimmy Seed stand out of a total attendance of 8,552 and they made a lot of noise in the opening minutes.

Luton won a free kick in a promising position after a challenge by Racon. The ball struck by Drury went over the three man Charlton wall and Elliot had to make a fingertip save from the curling shot at the expense of a corner. The Addicks eventually cleared.

Kyel Reid whipped in the ball in from the left, the Luton defence were frozen and the completely unmarked Anyinsah nodded the ball calmly into the back of the net past Tyler in his green top to make it 1-0.

A Luton free kick led to a corner for the visitors, but it was unproductive. McCormack provided a hoof to deal with some continuing pressure.

Benson challenged Howells who went into the advertising hoardings in front of the enraged Hatters. Howells was unhurt, but Benson received a yellow card.

Barnes-Homer struck from 30 yards out, Elliot touched it on to the post and the result was a throw in for the Hatters. Crow put in a strike from just outside the 18 yard box.

The ball was up in the air too much and Charlton needed it to get on the floor. Howells tried to lift the ball over Elliot, but it went over the crossbar. Gnakpa was caught offside.

Francis took a Charlton corner. The Addicks tried to build on the corner but without success. Crow was caught way offside. Then Reid was caught offside for Charlton.

Elliot did well to stop Crow and collect the ball at the striker's feet. Barnes-Homer was caught offside. Keane received a yellow card for a handball. Luton were caught offside yet again. Then Reid was caught offside.

Morgan-Smith went down in the area and Luton were given a soft penalty. No one was shown a card. Elliot saved the ball, but it came back to Drury who headed it in at the second attempt with Elliot prone on the floor to make it 1-1.

Luton put the ball in the net but the flag had gone up. Charlton advanced well, Wagstaff put in a shot, the keeper saved it, the ball bounced around in the penalty area and top scorer Johnnie Jackson headed the ball in the net to make it 2-1.

Francis conceded a corner which was taken short. Elliot gathered the ball. Gnakpa dropped dramatically to the floor after a tussle with his fellow Frenchman Racon and Luton won a free kick, but the ball went straight to Elliot.

Luton's play had become less fluent, but I had doubts about how well Fortune and Llera were combining. Barnes-Homer was penalised for a tug on Llera. Luton mounted an attack as the game entered its last minute. Three minutes were added on. Luton kept possession, but eventually Luton were caught offside once again.

Half time: Addicks 2, Hatters 1

Anyinsah won a corner off Kroca. The corner from Francis was almost touched in by Benson. Francis put in a cross which almost went in under the crossbar. Jackson took the resultant corner. McCormack picked up the ball, Llera forced a save from Tyler. It just needed a bit more power on it.

Crow advanced and captain Jon Fortune conceded a corner. Drury's effort was headed away by Francis.

Gleeson was shown a yellow card for a foul on Reid in front of the Charlton technical area, Parky letting the referee have his views.

Benson raced forward past the Luton defence, but lost control of the ball. Luton attacked, but an effort by Gnakpa was off target. McCormack fouled Drury and received a yellow card.

Reid broke quickly, but the final ball by Francis was a disappointment not being close enough to the available Charlton players.

Racon hesitated in the penalty area and the ball was taken off him by a defender, allowing Luton to press forward.

Francis put a ball in, Benson tried to turn and shoot, but Czech defender Kroca put it out for a Charlton corner which led to a Luton free kick.

Luton took off Danny Crow and brought on Atieno who had been bigging up Luton's chances in the local press during the week. Charlton won another corner taken by Jackson. Luton eventually cleared.

Reid lost possession, Jackson won possession back off Atieno and Charlton won a free kick.

Morgan-Smith had a chance in the form of a free header, but he put the ball wide of Elliot's post.

Elliot had to punch the ball away. Neither side was dominating possession. Wagstaff did not seem very involved. Charlton launched an attack and the build up was good, Jackson turned provider for Racon. His effort was on target but it lacked sufficient power.

Akpo Sodje was brought on for the last 15 minutes and Anyinsah went off. Luton took off Morgan-Smith and Dan Walker was brought on. Reid turned provider for Johnnie Jackson, but the Luton defence managed to block the ball. Sodje collected off Reid, but his advance was unproductive.

Drury got the equaliser by lifting it past Elliot from 30 yards out to make it 2-2. At the other end, there was almost a chance for Akpo Sodje, but the angle was tight and the ball went across the goal mouth.

Luton attacked through Barnes-Homer, but Jackson cleared the danger. Luton continued to press and Barnes-Homer put it into the side netting when he had better options.

Francis put in a free kick and Benson's header was on target but it went straight to the keeper. Jackson pushed Ghakpa down in the area, but the referee did not award a penalty.

Four minutes were added on. Francis had a free kick, it was almost flicked in by Llera and the last touch was by a Luton player. However, the Charlton effort from the corner went over the crossbar.

Llera got to the ball before Atieno at the expense of a corner kick. Elliot tried to take the goal kick quickly. Luton kept possession as the clock ran down. Luton won a final corner. The ball was pushed away by Elliot and the whistle blew.

Friday 26 November 2010

Hatters striker predicts Luton win

Hatters striker Taiwo Atieno has predicted an 'upset' in the FA Cup tomorrow: Luton . (The name sounds Japanese, but he clearly isn't). Moreover, an extra bonus for him is that his auntie lives nearby!

Whether it would be an 'upset' or 'shock' is an open question, certainly these words are much over used in relation to the FA Cup. Charlton do face a lot of problems with cup ties and injuries and Phil Parkinson has said that we are down to the 'bare bones'. Martin and Seip are cup tied. Fry is (perhaps fortuitously) suspended. Semedo is doubtful with a hamstring problem and so is Doherty (although whether that is a great loss is an open question).

Quite a few of the Addickted are raving about young winger Calum Harriott who impressed in the FA Youth Cup tie at Welling and was on the bench last Saturday. One who was at Park View Road reported, 'Harriott was, in modern parlance, "awesome"! He is fast, tricky and, unlike other recent winger-graduates, quite sturdy ... the three goals that I saw all came from left-wing forays by young Callum, with driving runs into the box and good shots on target.'

I do think that sometimes the Addickted get over enthusiastic about Academy graduates and forget the gap between the games they play and a higher level. But Parky wouldn't put him on the bench if he wasn't a bit special. So if we are well ahead or well behind in the second half tomorrow, he should be given a chance.

I don't think it's going to be easy tomorrow, but we might just edge it. One Luton fan site I visited had the writer saying he was really looking forward to tomorrow. For us, it is something to be got through, hopefully without humiliation.

Thursday 25 November 2010

Facing the Hatters

I think that the Hatters will try to go for the draw at Saturday. That way they get another pay day and a better chance of beating us.

The Hatters fans think, with some reason, that they do not belong in the Conference and playing us is an opportunity to demonstrate their League credentials.

Why have they fallen so far? Clearly there is a story about financial mismanagement, but I always think that their ground has been a problem. Admittedly, it's a while since I've been there: I saw Gary Nelson score in a 1-0 victory for the Addicks.

However, you entered the away end through a passageway in a terraced house (clearly occupied upstairs) and then climbed up a staircase in the back garden. Along one side of the pitch were 'hospitality suites' which were one step up from Portakabins.

A reminder of our last encounter at The Valley: Charlton played Luton at the Valley was in the 2nd Round of the Carling Cup on Tuesday 23 September 2003.

Charlton won 8:7 on penalties. The score at full time was 3:3 and at the end of extra time 4:4.

The goal scorers for Charlton were: Parker, Lisbie, di Canio and Jensen.

The penalty takers were di Canio, Euell, Fortune, Johanssen, Jensen,
Holland, Parker and Fish.

The attendance was 10,894 (it will probably be lower on Saturday, particularly given the weather).

Charlton lost 0:1 away to Everton in the 3rd round.

The first team squad at that time was: Shaun Bartlett, Jamal Campbell-Rice, Carlton Cole, Paolo di Canio, Jason Euell, Mark Fish, Jon Fortune, Matt Holland, Hermann Hreidarsson, Claus Jensen, Jonatan Johansson, Dean Kiely, Radostin Kishishev, Paul Konchesky, Kevin Lisbie, Scott Parker, Chris Perry, Chris Powell, Garry Rowett, Simon Royce, Graham Stuart, Mathias Svensson and Luke Young.

Wednesday 24 November 2010

Valley of frustration

There was a sense of what might have been for the bulk of the 13,468 (in reality smaller) crowd at The Valley last night as Charlton drew 1-1 with Bristol Rovers to stay 2nd in League 1. Brighton and Southampton drew 0-0 after the Saints keeper saved a penalty, so the gap with the league leaders stays the same. Colchester lost at home, but Bournemouth and Sheffield Wednesday won at home against weak opposition (Yeovil and Walsall respectively) to place themselves two points behind us.

After a goalless first half, Brown opened the scoring for the Pirates on 63 minutes, but Benson replied with his 7th goal of the season on 77 minutes, taking advantage of a cross from Reid (who had come on as a substitute on 65 minutes). Victory might still have gone to the Addicks if Lee Martin had not shot wide, while McCormack and Sodje (both brought on as subs) tested the keeper late on.

The stats show that although possession was 50-50 we dominated goals on target by 12 to 3 which says something about the Rovers keeper who made a couple of excellent saves to deny us the three points. We were also ahead on corners by six to two.

As usual, Blackheath Addickted has a good and thoughtful report.

I see Jamie Sheldon's magic

It was a very cold night at the New Windmill Ground yesterday evening but the depleted crowd of 285 enjoyed a rare treat. They were able to experience the magic of new signing Jamie Sheldon as Leamington defeated local rivals Rugby Town 3-0 in the Red Insure (Southern League) Cup to proceed to the second round.

His first goal in the second half, a curling shot from distance, was one of the best goals I have seen this season either in League 1 or the non-league. He subsequently scored a second. Luke Corbett had opened the account for Brakes in the first half.

Jamie was originally with the Birmingham City academy. I think he then had a spell with Redditch, but was then invited to play in Slovenia. After returning he went to Solihull Moors, but it seems that the manager there is not keen on young players. He is certainly a great acquisition for Leamington.

Tuesday 23 November 2010

Tough challenge at The Valley

Bristol Rovers boss Paul Trollope admits that his side face a tough challenge at The Valley tonight against one of the biggest clubs in the division: Gasheads

Rovers have encountered defensive problems and Trollope is going to have to re-shuffle the pack tomorrow night, bringing in a central defender who has not played since September and has had recent injury problems. With a makeshift right back, the visitors should be vulnerable on Charlton's left and we should try and take advantage of that.

However, Rovers had their confidence boosted by their draw at Brighton and they think that the good playing surface at The Valley will work in their favour.

To cover their defensive shortages, the Addicks have brought in Dutch defender Marcel Seip in on loan from Plymouth until January: Seip

Seip has made nine starts for the Pilgrims this season at both centre and right back. He began his career with BV Veendam in 1999 and then signed for Heerenveen in the Dutch top flight, playing for the club in the Uefa Cuo in 2005. When he joined Argyle, the assistant manager was Tim Breacker, now at The Valley.

However, one comment has been that he is not as good a player as he thinks he is, but another is that he could be worse than Francis.

Come on you Reds!

Monday 22 November 2010

Gasheads face defensive problems

Bristol Rovers boss Paul Trollope faces defensive problems after Byron Anthony, one of their most consistent performers, picked up his fifth yellow card of the season in the draw at Brighton. He had switched to the right back position with first choice player in that slot, Carl Regan, serving out a three match ban. Read more about their defensive woes here: Pirates

Of course, we face our own defensive challenges. Rob Elliot, who has been playing well, was once again let down by the defence in front of him on Saturday. Leaving aside the own goal, Doherty was constantly hoofing the ball up the field to an opposition player. After showing some signs of improvement, Francis had another mare. Only Fry was really solid.

Now we have lost Dailly with the sending off evidently justified when the evidence was reviewed. Dailly has not looked at his best in recent games. Fortune was solid enough when he came on as a sub on Saturday, but can he keep it up for 90 minutes? Llera can be good in patches, but he is also prone to serious errors.

At least we can score goals, but we need to stop them going in as well.

Unfortunately, neither Paul May nor Philippa Nicholson will be available to cover tomorrow night's match, but I am forecasting a 2-1 win for the Addicks.

Saturday 20 November 2010

Roller coaster afternoon at The Valley

It was a roller coaster afternoon at The Valley as Charlton beat Yeovil 3-2. Charlton went 1-0 ahead within the quarter hour, but then Yeovil equalised. The Addicks then replied to give them a 2-1 lead at half time, but the Glovers equalised in the second half. The sending off of Christian Dailly galvanised the Addicks, who had been performing well below their best, and they won a penalty which saw Glovers charm merchant Paul Huntington dispatched for an early bath. Johnnie Jackson made no mistake from the spot to win the game for Charlton.

Yeovil did show some guile and skill which was at odds with their position in the table and they played confidently, perhaps because we allowed them to.

I left Coventry early in the morning, as I had been asked to go to Billericay in the morning for the launch of the Billericay Community Archive Group.

Charlton's options were limited when Wagstaff turned up before the game but was judged to still be too ill to play.

The match started with the teams changing ends which always worries me, even though we were playing towards the Covered End. Yeovil came out of the traps quickly and won an early corner. This is perhaps a hallmark of the difference between the Premiership and League 1: if the two clubs were in the same position in the Premiership, the two clubs would be playing cautiously for a draw.

Doherty was not convincing in the early exchanges, but Racon was impressive. Yeovil won a free kick in a dangerous position and then a second corner. The Glovers put in a shot that went just wide. But then on 11 minutes a good cross put in by Lee Martin enabled Johnnie Jackson to slot the ball in the back of the net.

Casual defending let Yeovil advance down the left and Andrew Williams scored, putting the ball in off the post.

The defence continued to give cause for concern with Doherty putting a poor ball forward and Francis playing a poor ball. Reid turned provider for Martin who put in an angled ball which was fractionally wide. The referee was making some odd decisions which generally went against the Addicks.

Good work on the Charlton left gave an opportunity to Racon and he took it decisively, putting the ball in the back of the net to make it 2-1.

Elliot made a good save. Lee Martin received a yellow card for a foul. Semedo lost possession in midfield. Lee Martin advanced well, but he should have passed the ball with two players coming in in a more advantageous position.

A Charlton free kick taken by Jackson led to a Charlton corner that was unproductive.

Half time: Addicks 2, Glovers 1

Francis gave the ball away. Reid challenged well. A dubious free kick was awarded to Yeovil against Doherty. Charlton failed to clear their lines and a ludicrous goal allowed the Glovers to equalise.

Dean Bowditch received a yellow card. Reid put in a good ball. Akpo Sodje was brought on in place of Fry. Christian Dailly was shown the red card after he was judged to have used the elbow on Sam Williams who crumpled dramatically in a heap. In fact it may well have been a clash of heads and Dailly was very reluctant to leave what Emma likes to call 'the field of play'. Reid was taken off and Fortune brought on to strengthen the defence.

Charm merchant Paul Huntington was sent off for bringing down the last man. Some moaners around me thought that Jackson had gone back too far to take his kick, but he had no difficulty in scoring to make it 3-2.

Martin was taken off in favour of McCormack. Benson received a yellow card for putting the ball in the net after the offside flag was raised. Elliot had to rush out of his area after he was let down by his defence and kick the ball out of play.

Five minutes were added on, but Charlton remained in charge with a free kick awarded for a foul on Akpo Sodje.

The stats show that we dominated possession by 59-41 per cent but had only two shots on target (presumably penalties don't count) and three off target.

Dennis Wise was reported to be at the game, but had nothing to say about his intentions in relation to Charlton.

Match analysis

The coveted Silver Bone has been awarded by Ivy the Terrible to Johnnie Jackson for his two goals and a good all-round effort. Perhaps he could take the captain's armband while Dailly is suspended? Elliot was not at fault for the two goals, made some good saves and commanded his area. Doherty was also a potential source of danger, loisng possession and hoofing the ball forward to the opposition.
Dailly was not at his best in this game even before he was sent off.
Francis is improving but there were some worrying moments. Fry was generally solid. Semedo did lose possession and make some false moves, but he also displayed moments of real skill and was a terrier snapping at the heels of the opposition. Racon seems to be coming good and his goal was well taken. Reid has his moments, but at other times he seemed to fade from the match, leading to some speculation about whether he was fully fit. Martin gave his all and had the confidence to make an attempt on goal from a difficult angle. Benson was not that prominent and never came close to scoring. The physical presence of Sodje was what was required when he came on a sub, although he did not create that much. Fortune filled the gap left by Dailly. McCormack performed his cameo role competently.

Hiss of the Match A short list of three was drawn up by Juneau the Soccer Cat: (i) whoever was responsible for insufficient turnstiles being open at the East Stand in Harvey Gardens; (ii) the Wurzels who gave it large to the stewards in the Jimmy Seed, (iii) and the winner, referee Mr Whitestone, who apart from favouring Yeovil, was overly fussy and stopped the flow of the game.

Crowd rating: One can understand the frustration when Charlton were not playing well after the Yeovil equaliser, but that it just the time one needs to boost the team's confidence by getting behind them. 6/10

Friday 19 November 2010

Shaun Bartlett interview

This interview with Shaun Bartlett mentions his goal of the season with Charlton (I still have the t-shirt): Bartlett

Thursday 18 November 2010

Glovers sign Chelsea hotshot

Yeovil Town have signed young Chelsea hotshot Adam Phillip on a month's loan. The forward will go straight into the lineup against Charlton as part of their plan for a surprise victory at The Valley on Saturday: Striker

A Glover's perspective on Charlton here from Ciderspace which gets in a dig at 'moaning idiot Charlton fans': Glovers

Charlton fan works for Baggies

A Charlton fan who works for the Baggies has started a blog here: Double life

Tuesday 16 November 2010

Job done: Charlton through

Charlton started at The Valley against Barnet with a 4-3-3 formation reports Philippa Nicholson. With Anyinsah injured with a groin problem and Martin ineligible, Abbott started up front supported by Reid and Wagstaff. Semedo was getting his suspension out of the way and McCormack appeared in the middle of the park, while Doherty was replaced by Fortune. 16-year old Harriot was on the bench.

Izale McLeod was on the bench for the visitors, while Grant Basey was playing for Barnet in central defence.

Barnet won an early free kick and Francomb's effort went over the wall with Elliot having to stretch to put the ball out for a corner which was cleared at the near post by Jackson. The Bees then followed with an effort which hit the woodwork before going out for a throw in.

Jackson took the first Charlton corner, Dailly put in a header, but the keeper got there first.

Reid put in a powerful effort from the edge of the 'D' with his left foot, but it went over the crossbar into the 250 or so Bees fans in the Jimmy Seed stand.

Reid advanced again, but he was blocked by Uddin. Basey put the ball out for a Charlton throw in and received ironic cheers. Wagstaff made a run down the right and he put a ball into Abbott. A shove by Kabba was ignored by the referee.

Reid advanced down the right, shrugged off Devera covering as left back, cut inside and placed the ball past the keeper to make it 1-0 on 18 minutes.

Barnet won a free kick and the referee had a chat with Francis. Francomb's free kick led to a corner. Wagstaff cleared at the near post. Reid advanced, but Marshall raced back to deal with the threat.

Racon conceded a corner. Marshall took the corner and got the ball back. Charlton cleared, but Barnet kept possession. Elliot made a good save under pressure. Kabba had a chance, but Dailly blocked well.

Charlton won a corner after Abbott advanced. Barnet dealt well with Jackson's ball.

The referee booked Barnet's Mark Hughes, presumably for dissent as he was away from the action.

McCormack gave the ball to Jackson who drew a great save from former QPR shot stopper Cole in the Barnet goal. Barnet mounted a late attack and Elliot had to come off his line to smother the ball.

One minute of time was added on, Kabba tried a shot from distance and Elliot punched it away at the expense of a corner. The corner came in and Basey nearly put it in at the near post, leading to a second corner as Charlton cleared.

Half time: Addicks 1, Bees 0

Benson was brought on after half-time in place of Wagstaff as Charlton switched to a 4-4-2. After an initially clear start to the evening, the rain came down, producing a slippery surface.

Barnet won a corner as their fans called for something more. Barnet took another corner very quickly, Marshall's effort went all the way across the six yard box, but the move ended in a goal kick. Jarvis had an attempt from a good position, but Elliot made himself big pushed it away for a throw in.

Kabba went down and made a meal of it, the idiots from North London called for a red, but Dailly received a yellow. The free kick was almost touched in by Francis for an own goal, but Elliot was alert and touched it away for a corner.

The Bees received a free kick to the left hand side of the 'D'. The Charlton wall was pushed back by referee Wright. The effort from Basey went over the wall and Elliot made a finger tip save over the bar. The corner was cleared.

Gallen was stopped by Fortune. Jarvis was taken off and forward Ricky Holmes was brought on. It wasn't clear what Jarvis had done wrong.

Fry intercepted well just outside the penalty area. Fortune was taken off and Doherty came on. Abbott and Benson combined well, but Uddin took the ball away as the 20th minute of the half approached.

Barnet won a free kick taken by Basey. It went out of play for a Charlton goal kick to ironic cheers. Kabba had an attempt from distance which went wide. The referee took exception to something that Doherty said and produced a yellow card.

Benson advanced well, could have been selfish but turned provider for Abbott who just played the ball into the hands of the keeper. Matt Fry received a yellow card for what was supposed to be a foul.

McCormack advanced, he had a number of options in support, but he lifted it well over the bar. Abbott, who had been disappointing, was withdrawn and Akpo Sodje came on to partner Benson.

Kabba got past Dailly, but Fry mopped up. Reid went down, holding his left knee. It looked as if it was cramp and received treatment off the pitch. A shot by Marshall was blocked by Doherty.

Boos rang out as £1.1m player Izale McLeod came on to replace the veteran Gallen up front. An effort by Sodje went wide.

Basey controlled the ball with his hand, leading to a Charlton free kick. McLeod advanced, but Elliot was there to push the ball away at the near post at the expense of a corner. Doherty had to clear frantically more than once.

Kabba came off and was replaced by Charlie Stimson, previously at the Gills. Stimson put the ball out for a Charlton throw in.

Four minutes were added on, goodness knows where they came from. Francis turned provider for Sodje who made a good effort from just outside the 'D' but it went over into the empty Covered End. Jackson went down with cramp.

The whistle was blown and the bulk of the 4,803 crowd were satisfied to see the Addicks go through to the 2nd round.

Monday 15 November 2010

Positive press

A very positive story about Charlton in The Guardian after the win at Peterborough: Guardian

We now need to keep our focus for the match against Barnet. It might seem an easy task after the win at Peterborough, but we musn't let complacency creep in.

Saturday 13 November 2010

The old five

Anyinsah starts up front with Benson and Abbott returns to the bench. Wagstaff gets a start and Dailly starts in central defence in place of Fortune reports our man at the match, Erith's Paul May. McCormack is dropped, as is Martin. Elliot was back in the pink top after wearing yellow at Southend. Around 1,500 Addickted were there.

Jackson had an early shot from just inside the penalty area. It was on target, but was saved by lippy keeper Joe Lewis. Wagstaff and Francis combined in attack. A ball in by Wagstaff was blocked by Nyatanga. Anyinsah was looking lively.

Mackall-Smith turned provider for McLean who shot from 20 yards out, but Elliot got down to collect. Wagstaff tried a strike, Lewis got a finger tip and was assisted by the woodwork. The ball bounced back into play and the keeper was able to collect.

Benson got his head to a ball from Fry after the left back had worked well with Jackson, but it went wide. Peterborough broke quickly from a goal kick after a Charlton free kick by Jackson and a shot from Mackall-Smith forced a save from Elliot. The corner went out if play.

The Addicks conceded another corner taken by McCann, but it led to a Charlton goal kick. A foul was awarded against Racon. Great work by Anyinsah who held the ball up well, McCann brought down Wagstaff and a penalty was awarded. McCann only got a yellow, although he was the last man. Jackson took the spot kick well and Charlton went ahead on 14 minutes.

Anyinsah had picked up a knock and was hobbling quite badly. Charlton conceded a corner. Semedo cleared but it came back to Wesolowski who won a disputed corner after his shot went over the bar. The home side kept up the pressure, but eventually Elliot got hold of the ball.

Martin came on in place of the injured Anyinsah, a blow for the Addicks. An effort by Martin was saved by Lewis at his near post. Doherty cleared for a corner as McLean threatened. Benson got the ball away.

McCann fouled Martin, apparently unconcerned about his yellow card. Peterborough won a throw in near the corner flag after Dailly cleared. McLean made contact with a second throw in, but it went wide.

Lee Martin did some superb work and touched the ball to Racon who smashed it home to the left of Lewis to make it 2-0 to the Addicks after 25 minutes.

Elliot was in trouble with McLean advancing, but Fry cleared the danger for a corner.
McCann delivered his usual left-footed outswinger. Wagstaff outsmarted Tomlin.

Francis hoofed it forward after Tomlin advanced. Doherty shadowed McLean well. Dailly ushered Mackall-Smith out as he came forward. Peterborough conceded a corner. It was unproductive and Posh counter attacked, but Charlton got back and Francis made the block.

Wagstaff took the ball off Williams, fed Lee Martin, Benson went down, but Jackson picked up the ball and slammed it into the bottom right-hand corner to make it 3-0.

Johnnie Jackson made a great move, the keeper came out and Martin chipped it over him to make 4-0 as the boos rang out from the home fans.

Every Charlton touch was being cheered by the jubilant Addickted. McCann went down in the Charlton penalty area, but the referee waved play on.

The home side was awarded a free kick and Jackson felt the full force as a one man wall. A desperate long-range effort from Tomlin went well wide. The half-time whistle went and the boos rang out.

Half time: Posh 0, Addicks 4

Gary Johnson decided to use all three substitutions. Wesolowski was off as was Ryan 'Gordon' Bennett and Mackail-Smith. Hibbett came on up front, as did 19-year old midfielder Mendez-Lang on loan from Wolves. Davis also came on. Posh had changed to a more coventional 4-4-2 formation. Charlton were now playing towards their fans.

Peterborough got a corner off a shot from McCann, but Charlton won the ball. Lee Martin defended to stop a shot and then forged forward to put the keeper under pressure.

Wagstaff went down and stayed down, having landed badly. It was his right foot that was troubling him. Mendez-Lang went down twice, winning free kicks both times. Racon received a yellow card for kicking the ball away. Peterborough got another controversial free kick having appealed after the ball hit Paul Benson who was on a break. McCann put a left-footed free kick over the Charlton wall to make it 1-4 nine minutes into the half.

Scott Wagstaff was still looking very uncomfortable. Posh came forward again, but there were strong challenges from Dailly and Doherty. McCormack came on in place of Wagstaff on 55 minutes.

Peterborough advanced down the left, but Charlton won a free kick. Peterborough attacked again, but Racon blocked the ball. Francis went down injured following a challenge after he spotted a quick throw out from the keeper. He received treatment to his right shin. Francis came back on.

A run by Little down the right flank was dealt with by Dailly. Martin went on a run from the halfway line, jinked past Williams and loan player Nyatanga in trying to get the ball back to the keeper gave it to Lee Martin who scored his second with a tap in to make it 5-1 to the Addicks. This was an important goal because it halted the Peterborough come back.

Lewis injured himself in failing to stop the corner after Langmead put the ball out. Jackson's corner was ultimately unproductive.

Martin put in a decent effort from 20 yards out as he sought his hat trick. Peterborough won a rather doubtful corner. They kept up the pressure. Fry blocked for a throw in. McCormack played the ball forward, but loan player Williams got the ball for the home side.

Elliot fell awkwardly after he jumped for the ball. He was holding his right shoulder and seemed to be in some pain.

Benson advanced after a back flick from Martin, held up the ball and passed it to Semedo. Charlton kept possession until Doherty's ball forward went out of play. Perhaps Benson should have advanced on goal.

Elliott took a free kick and looked in better shape. McCormack lost possession, but a free kick was awarded against Hibbett after Dailly slipped over. The game was losing momentum as the last ten minutes of normal time approached. Semedo was dealing with any potential threat very effectively.

Dailly was down after Elliot punched the ball out, but he got back on his feet.

Lee Martin received a yellow card for a foul. Semedo received a yellow card for time wasting. Hibbett drew a save from Elliot. Semedo was taken off and Reid came on.

Four minutes were added on. Posh got a free kick in a potentially promising position to the right of the 'D'. McCann's shot went over the two man Charlton wall and into the side netting. Hibbett put in a shot on target after Reid was a little casual and Elliot went down to collect.

Posh's rabbit mascot, Peter Burrow, can go underground and perhaps Joe Lewis will be less lippy in the Peterborough Evening Telegraph next week.

Charlton are now 2nd in the table, occupying an automatic promotion place.

Friday 12 November 2010

Posh aim to be a constant threat

Peterborough aim to be a constant attacking threat in the game against Charlton tomorrow. They have carefully analysed the Addicks' weaknesses and may adopt a 5-2-1-2 formation which is unfamiliar to me: Posh

As the local newspaper points out, both sides have failed to get anything out of Izale McLeod. 'Portuguese enforcer' Jose Semedo is portrayed as the Mr Nasty of the Charlton side. Read their assessment of Charlton's players here: Addicks

Posh looking for decisive victory

Peterborough United players are hoping for a decisive victory against Charlton on Saturday to compensate fans for the humiliating home defeat by Brighton and to send out a message to the rest of League 1: Posh

The self-described 'quality' players are confident they can deliver, but it's interesting to read some of the comments by fans. One fan describes them as 'mediocre' while another points out that most people in Peterborough support another team from their armchairs. Mouthy keeper Joe Lewis, perennial provider of column inches to the local evening paper, is advised to spend more time talking to his defence and less to the media.

I am concerned about our defence and am forecasting 3-1 to the home side.

Thursday 11 November 2010

Former Addick is coach at London Road

Former Addick Mark Robson is now coach at Peterborough United. His first appearance for Charlton was at London Road. He has fond memories of his time with Charlton and still has a great affection for the club, indeed to the extent that this article has drawn a grudging response from a Posh supporter: Robson

On the shelf in front of my computer is a picture of me with Mark Robson. I sponsored a match (against Stoke) using the old Portakabins at the back of the West Stand and Robson was voted man of the match. As he commented, 'why am I always man of the match when we lose?'

Fans may recall his goal from a free kick away against Newcastle United in a cup replay.

Wednesday 10 November 2010

Posh are open at the back

In an interview with The Football League Paper Peterborough goalkeeper Joe Lewis has admitted that the Posh are defensively vulnerable.

He said: 'We play a very attacking, free-flowing type of football that has given us the best scoring record in the country with 32 goals in only 15 games so far this season. While this style of play has brought us plenty of chances, it also creates gaps that leaves us vulnerable at the back and has resulted in a large number of goals being conceded as well.'

Reflecting on the 0-3 home defeat by Brighton, Lewis commented, 'we know we have a strong squad, which is why the Brighton result was a bit of a shock to the system.' He added, 'All the players understand that we have an exciting and aggressive playing style which means that we have to accept we are sometimes going to concede goals.'

'What we still have to remember is that we are still a relatively new team that hasn't found its full form yet. The high expectations that we have for ourselves can put a lot of pressure on the players, but it's a pressure that everybody thrives off'.

The net minder selected the game against Charlton as a 'stand out game', along with that against Southampton: 'They are games that I am really looking forward to. Playing against the big clubs forces you to raise your game and put in a really good performance. Now would be the perfect time for us to find our top form'.

Let's hope they don't, although their style of play could pose problems for our sometimes slow and flat footed central defence.

Tuesday 9 November 2010

Racon rocket wins it for Charlton

Charlton started against Southend tonight with a new 4-3-3 formation, reports Erith Addick Paul May. Pawel Abbott was supported by Reid and Martin on the flanks. McCormack was introduced in midfield against his old club and Fortune replaced Dailly in central defence. Jackson dropped back to left back.

Southend put Charlton under early pressure and there was a touch of panic defending.
Charlton showed their pace as they pressed forward and Reid put in a good cross although he lost his footing on the byline.

The referee gave Southend a free kick on the edge of the box after two players ran into each other. Doherty initially cleared, the ball came back in but Elliot was able to deal with it.

Francis did not deal with a ball well and Fortune had to clear it up. Semedo gave the ball straight to Simpson and Fortune had to clear the danger. Reid evaded Simpson well and his cross was put out for a corner. Jackson's corner was cleared by Simpson. Reid got the ball back but was fouled.

The Addicks kept possession well in the middle of the park with some neat passing movements, Semedo looking impressive. The Shrimpers managed to get in a shot from just outside the penalty area as the Charlton defence went awol, but Elliot was not troubled.

Abbott won the ball well in the air and made an attempt on target. Abbott fed Reid, but he hesitated and his ball was over hit. A cross was blocked by Doherty to give the Shrimpers their first corner. It was taken short and blocked, leading to a second attempt. It was also taken short and led to a third corner kick which was more conventional and was hacked clear. Reid got past the first challenge and was then fouled, but the referee ignored it.

Abbott was not really getting good service and the game became a bit scrappy. Martin was brought down and Charlton got a free kick in a promising position, but it ended in an offside decision. Southend put in a strike on target and once again the Charlton defence was lacking.

McCormack and Jackson combined well, a good shot from Reid took a deflection for a corner. The ball was cleared, but Charlton re-gained possession then the Addicks scored through Racon on 28 minutes with a rocket into the top left hand corner of the net.

Southend conceded another corner as Charlton kept up the pressure. Evans pushed the ball away, but the shot was blocked down. Charlton were playing confidently and kept up the pressure.

Simpson had a good chance for Southend but put the shot into the side netting. Charlton seemed to have lost their rhythm a bit. Martin tried a shot from distance and the deflection produced an Addicks corner.

Grant put in a nasty challenge on Racon who went down with problems with his right ankle, but looked as if he was going to be all right. Two minutes were added on.
Simpson got in a cross but it was blocked by Semedo.

Semedo was casual with the ball, giving Southend a chance, but Grant fired well wide.

Half time: Shrimpers 0, Addicks 1

Dailly came on in place of Doherty at the start of the second half to strengthen the defence. It was raining heavily and the conditions had an effect on the early play.

Reid was pushed from behind by Simpson and won a free kick in front of goal. Martin fired it into the three man wall. Charlton kept possession. Reid's cross was headed clear. A Jackson free kick was headed clear.

Fortune conceded a corner after seven minutes. The ball was cleared from the near post. Grant fed Sturrock and Elliot made a good save. Southend advanced again and made two penalty appeals, but the referee was correct in refusing them. However, it was a concern that Southend were able to get into the Charlton penalty area so easily. Parky had a real go at Fortune and Dailly.

Semedo picked up a yellow card for a tackle from behind after Francis gave the ball away easily. The free kick ended in an offside decision. So far in the half there had been little for the 1,176 Addicks in a crowd of 3,197.

Francis played another poor ball. Reid advanced well, but his strike was not the best and went into the Addickted. Grant was caught by Semedo in a late challenge. He was called over by referee Grant Hegley who sent the Portugeezer off in the first game of the season against Bournemouth.

Southend had an opportunity but it went into the side netting. Very sensibly, Parky brought on Waggy in place of Semedo. Martin moved into midfield. Southend took Sturrock and brought on their QPR loan player who had been held up in traffic.

Fortune put in a great tackle. Evans had to clear toilet rolls from around the Southend goal. Racon conceded an unnecessary free kick. Southend put in awkward ball, but Wagstaff was there to help. The rain had stopped.

An effort by Reid led to Charlton's first corner of the half which led to a second. The ball was played back in and Evans in the Southend goal punched the ball clear. It almost fell to Martin. A curling free kick by Jackson was headed clear. A Southend counter attack broke down.

Wagstaff advanced and won a corner. Charlton were coming back into the game more. Wagstaff was cynically fouled by Gilbert. Southend made their final substitution. The Shrimpers won a corner. It was punched away by Elliot who was flapping a little.

McCormack was caught by a late tackle giving Charlton a free kick in a promising position with four minutes to go. Jackson's effort was real quality and it was tipped over the bar by Evans for a Charlton corner. McCormack's strike went wide and the ball had to be retrieved from the Addickted.

Wagstaff advanced but his shot was poor. Southend pressed forward in the last minute as four minutes were added on. Dailly cleared at the near post for a corner kick. There was a possible Charlton hand ball which would have produced a penalty, but the corner was poor and went into the side netting.

Fry, who had come on for Reid, tried to find Martin. Charlton gave the ball away to put themselves under pressure. Jackson defended well as the game went into the fifth minute of stoppage time. The Addicks won a goal kick. Charlton had won the regional quarter-final.

Benson grew up as Shrimper

Paul Benson had a Southend season ticket up to the age of fourteen and his dad is still a massive fan: Benson To me, that suggests that he is likely to score tonight.

I think that the club is now taking this competition seriously and I expect Parky to put out a full strength side tonight, perhaps resting anyone who took a knock on Saturday. I just hope it doesn't go to extra time. However, I am going for a 2-1 win for the Addicks.

Monday 8 November 2010

Sainsbury bid rejected

Charlton have rejected a takeover bid from a group led by Swiss-based fund manager Sebastien Sainsbury: Sainsbury

The club was not satisfied that the necessary funds were in place.

Richard Murray has tweeted that no takeover is imminent and that any bid would have to be right for the club.

It is unclear whether Nectar points would have been offered if the Sainsbury bid had gone ahead.

Why not try foreign officials?

Given the quality of referees and linos in League 1, would it be worth importing foreign officials? On the basis of my experience at the Skydome last night, I would not recommend it.

With fans complaining about choke holds and other tactics used by officials on players, a referee and a lino were brought in from the Netherlands. The referee did himself no favours by appearing in a helmet that looked like it had been a prop from Star Wars. After a few minutes of catcalls, he replaced it with a regulation version, but continued to wear giant size red armbands.

The referee appeared to be ignorant of the holding rule and kept getting in the way of play. Nevertheless, Blaze came our 3-2 winners over Braehead Clan.

Several bids on table for Addicks

Peter Ridsdale has formally denied any interest in Charlton, so that is another false lead from the News of the Screws.

Normally reliable sources are indicating that there are multiple bids for Charlton on the table. However, it has been alleged that one of these groups (said to involve Sainsburys) has among its number a Paul Garland who has been convicted of fraud: Garland

It is understood that there was a board meeting yesterday and that the risk of Garland's involvement has receded. The Ridsdale story appears to have been a diversionary tactic.

It is believed that many of the bids would involve borrowing against The Valley to raise additional funds.

Sunday 7 November 2010

Ridsdale rumours

Unconfirmed rumours state that Peter Ridsdale has made a £11m offer for Charlton, but that Richard Murray favours another consortium. It all seems a bit unlikely to me given that Ridsdale has been hanging around Argyle during the last week and turning the green army red with rage.

It is evident that he is seeking a way back into football. However, given his track record at Leeds and Cardiff, I would not want to see him at The Valley. Even Dennis Wise would be better.

Saturday 6 November 2010

Chipping Barnet

Charlton have to play Barnet again in the FA Cup at The Valley after a 0-0 draw at Underhill today. It's a game we could do without as we won't make much money out of it and it could tire players or see them injured.

However, at least we haven't lost 0-2 at home to Dover Athletic like Gillingham. Or drawn 0-0 at home to Woking like Brighton. Poyet out now!

Jackson had an early chance to score which would have altered the course of the game. Elliot made some telling saves. But all credit to Barnet, they were up for it.

The game seems to have even stephen with Barnet edging the possession 52-48. Barnet had six shots on target to our five and seven corners to our five. Once again we had a lot of shots off target, eight to their three.

Brakes win sixth league game in a row

Leamington won their sixth league game in a row when they beat Evesham United 1-0 this afternoon in front of a crowd of 566 at the New Windmill Ground.

Brakes had the chance to go ahead after two minutes when keeper Nathan Vaughan was caught way off his line, but all they achieved was an unproductive corner. On the whole it was a scrappy first half with Evesham flooding the midfield and pouncing on any loose balls. Leamington got caught offside more than once.

There was a call for a penalty for Brakes for handball but it looked like ball to arm to me. Batchelor fired just over and towards the end of the half Vaughan had to save by turning the ball on to the post.

Half time: Brakes 0, Evesham 0

A spectator I saw just after the break told me she was there to support one of the linos who was her boy friend which I suppose is one motive for going to a game.

Brakes looked livelier in the second half with Jacko, who had had a poor first half, improving.

Batchelor roared up the pitch on his own, but put his effort just wide. The crowd were calling for changes and with some 20 minutes to go new signing Alex Taylor came on to replace the indifferent James Husband. Immediately afterwards Luke Corbett came on in place of Matt Lewis. Corbett's dad was being interviewed for the fanzine in the vice-presidents before the game.

It was great work by Taylor that set up Corbett to score the winning goal on 77 minutes. After that Leamington looked in charge but Batchelor got himself sent off for a second yellow in time added on (the first was for dissent). Keeper Vaughan came forward to take the free kick, but the ball came off the bar, maintaining the clean sheet and three points for Leamington who are now 4th.

Barnet hoping for bumper crowd

Barnet are hoping for their biggest crowd of the season at this afternoon's Oyster card sponsored FA Cup tie with Charlton. Perhaps it will take their mind off their stadium worries: Underhill

Charlton have never been beaten by Barnet, the results being three wins and one draw in competitive matches. I am hopeful that we will overcome the black-and-amber and win by 2-0. Barnet will be without star striker Izale McLeod.

I will be the only Charlton blogger covering this afternoon's clash between Leamington and Evesham United to see if the gold-and-black can maintain their present winning streak, but arrangements are in hand to bring news from Underhill.

The deadlock has been broken in the Isles of Scilly football league after two draws marked the start of the season. On a soggy Sunday, Woolpack Wanderers beat Garrison Gunners 5-2 at the Garrison Field stadium.

Thursday 4 November 2010

Are we up for the cup?

There's an interesting debate going on about whether we should field a weakened side against Barnet at the weekend. The fear understandably expressed is supposing a key player is badly injured by some clogger or falls over running down the slope or gets a red card?

Of the three cup competitions, the one I take least seriously is the league cup. Even if we had beaten Shrewsbury, we would have lost to Stoke. You're not going to get far in it and it is not a money spinner.

There is the possibility of getting somewhere in the paint drying cup. The downside is at what cost to the league campaign? However, the financial rewards do start to build up as one progresses. And I don't really want us to be dumped out of it by the Shrimpers.

The FA Cup is the one I take most seriously. It still have some prestige and if one gets as far as the 3rd round there is a chance of a lucrative tie which would be a real help to us in current circumstances.

My view is that we should rest any player who might be tiring (Dailly?) or anyone carrying a slight injury that could be aggravated. Otherwise, we should put out a full strength side. We want to continue our present momentum with another decisive win.

Tuesday 2 November 2010

Charlton brush off Swindon

York: Charlton brushed aside Swindon with a 3-0 win at the County Ground yesterday evening. With Benson the provider, Jackson put Charlton ahead in the 13th minute. With half an hour gone, Charlton have two-thirds of the possession. As half time approached, the Addicks were still ahead and were still getting 60 per cent of the possession.

Ayinsah settled the outcome on the 51st minute when he made use of a cross from Fry. On 73 minutes Wagstaff put in a cross which was headed in at the far post by Benson.

Interesting to see Kyel Reid on the bench to replace the suspended Lee Martin. A much quicker come back than I had hoped for.

An emergency meeting of the Parkinson Must Go caucs was convened in the car park after the game. One grim faced moaner joining the group commented, 'What is the point of supporting Charlton if they don't give me something to complain about?

A spokesman said afterwards: 'This result has to be seen in context. Charlton are still only 5th and that is simply not good enough. One of the automatic promotion places has already been booked by Brighton. What happened tonight is all down to the players on the pitch and nothing to do with the inept manager.'

Monday 1 November 2010

Off to the magic roundabout

Games follow one another fast and furious in League 1 and it's off to Swindon for Charlton tomorrow night. The Robins are not exactly rocking after their Wembley appearance last year and are currently 16th in the table.

Three sloppy goals conceded in the 3-3 draw at Yeovil on Saturday exemplified their defensive problems. However, they fought back from 1-3 down to score two late goals and claim a point. They have scored six more goals than Charlton, but also conceded four more. That ten places separates the two clubs says something about League 1.

The Robins have a central midfield problem just as the relationship between Racon and Semedo seems to be working at last. Simon Ferry is not available after what was described as a 'horror tackle' inflicted by the Glovers. This leaves the home side with only one natural central midfielder so Michael Timlin may be recalled from a loan spell at Southend.

The narrative coming out of Swindon is that the Robins are gearing up for a pre-Christmas run, although they don't seem to be brimming with confidence about the Charlton game.

Indeed, manager Danny Wilson looks set to make some changes while Phil Parkinson is likely to settle for an unchanged side. Wilson commented, 'We can't keep protecting people when mistakes are made as frequently as they are. In the last few weeks we haven't dealt with certain situations as well as we should do, so we have to make decisions and we will do that for the next game. We need to know that people are going into games full of confidence and not having any doubts in themselves.'

This sounds like a team that is rocking in the wrong sort of way, but whether the Addicks have enough consistency to generate a mini-run is an interesting question and one that will debate by the pro- and anti-Parkinson forces. I am going for a 3-2 win.

Having just got back from Spain, I have a meeting in London tomorrow and then have to go to York for a meeting on Wednesday so I may be behind with the news from the County Ground.