Monday, 28 February 2011

Abbott leaves

Pawel Abbott has joined Polish side Ruch Chorzow on a free transfer. Based in Upper Silesia, it is one of the more successful sides in Poland, having won the national championship 14 times. It was always the intention of the former Polish Under-21 player to return to his native heath when the right opportunity arose.

An additional attraction is that he has the possibility of being involved in the Polish set up for the European championship to be held there and in Ukraine. The move was possible because the Polish transfer window does not close until Monday.

Like many current Charlton players, Abbott got a high score for commitment and a lower one for skill. However, there were those who thought he could turn a game. I was more sceptical.

Carlisle striker's theatrics

Those going to The Valley tomorrow night to see Charlton play Carlisle United may be in for another display of hoofball, but they can expect some theatrics from Carlisle striker Francois Zoko: Zoko

Charlton will be eager to end their losing run and get back in play off contention, but the lack of creativity in midfield remains a worry. For my money, Semedo does his job as a defensive midfielder well. He may not have the class of his Premiership equivalents, but he is good enough at this level. Similarly, Jackson has an ability to suddenly appear in the box and score.

Of the rest, Racon shows flashes of quality, but they happen too infrequently. He is, however, better than McCormack. I am never clear what he thinks he is doing in the game. Reid was welcomed when he joined the ranks, but his pace is offset by the lack of a final product. Wagstaff can sometimes deliver goals and assists, but all too infrequently.

Last year we had Bailey, a genuine box-to-box player, if somewhat petulant; Shelvey, although we didn't see that much of him; and Sam who, although mercurial and inconsistent, could sometimes deliver.

We badly need a creative midfield playmaker who can help us control the game.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Brakes accelerate

Leamington maintained their play-off challenge with a convincing 3-1 victory over Banbury United this afternoon. It was a rather scrappy midfield battle in the opening exchanges, but then Brakes stepped up a gear. Husband had a crack at goal and a good cross created a chance for Corbett that he was unable to take.

Tony Breeden in the Brakes goal had to make a good save from David Stone. Corbett had another chance which he was unable to convert. Then with the Banbury keeper on the floor, there was a goalmouth scramble with Alex Taylor who had come on as a sub putting the ball in the net just before the break.

Half time: Brakes 1, Puritans 0

Tuohy took advantage of a move from a free kick to put Brakes 2-0 ahead, and did he celebrate! Then new young signing Jacob Blythe showed no hesitation as he advanced on goal and chipped the keeper to make it 3-0. The ball was then cleared off the Banbury line, before Stone scored a consolation with well-worked link up play by the Puritans.

Brakes keeper Tony Breeden likes to play in outfield and there were chants of 'Tony Breeden, on the wing' as he advanced from his area. However, in a subsequent move, he was fortunate not to get sent off when he handled outside his area.

Banbury were solid in defence, but Brakes had enough confidence and fluency in their play to break them down.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Charlton ground into the mud

Charlton were ground into the mud of the Meadow Lane pitch as they lost 1-0 to Notts County tonight. County went ahead with a lucky goal just after half time and Bradley Wright-Phillips missed a penalty. Paul May's full report soon.

Charlton made three changes against Notts County, reports Erith Addick Paul May from the Meadow Lane swamp. Anyinsah replaced Pawel Abbott up front, Francis returned at right back with Carl Jenkinson moving over to the left and Racon returned in midfield.

County put in an early cross through Regan as Charlton switched off but fortunately no one was there to connect. The Addicks won a free kick 30 yards out after Eccleston was fouled, but Jackson shot high and wide. Semedo put in a great left to right ball which Francis ran on to, but there was no one available to connect
Jenkinson defended well and won a free kick. County were being given too much space down their left to get crosses in. Elliot had to push the ball away to his left. Elliot then had to clear on the edge of his area as County kept up the pressure.

Eccleston advanced on the right but Nelson gathered the cross. Nelson then came 30 yards out and poleaxed Anyinsah, but he got away with a yellow card despite it being a goal scoring opportunity. The free kick went straight into the wall. Anyinsah had two attempts, but they were both blocked.

Jackson went down the left, Nelson gathered the cross, lost it but then grabbed it. Eccleston went down the right but the shot from Wright-Phillips went over the top. An effort from Anyinsah a long way out created the first corner of the game. Eccleston had to receive some treatment after a challenge.

A shot came in from Gow and was pushed round the post by Elliot who claimed well from the corner. The defence was opened up well, but Wright-Phillips shot straight at the keeper. Semedo put in a good ball over the top, but the shot by Eccleston was rushed and poor although he had time.

Gow shot from distance but Elliot gathered well. A sliced clearance by Jenkinson led to the second corner for the home side. Francis stabbed it clear for a throw in near the corner flag.

Eccleston advanced, but Nelson just managed to block it. Francis had to hook away a long ball forward. One minute was added on.

The teams trooped off to make way for the half-time mud wrestling for which the pitch was so well suited.

Half time: Magpies 0, Addicks 0

Wagstaff came on for Jackson with Eccleston wide on the left. County applied early pressure, but got caught offside. It started to rain. A free kick led to the ball wriggling in to the corner of the net off Bishop’s backside and hit the foot of Francis to put County ahead from a scrappy goal on 48 minutes.

Jenkinson did well on the left finding some grass but Wagstaff shot at Nelson. Anyinsah won a corner for Charlton, but Dailly bundled it over the bar. A foul on Anyinsah gave Charlton a penalty. But the effort by Wright-Phillips was tame and it was saved. He did not seem to think about the conditions.

Charlton tried to keep up the pressure. Lee Hughes came on for County. A cross by Wright-Phillips was blocked for a Charlton corner but it was unproductive. County won a corner but it ended in a goal kick for Charlton. Eccleston who had been less effective in the second half, and had been clattered early in the game, was replaced by Reid.

Elliot gathered at the second attempt from a free kick. Good work by the lively Wagstaff led to a Charlton corner but it was unproductive. Anyinsah won Charlton’s fifth corner. Reid’s shot went way over the top.

County took off Gow as they sought to protect their lead. Wright-Phillips was pushed over on the edge of the box, but the referee made no award. Charlton looked drained and tired and their game petered out. Elliot had to save to prevent County going 2-0 ahead in time added on. A free kick came into the box but was stabbed over by Wagstaff. The Addicks had lost their third game in a row.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Chris Powell interview

Sir Chris is interviewed in today's Sub-Standard. OK, I know you can find a copy on a tube seat near you, but for those of us further away it's of interest. Chris is interviewed by Mihir Bose whom I found a little self-important when he was on television, but it's a long interview: Chris

County strengthen squad

Notts County supremo and all round charm merchant Paul Ince has brought in players on loan from Chelsea and Burnley ahead of tomorrow night's televised clash against Charlton: County . Ince sees the loan moves as reflecting County's determination to become a Championship side.

Perhaps Charlton might venture into the loan market at some point because we badly need a creative midfielder.

On Sunday night Coventry Blaze lost to the Nottingham Panthers at the Skydome and one of the Panthers went by the name of Van Hoof. There are a few Charlton players it would be a suitable nickname for.

I am forecasting a 2-1 win for County.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Tight title race

It's a tight title race this year in the World's Smallest Football League. Former Radio Scilly sports show host Merryn Smith provides an update with exclusive photos from the Garrison Field stadium: Isles of Scilly

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Same old Charlton!

Nearly 25,000 people were recorded as having turned up at The Valley today. Those who had been away for a while would have seen the same old Charlton: a midfield lacking in creativity and unable impose themselves on the game and a defence prone to match losing errors. When we were 0-0 the Bloke Beside Me said that sooner or later the defence would make an error and so they did, or rather three of them. All that Bradley Wright-Phillips could do was score a consolation goal as the Addicks went down 1-3 to the Grecians.

Bradley Wright-Phillips drew an early save from the Exeter keeper. Duffy had to be withdrawn by Exeter on 10 minutes and there was a delay while Sercombe found his shin pads. Eccleston was looking lively and Johnnie Jackson won the Addicks a corner. Dailly defended well.

Eccleston advanced but the ball was cleared off the line for a Charlton corner, followed by a second. Good work by Abbott won Charlton a corner. In the four minutes added on, a good run by Fry won the Addicks a corner. Bradley Wright-Phillips got a yellow card for dissent after an Exeter free kick.

Exeter had never really threatened during the first half and we had had only one real chance.

Half time: Addicks 0, Grecians 0

Charlton opened the half with another corner, but once again it was unproductive. Tully got a yellow card for obstruction. Exeter won a corner which was taken short followed by a second. The game entered a phase of very open, end-to-end play. Carl Jenkinson won a corner for Charlton. Wright-Phillips made an attempt on goal. Johnnie Jackson caught sight of goal and put in an effot that was only just wide.

Exeter won a couple of corners in succession. Elliot pushed the ball out with both hands. On 63 minutes the unmarked Sercombe ran on to a good pass from Harley and the substitute blasted the ball into the back of the net.

Elliot had a tip an Exeter free kick round the post. McCormack was taken off and replaced by Racon. Doherty put in a weak back pass to Elliot and O'Flynn was able to slot the ball in an empty net. After O'Flynn was brought down by Elliot, the referee pointed to the spot and Tully converted.

Following a Charlton corner, the ball came back off the bar and Wright-Phillips showed no hesitation in finding the back of the net to score the consolation.

Match analysis

Ivy the Terrible has awarded the Silver Bone to Carl Jenkinson on his Valley debut. It wasn't a perfect performance: there was some naivety and at least one poor cross, but he snuffed out the Grecians in the first half and got forward well in the second. Elliot did not come out quickly enough for the second goal and gave away a penalty for the third. Dailly was solid enough for much of the match, but one wonders if he tires. Doherty had a good game with some excellent defensive headers until the howler that led to the second goal. Fry was energetic and pushed forward well, but all too often he cannot complete a simple pass. McCormack had a poor game from one or two flurries forward. Jackson was one of the better players and had one decent attempt on goal. Semedo provided some nice moves.
Eccleston had his moments, but too often he was left to do too much on his own, he needed more support. Abbott did his best and he was often being held back, but his ball control with his feet is often not good.
Wright-Phillips showed once again that he has an eye for goal.
Racon was an improvement on McCormack, he got forward well and provided some good passes, something often lacking in the side. Reid tried to get involved, but didn't have a great impact. Wagstaff came on too late to have any chance of making a real difference.

Hiss of the Match This goes to 'Day Glo' man, Exeter goalkeeper Ben Hamer for being visually offensive. Having worn a pink outfit in the first half, he decided to model an even more revolting lime green number in the second.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Bring on the Grecians

The Exeter perspective on tomorrow's match is to be found here: Grecians

Some suggestions for success tomorrow:
1. Keep the ball on the ground as much as possible. We can't reach the standards of Arsenal v, Barcelona, but we can try a passing game.
2. Midfield should not go awol but should try and provide service to the forwards.
3. Try and defend at set pieces, it's when we're most vulnerable. Hartlepool got one corner on Tuesday and scored from it.
4. The defence should try not to panic when they see balls coming into the box. Don't hoof them away, try and pass to a Charlton player.
5. Try and start the game with an upbeat tempo.

Wet weather will not make for ideal playing conditions, but I am going for 2-1 to the Addicks.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Winning run comes to an end

Neither side dominated in the early exchanges, reports Paul May from a chilly Victoria Road, although Abbott could have made more of a good ball from Francis. There were too many long balls from both sides as the wind picked up a little. Francis put a decent ball in, but the keeper Scott Flinders coped well.

Hartlepool put in a decent attack, but in the end McCormack claimed the ball for Charlton. The home side won a free kick on the edge of the Charlton penalty area which they tried to take quickly. The ball came off the bar and was then scrambled in by Monkhouse to give Hartlepool the lead on 13 minutes. Once again Charlton showed themselves to be vulnerable at set pieces.

Francis did not distinguish himself in the face of a Hartlepool attack. A clumsy challenge by Fry right on the edge of the penalty area conceded another free kick. This time it was well saved by Elliot. Charlton had a chance, but Jackson drove the ball over the bar from 15 yards out.

The rain started to come down. Charlton kept losing possession. Collins deprived Eccleston as he advanced. Hartlepool threatened again, but Elliot was able to make the save. Doherty tackled well to deal with an attack. Bradley Wright-Phillips went down.

Chris Powell looked frustrated at the standard of Charlton’s play. As half time approached, Sweeney put a shot in, Elliot parried it out and the second effort went inches wide. Hartlepool had worked hard, but it was a poor performance by Charlton. Wright-Phillips advanced to win the first corner of the game. McCormack’s corner led to a throw in. Charlton got a free kick 30 yards out after Wright-Phillips was fouled. The free kick went out for a goal kick with no one making the back post run.

Half time: Hartlepool 1, Addicks 0

Good patient build up play by Charlton led to a strike from Wright-Phillips. Hartlepool broke, Charlton cleared, but the home side came back. Francis fell into the dugout and needed treatment. He came back on, but was holding his lower back and then his knee. He was replaced by Carl Jenkinson.

Nine minutes into the half, a good diagonal ball was put into Abbott who advanced and Eccleston put the ball in the back of the net to make it 1-1. A cross came in from Hartlepool, but it was put just pass the post.

Hartlepool applied some more pressure on the left. There was a call for a corner, but Charlton got a free kick. Hartlepool won a corner off Fry. They got a free header on the back post and Liddle put it in the back of the net to make it 2-1 on 62 minutes. Once again Charlton fell to a set piece.

McCormack was taken off in favour of Reid. Dailly defended well. Fry tackled Sweeney well. A free kick taken by Reid was unproductive. Hartlepool won a free kick off Dailly in a dangerous position. Elliot was able to claim but Collins clattered into him to stop him releasing the ball early. Collins received a yellow card.

Charlton applied some pressure but Flinders was able to save. The Addicks won a free kick in a promising position. It led to a corner taken by Reid, but Hartlepool eventually broke. Jenkinson went in with both feet with a challenge and was given a yellow card. It could have been red.

Five minutes were added on. A free kick from Reid led to a Charlton corner. Reid took it and it went into the side netting.

Chris Powell’s winning run came to an end in front of 167 dedicated Addicks.

Chris Powell wants to dip into loan pool

With Charlton plagued by injury worries as they head to Hartlepool, Chris Powell wants to dip into the loan pool for additional players: Loans

I am assuming that Bessone will not be available tonight. Apparently there are also injury concerns about Wagstaff. He was taken straight to hospital after being withdrawn at half time with a head injury, but is thought to be fit for tonight. Dailly took a clattering late in the game on Saturday, but the warhorse is thought to have recovered. However, Anyinsah and Benson are still out.

One could start with Abbott and Wright-Phillips up front with Eccleston playing on the right, even though it is not his favoured position.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Hartlepool supremo keeps faith in defence

Hartlepool supremo Mick Wadsworth is keeping faith with his defence for the clash against Charlton tomorrow night despite them leaking four goals on Saturday: Hartlepool

It is mid-week evening away matches at the likes of Hartlepool that will decide whether we can achieve an automatic promotion place.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Chris Powell's barmy army

This was the chant of the Covered End towards the end of today's game against Peterborough United which saw Chris Powell extend his winning run as manager with a 3-2 win. It didn't move us up the table as the teams around us won.

In the Rose of Denmark before the game I met the Blackheath Addick and his charming partner Suzanne, as well as the Swedish Addick. I suspected there would be plenty of goals and chose 3-2 in the sweepstake, as did three other people, so the result was hardly a surprise.

Charlton were woeful in the first half. They did not manage a shot on goal and it was no surprise when Peterborough went 1-0 ahead after 28 minutes. The Charlton midfield had gone awol and the forwards were getting very little service. Some boos were heard as the half time whistle went.

The half started with three Charlton corners, but then Peterborough made a break in which McCormack was at fault. A Peterborough corner saw the ball subsequently go dangerously across the front of the Charlton goal. Peterborough were adopting a very direct style of play, although Bessone also tried a direct run down the centre of the pitch. Charlton were having difficulty in holding on to the ball. Too many of their passes were directionless. I wrote down 'Think!'

Elliot made a great save in which the post came to his aid. Posh captain George Boyd got a yellow card for a relatively innocuous foul. Charlton won a free kick in a promising position just outside the area, but it was unproductive. Posh continued to be very fast on the counter attack. The referee evened things up by giving Bessone a yellow card for a minor offence.

A smart series of moves on the left saw Peterborough score their opening goal through Lee Tomlin. It was hardly against the run of play.

Referee Mr Webb went down in a collision with a Peterborough player. He rolled in agony on the pitch. The stretcher was called for and he was taken off with a splint on his ankle.

Peterborough won a free kick on the edge of the area, but a confident Elliot punched it out. Four minutes of time were added on, but despite more poor play from McCormack and a Peterborough corner, Charlton survived without conceding what would have been a fatal second goal.

Half time: Addicks 0, Posh 1

At half time Chris Powell took off the anonymous Wagstaff and brought on Pawel Abbott who provided an inspired performance.

Peterborough won an early corner and the ball went dangerously along the goalline, but no one was able to connect with it. Bradley Wright-Phillips picked up a yellow card.

The match turned some twelve minutes in the second half. First Johnnie Jackson was set up with an excellent cross from Francis and headed the ball in the net at the far post. Great work by Eccleston with a run and cross set up Bradley Wright-Phillips to make it 2-1 with a header a minute later.

Bessone was stretchered off and replaced by Fry. The game opened up with both sides winning corners, Bradley Wright-Phillips winning one for the Addicks.Then Pawel Abbott made it 3-1 with a volley which admittedly took a deflection.

Bradley Wright-Phillips went off to a warm ovation and was replaced by Kyel Reid. Peterborough won a couple of corners and then a free kick in a dangerous position. They brought on their free kick specialist Grant McCann to take it, but Elliot was up to the task.

Six minutes of time were added on. However, Posh got back in the game with their unmarked leading scorer Mackail-Smith putting the ball in the net from a corner. There were some nervous moments, but Charlton proved capable to the task in hand.

On the train two Addicks were having a conversation about values in Plutarch. Only at Charlton.

Match analysis

I saw the Blackheath Addick again at the end of the match and we were debating whether Abbott or Semedo was man of the match. Ivy the Terrible went for Pawel Abbott who put in his best shift ever for the club with some great dummies and dinking moves as he sowed confusion among the opposition.
Elliot made some great saves and could not have done anything about the two goals. Dailly made a few errors and some of his balls forward were of poor quality. He took a real clattering towards the end of the game. Doherty did the basics reasonably well, but conceded unnecessary fouls. Bessone made some good runs forward, although sometimes he should have laid the ball off. It was not good to see him strechered off. Francis put in some great crosses, providing the assist for the first goal. Semedo was always actively involved, dispossessing opposition players and making some good passes. McCormack did not have a great game and gave the ball away more than once. Jackson looked below par in the first half, possibly even tired, but he improved as the game went on. Wagstaff was just shut out of the game, making virtually no contribution and had to be withdrawn.
Eccleston has a nice turn of pace, is not afraid to take players on and created the second goal. Wright-Phillips kept up his goal a game record, showing that he is a good acquisition. Fry did what as required of him when he came on as a subsitute. Reid wasn't on for long, but didn't make a great impact, except in time added on.

Hiss of the Match This goes from Juneau the Soccer Cat to the Bloke Behind Me who proclaimed 'I don't see how we are ever going to score' just before the first goal went in.

Posh's class act can stun Addicks

That is the view of Peterborough manager Darren Ferguson as he prepares for this afternoon's clash at The Valley. I was surprised to read that he thought that Paul Benson was characterised by good movement as my view is that lack of movement is his problem: Ferguson

A review of Charlton players reveals resentment in Peterborough that Francis did not join them from Southend, while Racon is characterised as having 'tormented' them in the away fixture.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Posh out for revenge

Peterborough goalkeeper Joe Lewis has conceded 55 goals this season. Only Bristol Rovers have let in more this season. But the 'outstanding' goalkeeper is expected to be sold for a big profit this summer, at least according to 'Mr Big Posh Up' writing for the Peterborough Evening Telegraph. Now Posh are out for the revenge for the 5-1 defeat inflicted on them by Charlton at London Road: Posh

There seems to be a bit of 'our luck is bound to run out' mood among some Charlton bloggers. It's the first Charlton live game I will have seen for a while and I am confident that we will continue to deliver the goods. 2-1 to Charlton.

Nice piece here on Chris Powell: Powell

Wright-Phillps is not top striker

Bradley Wright-Phillips is not the top striker in League 1, according to Peterborough manager Darren Ferguson. Rather the accolade should go to Posh's Craig Mackail-Smith: Striker

Either way it means a striker with a double barrelled name holds top spot, although the other contender is from lowly Bristol Rovers.

Congratulations to the club on replacing the big screen. It was much missed.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Simply Super

Leamington maintained their play-off challenge with a 2-0 win over Swindon Supermarine at the New Windmill Ground last night. The No.2 club from Wiltshire's capital contained a number of former Rocking Robins and if anything they edged the first half which ended goalless.

Brakes accelerated immediately after half time and the Vice-Presidents' player of the month, James Rowe, put the ball in the net on 46 minutes. Luke Corbett put the match beyond doubt when he struck from the penalty spot on 77 minutes.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Three wins, three clean sheets

Three wins, three clean sheets. That's the record of Chris Powell as Charlton manager after the Addicks beat Yeovil 1-0 at Huish Park. Bradley Wright-Phillips did what he was paid for by scoring the winner on 64 minutes.

The first half was a rather dull affair with the Addicks battling against the strong wind. The only Addicks action of any consequence came with a Johnnie Jackson free kick that was tipped over.

In the second half Charlton's play improved. Francis fed Anyinsah who kept his balance well, Bradley Wright-Phillips had to stay onside but then he put the ball wide.

A Charlton counter attack led to a corner which was very well taken by Jackson. Wright-Phillips put in a good header to score.

Matt Fry nearly scored an own goal with an attempted clearance, but then on form Elliot somehow managed to stop the ball going in the net. Dailly appeared to handle the ball in the area, but the referee saw nothing. Local fans called for a second yellow for Doherty after an innocuous challenge.

Six minutes were added on, but Elliot was in calm command of his area, dealing with a free kick well and then punching the ball out through a ruck of players.

Charlton go 5th, there are four teams from 4th to 7th on 44 points, although Southampton could pull away from the pack if they win in the late kick off at Peterborough.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Yeovil hoping for point

Yeovil managed to beat Plymouth Argyle on Tuesday with a deflected goal which they admitted was lucky. With striker Dean Bowditch possibly injured after he limped off mid-week, I interpret the comments here as suggesting a defensive strategy and playing for the point, or perhaps getting lucky and winning by the odd goal: Glovers

We really need three points out of this encounter and I have enough confidence in Chris Powell and the team to say that we can nick it 2-1.

With Windsor & Eton going out of business during the week, Leamington's home fixture against them has been cancelled, putting more pressure on cash flow at the New Windmill Ground. Brakes have organised a friendly against Kettrin' but given falling attendances recently, it is uncertain whether it will pull in the crowds.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Glovers hunt buffalo

One of the challenges of being in League 1 is that you have to try and beat twice a season clubs whose main object in life is not to get relegated and whose season is enlivened by claiming a scalp off a big club.

Glovers supremo Terry Skiverton is in the hunt for Charlton's scalp: 'We're starting to hunt clubs above us that are much bigger than us - why not start to go after them? I think the best hunt is when you get the biggest buffalo, and it starts on Saturday with Charlton. We're going to sharpen our spears and our arrows and we are going to start chasing them now.'

On loan Bristol City keeper Stephen Henderson is performing well for the Glovers who beat Plymouth Argyle 1-0 in a scrappy mid-week encounter: Glovers

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Powell loses his rag

Interesting blog post on Chris Powell in which Matt Holland recalls him losing his temper on the pitch and in the dressing room: Powell

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

There's only one Bradley Wright-Phillips

The game started at a breathtaking pace, reports Philippa Nicholson from The Valley. Francis got in a good early cross, but it went just over the head of Anyinsah. Wagstaff made a great run and drew a brilliant save from the U’s keeper at the expense of a corner. Dailly had to make a clearance from Mooney at the other end and Elliot was obliged to concede a corner. The ball was played backed in and Elliot had to make a great one handed save. From the corner, Elliot launched the counter-attack and Williams had to save from Wright-Phillips but was not really tested by the new signing.

A low cross was turned away by Francis for a throw. A back pass by Francis caused danger with Mooney lurking nearby and Elliot had to use all his skills to take control of the situation. A U’s free kick was turned behind by Semedo for a corner. Wagstaff forced Perkins into a mistake as he tried for another corner.
An effort by Mooney was easily saved by Elliot. Bessone tried to make a run, but it was unproductive. Doherty made a rather loose back pass, but Elliot was able to clear. A shot by Gillespie went high and wide.

After the initial flurry, the game was quietening down. After a good start in the game, Francis made a series of errors.

A hanging cross from Gillespie was headed away well by Bessone. A dangerous effort by Colchester was caught by the offside flag, but the Charlton defence was not looking very coherent. Charlton put together a good string of passes, Francis put in a good cross and Jackson had a golden chance to put the ball in the back of the net, but he sliced it wide.

An attempt by Mooney to win a corner failed as Francis stood his ground well. A cross was dealt with well by Elliot. Semedo put in a hard tackle on Gillespie but was ruled to be entirely fair by referee Darren Sheldrake. Charlton advanced, but McCormack’s ball was poor.

Charlton kept up the pressure in a good spell, but it was unproductive. As half time approached, the match quietened down again. A curling shot came in and Elliot had to make an excellent save from Bond. The chance was set up by poor play by the Charlton defence.

Half time: Addicks 0, U’s 0

Williams was taken off because of an injury and replaced by Mark Cousins in the U’s goal. Semedo dealt well with a U’s attack and Charlton won a free kick from his forward ball after Anyinsah’s shirt was tugged. A U’s attack was caught by the offside flag with the Charlton defence slumbering.

Wagstaff advanced, but Anyinsah did not react quickly enough and Cousins was able to make a comfortable save. Semedo put in some good play but the first touch by Francis was poor. The U’s advanced but Elliot came out to make a good claim and threw the ball out well. Charlton kept up the pressure and had a good spell of possession, but it did not lead to anything. However, it roused the Addickted.

Anyinsah made a great run and won a throw. Colchester’s attacks were not penetrating as far as they did in the first half. Very much against the run of the play, Gillespie put the ball in the back of the net, but the referee awarded a free kick to Charlton for what appeared to be an offside, but it may have been an unfair challenge on Dailly that was the issue. He went across to talk to the assistant and they had a long conversation and the referee gave the goal. The fourth official got involved and came on to the pitch and Christian Dailly also intervened. The referee went for another chat with the assistant and reversed the decision to a free kick. Extraordinary scenes at The Valley!

In the end the decision was a dropped ball on the edge of the Charlton penalty area which was contested. Paul Benson came on in place of Anyinsah. Benson got in a cross and it was turned away for a corner. Cousins punched the ball away. Jackson forged back in, but the ball was cleared.

Bessone found space in the area, but was tackled well. Francis provided some good work. A superb overhead volley was scored by Bradley Wright-Phillips, the top scorer in League 1, t make it 1-0.

Izzett advanced, but McCormack tackled well at the expense of a corner. Dailly made a great header away. The U’s made a call for a penalty, but the referee ruled against them, disappointing the four hundred or so U’s supporters.

Colchester made a double substitution with Gillespie and Perkins taken off. Bessone was injured after an excellent debut and was replaced by Fry. Colchester were given a free kick in a dangerous position by the lino but the ball went straight to Elliot.

Colchester threatened again and the ball went inches past the post for a corner. The volley from Wordsworth sailed into the Jimmy Seed stand. Fry defended well as the U’s threatened and found Semedo who won a free kick. Wright-Phillips came off to a great ovation and was replaced by Nathan Eccleston.

Charlton had a free kick 25 yards out. Jackson’s effort went into the wall. Seven minutes were added on. It was frantic stuff. A shot from Mooney went into the side netting. Wordsworth had to make a great block to deny Charlton. The Addicks kept possession in the U’s half. Semedo, who had been first rate throughout, won a free kick which was wasted by Dailly. The U’s advanced, but Elliot punched clear. The keeper put a cross over the bar for a corner. The ball was cleared off the line by McCormack and the final whistle went.

Mooney heads for Valley

Former Addicks loan striker David Mooney will be in the Colchester United team heading for The Valley tonight. Mooney has some positive things to say about his time at Charlton: Mooney

Sodje dons kilt

Akpo Sodje has joined Hibernian on a free transfer: Sodje

The Leith club had hoped to bring in Daniel Bogdanovich from Sheffield United, but when he refused to don the kilt, turned to Sodje.

Hibernian recently expanded their Easter Road stadium, but have had trouble filling it as they struggle against relegation. Perhaps Sodje will turn out to be their secret weapon. Or perhaps not.