Saturday 22 January 2022

Back to winning ways

 Charlton kicked off, but Fleetwood got an early dangerous free kick after a necessary foul from Famewo.  The ball went over the bar into the Covered End.

Another Fleetwood attack saw the ball scrape the post.   A shot from Lane was straight at MacGillivray.

DJ did well to get behind the defence and the cross went across the goal for a Charlton corner, but the set piece didn't work out.   Fleetwood threatened again and Clare gave a little nudge.   Fleetwood were getting in behind Charlton very easily.

Fleetwood got a free header from eight yards out after a corner, but the ball went over the crossbar.

Fleetwood remained in control of the game, but then Charlton had a better spell.   Even so Charlton were being forced to cross and go out wide.    Charlton had not found a rhythm, they needed to play forward more quickly.   Fleetwood looked dangerous on the counter attack.

After Clare slipped, Famewo provided good cover in defence.

Lee drew a good save from Cairn after his first shot was blocked.  Charlton began to show a little more urgency.   Morgan almost got on to the ball as he broke into the box.

Steve Brown said that Charlton had got grips with their front three in the last twenty minutes.  Fleetwood were a much improved side under their new manager.

Curbs said that Blackett-Taylor had been our most dangerous player.   He had got the full back and now two were coming out to him.    We hadn't got the ball under control in midfield enough to help the front two.

HT: 0-0

A Morgan free kick led to a great header from Burstow at the far post in front of the Covered End to make it 1-0.   It was his first league goal at The Valley.

A Fleetwood corner was headed away by Inniss.

Fleetwood won another corner after some weak defending by Charlton.   DJ headed the ball away.   Lee came off and was replaced by Gilbey.

A poor clearance by Clare produced a moment of danger.

Blackett-Taylor was forced to concede a corner on 73 minutes.   Inniss headed clear.

Pilkington came on as a Fleetwood substitute, signaling intent to attack.   He scored the late winner against Rotherham.

Clare had to block a cross for a Fleetwood corner.   Inniss tidied it up.

Aneke got a yellow card for a foul.   Washington came on for Charlton in place of Mason Burstow who received a great ovation as he left the pitch.

Blackett-Taylor pulled up, possibly with cramp, and Purrington came on.   A Fleetwood corner was put over the bar.

Four minutes were added on.    Washington set up Morgan but he rushed his finish and dragged it wide of the post.   Washington was at the far post in position for a tap in.   However, Morgan then made no mistake to make it 2-0.   The move was started by a header from Inniss.

Curbs said that Inniss won every header defensively, passed it well.

Mason Burstow said that scoring at home was a different feeling.   'I've been watching games from a young age.   Hopefully we're back on track.   I'm just enjoying my football.'

Jacko said it was a really important win.   Fleetwood started really brightly, they were the better side in the early periods, we ended the half strongly.   Morgan had bundles of ability, but he needed to score more goals.   He stepped up when given the opportunity.

Saturday 15 January 2022

Chuks stops the rot

It wasn't a great performance, but Aneke secured an unlikely away point for Charlton in time added on. Charlton remain 14th, six points ahead of Morecambe in 21st place.

With Conor Washington injured and Craig MacGillivray on paternity leave, Johnnie Jackson made five changes in the team against Cheltenham Town at the Jonny Rocks stadium.   New signing Chuks Aneke started alongside Mason Burstow.  Perhaps the biggest surprise was the inclusion of Adam Matthews as wing back in the 3-5-2 formation.

DJ put in  a good cross after build up by Morgan and it led to an early Charlton corner after a good run from Matthews.  

DJ got an elbow straight in the face and a yellow card was awarded.

After an outstanding throw from Matthews, Charlton won a second corner.  Charlton tried to maintain the pressure, but the ball was cleared.

A third corner came within the opening ten minutes, but it was saved off the line from an Inniss header.

Cheltenham threatened from a good free kick, but the ball went over. Charlton almost conceded, but Henderson made a great save from May.   Cheltenham then got the better of Charlton's defence again and Henderson was called into action.   After a bright opening ten minutes, Charlton were not getting to the ball first.  Nlundulu was a nuisance to the Charlton defence.

Famewo required treatment after a blow in the face and was off for a Cheltenham free kick.  Somehow Cheltenham failed to score through Wright from a yard out and DJ cleared the ball over the bar.  The corner was comfortable for Henderson.

Good work by DJ led to a Charlton corner.   The keeper was able to catch Morgan's effort.

Charlton are always vulnerable just before half time.  After Inniss made an error, Henderson saved from Wright who was able to get into space but the Southampton loan player Nlundulu was able to pounce on the ball palmed out by Henderson to make it 1-0 on 42 minutes.

Aneke got a yellow card.   It was very close to 2-0, but Henderson was able to save from May in time added on.

Charlton had looked disjointed, Cheltenham had had the better of the chances, as many as five or six of them.

Steve Brown said we were really poor after a super start.   We were lucky to be going in only 1-0, Henderson had made two or three excellent saves.   Chuks and Mason had struggled to press.  The midfield were 30 yards behind.   He had been expecting a much more solid performance, instead we had lost confidence and belief.   We had created only one good opportunity and we were vulnerable at the other end.  He couldn't remember a worthwhile challenge.

HT: 1-0

DJ was replaced by Blackett-Taylor at half time.   Aneke fashioned a chance, but it came off the bar, giving the sold out away end something to sing about.

Morgan advanced but was tripped giving Charlton a free kick in a dangerous position, but they were unable to take advantage.

Matthews put in a cross and Lee's effort was saved.   Charlton were still getting out muscled too easily in places.   It was too easy for Cheltenham to get from their third to ours and a May volley was not far wide.  

A shot from Aneke was saved by the keeper.  Matthews was taken off and Leko came on in the hope that he would show more forward intent.

Cheltenham had a free header from a corner but it went wide.   Charlton were struggling to create anything.

Inniss did well to get an important tackle in.   The ball was too far ahead of Aneke for him to turn it in.

Thomas was given acres of space but put the ball over.    Dobson made way for Gilbey.  

Leko won a corner in time added on, but it was cleared.   Inniss headed the ball back across and Aneke got an equaliser from a header for Charlton.

Steve Brown said that under the circumstances it was a great point.  It stopped the rot.  We were much improved second half.  We did look exposed defensively.  It was a big step forward for the morale of the team.  

Chuks Aneke said he was delighted that he'd made his mark.   It had been hard fought.  'I felt good today, I felt strong.'

Steve Brown said the whole team would benefit from Chuks holding the ball up.  He got into some very good areas in the six yard box.  It was good he got through 90 minutes.

Johnnie Jackson said: 'Football's a mad game, we haven't been getting what we deserved the last few games.  Today we didn't deserve anything and we got an equaliser in the last minute.  A point on the road is never terrible.  Credit to Albie Morgan for his delivery from the set piece.   We need to use that as a little springboard, time for us to get some good work in on the training pitch.'

Giving his assessment of the 'smash and grab' point Jacko said that it was a flat performance and Charlton had been better at Crewe.  They lost the individual battles at Cheltenham:

Cheltenham Town are investigating reports of homophobic abuse at the game:

Sunday 9 January 2022

'Unlucky' injury hit Charlton

Johnnie Jackson is proud of the performance and the players but also disappointed after today's 0-1 exit from the FA Cup at the hands of Norwich:

It was the third 1-0 defeat in a row, but The Guardian thought that the Addicks were unlucky:

It was Charlton who had the better of the first half, with Elliott Lee curling just wide from distance before his cross from the left was fired over by Jonathan Leko.

Dean Smith made a triple change at half time, bringing on Brandon Williams, Rashica and Pukki in an attempt to change the momentum of the game.

It was Charlton who went close again next though, with the impressive Lee having a shot from a tight angle well saved by Krul.

The game looked to be drifting towards extra time before Pukki was released down the right, drew goalkeeper Henderson and crossed for Rashica to finish into an open net for his maiden Norwich goal.

Purrington's added-time header from six yards that hit the bar after Norwich failed to clear a free-kick into the box was the closest Charlton came to equalising.

Attendance was 13,825, 2,260 from Norfolk.

Johnnie Jackson has provided an update on the injuries to Conor Washington and Jayden Stockley:

Friday 7 January 2022

A 'real balancing act' for Canaries

Norwich City have a number of players returning from injury and illness Sunady's cup tie with Charlton.  Manager Dean Smith admits it is a 'real balancing act', but hints that he may see the game as an opportunity to give minutes to players who haven't been in action since early December:

The Norwich City preview notes that in encounters between the two teams Charlton have won more games than Norwich:

Jacko has also been interviewed by the Evening Standard

Wednesday 5 January 2022

The charge sheet against Norwich

VOTV editor Rick Everitt looks at the history of Charlton's encounters with Norwich City and how they have influenced our current fate:

An unfortunate 0-1 home defeat to the Canaries in a game we had dominated effectively ended our chances of automatic promotion to the Championship in 2010 and we then failed in the play offs.

The Rickster writes: 'Failure to return to the Championship in 2010 caused the old board of directors, led by Richard Murray, to disintegrate. It had been badly split since early 2008, when Derek Chappell removed Murray from the chair of the plc with the unanimous support of his colleagues, which also led to the resignation of chief executive Peter Varney.'

'However, in 2009, the directors, including Murray, had clubbed together to inject £7m in one last effort at stabilising the club. Many of them were barely on speaking terms with him by then, but after the play-off defeat of 2010 the money, and patience, had run out. They all wrote off the rest of their debts, together with the notional value of shares held by fans, and left Murray to sell the club on, which he did on December 31st to Tony Jimenez and Michael Slater, although it turned out to be a bit more complicated than that.'

'All of the ownership travails of the last decade follow from that sale.'

Saturday 1 January 2022

Another 1-0 defeat

Charlton started 2022 by losing 0-1 at home to Wycombe, Jacko's first home defeat.  It was an often disappointing performance by the Addicks although the Chairboys defended well.  Charlton have dropped to 13th below Burton Albion.

Gareth Ainsworth was not with his Wycombe team because of Covid.

The first Charlton foul and Clare was given a yellow card by the card happy referee.  The opening twenty minutes was cagey with not a lot of chances.   It had been stop start and lacking in quality.  Charlton had not been able to use their width.

Charlton won their first corner as the half hour approached, but it was unproductive.  

A foul on Gilbey led to a yellow card for Mehmeti.   Gilbey tripped himself up in subsequent play, but he was the player making the most impression on the game.

A Wycombe counter attack saw the ball taken past Dobson by McCleary who was lost by Gilbey and the Chairboys took the lead through Vokes on 35 minutes.  Up to that point neither side had really troubled the keeper in a tight game.  There was no doubt that Charlton were missing Stockley.   Davison was lacking confidence and making a couple of mistakes.

Lee put in a great effort, making use of space between two defenders and trying to curl the ball in at the far post, but Stockdale made the save.   It gave Charlton fans some encouragement, but it was the first shot on or off target.

In the three minutes added on Wycombe won a corner, but Charlton were able to mount a final attack without result.

Steve Brown said it was a very frustrating 45 minutes, we knew we were going to come up against a very strong defensive side.  Everything we'd tried had not come off.   Structurally Wycombe were very good.  The Lee shot was after we had kept the ball for three or four passes and retained our composure.  Our passing had been sloppy.   We had not done enough as an attacking side, the front two had not linked up.   Sometimes you get players who are too similar.   We needed to spend more time trying to create.

HT: Addicks 0, Chairboys 1

A half time change was needed and Davison, who had had a poor first half, was taken off to be replaced by Leko as Charlton shot towards the Covered End.

Wycombe had a chance just 40 seconds in.   Pearce was caught in possession but former Addicks striker Hanlan could only strike straight at MacGillivray.

Wycombe won an early corner after the ball came off Jason Pearce, otherwise it might have found the net.  Clare cleared the ball away.

Gilbey fed Leko but the ball came off the post as Charlton showed more urgency.   Wycombe made a substitution in response.

The game became more stretched as Charlton pressed for an equaliser, but Wycombe took every opportunity to slow the game down.

There was a booking for Wheeler, the Wycombe sub, who pulled Gilbey back.   A slick move between Dobson and Leko fed Lee who saw his shot charged down.   Grimmer made a goal saving tackle to deny Leko in the box on 70 minutes.

McCleary shot straight at MacGillivray, missing a chance to put the game to bed.

A powerful shot by Washington after a great run went just past the post.

DJ came off and was replaced by Burstow on 84 minutes.   Dobson came off to loud applause.  Inniss came on and went straight up front.  Charlton were struggling for possession in the closing minutes. Pearce had to put the ball away for a corner.

Five minutes were added on which was not very generous given that Grimmer went down with a head injury.   McCleary got a yellow card.   A free kick by Lee was punched clear by the keeper.   Stockdale went down hurt in his goal.

Charlton got a last chance free kick, but it did not lead to a goal with the ball cleared off the line.

The pundits

Scott Minto said that Wycombe were a well oiled machine.   Steve Brown said we needed to move them around more than we did.   They forced us into what they wanted to do.   You lose match sharpness in a short period of time.   They are well drilled when they defend.   We weren't great going forward, we missed Jayden.  They stuck to the task defensively throughout, they never allowed us an easy opportunity, we were always under pressure.  They always had a defender in the right area. The first ten minutes of the first half was our best period, but then we went back to struggling again.  We didn't do enough to break them down.  None of the chances in the second period you could have said 'That should have been a goal.'

Johnnie Jackson said he did not think it was a game we should have lost, in the second half we looked the most likely, pretty much one way traffic, not saying that we necessarily did enough to win it.  I thought we stood up to their threats for 95 per cent of the game.   Most of the game's not enough, you have to do it all the game. McCleary produced a little bit of quality, gave them something to cling on to.  We didn't test the goalie enough.  A draw would have been more than fair.  It was a frustrating day.  I can't fault the attitude of my team, the quality, the decision-making in the final third, you can look at that.   The games are going to come thick and fast.