Tag Archives: Charlton Athletic

AFC Wimbledon 2 Charlton Athletic 0 – A (Friendly) Match Report

Man, that was hot. I really wasn’t built for weather like that, and judging by the news that the club have already sold out initial stock of the new shirt in XXXL sizes, I can’t have been the only fatty suffering in those conditions. Fortunately, our all new professional Dons are a super fit  group of young men, and put on a fantastic show against… well I don’t want to use the description ‘League One opponents’, as Charlton supplemented their bare bones squad with a number of trialists and young players, and you would hope for their sake that the eleven they finally settle on to start their season show a lot more quality than those on display here, albeit in a glorified training game.

Still, you can only beat whats put in front of you, and the Dons own group of youngsters and trialists put in the sort of performance you just don’t expect to see at this early stage of pre-season, full of energy and understanding that belied the fact they had only been together for a couple of weeks. In fact, the scoreline could have been even more embarrassing for the visitors had the Dons put away a few more of their chances, especially in the first half.

After a slow start the Dons started to show intent, mainly through the front three of new skipper Danny Kedwell flanked by Luke Moore on the right and Main on the left. The new formation asks more questions of players like Jon Main, and it was a (pleasant) surprise to see him back helping out Michael Noone, the first half left back, on a number of occasions. Yet Main was also the Dons prime threat, having a couple of chances breaking down the left channel, the best of which appeared to be heading in despite Charlton keeper Elliot until a desperate goalline clearance from an unidentified Charlton player (I was at the other end of the field – as per usual!) hacked the ball off the line.

The first half was the slower of the two, and Charlton should really have lead going into the interval (although this would have been harsh on the Dons first half XI). Former Reading forward Gunnar Thorvaldsson nodded past Jack Turner, only for his shot to hit Brett Johnson covering on the line with the entire goal to aim at from six yard out.

The Dons really picked up the pace in the second half, helped by the introduction of Andre Blackman and Christian Jolley down the left. Blackman looked very much like the most naturally talented footballer on the field, which isn’t a surprise as if it hadn’t been for his lack of discipline he would still be at Bristol City. Hell, he would probably still be at one of the Premier League clubs that kicked him out instead of preparing for a season in the BSP with the Dons. Jolley, on the other hand, is all about pace and enthusiasm. He may spend a little time on the bench next season, and when he does get on he might well be the poster boy for the phrase ‘the Inconsistency of Youth’, but in the long run he has the building blocks to turn into a real gem for us.

Yet it wasn’t Blackman or Jolley that immediately caught my eye, it was big Lee Minshull in midfield. You sensed most Dons fans are wishing him to do well, he really is the sort of imposing midfielder we so desperately needed last year and I found myself wishing for it to work out for him over the next year.  After an unfortunate injury to Mark Nwokeji (which fortunately doesn’t seem to be as bad as first feared while being carted off on a stretcher) Minsull completed the game up front.

Before this, the Dons had taken the lead. A set piece fell to former Barnet captain Ismail Yakubu in the box, who switched sides with some clever footwork only to telegraph his shot a little, allowing Elliot to make a save. Fortunately for the Dons, trialist Javonne Morroy was on hand to tap home and give the home side a richly deserved lead. And it was Minshull who doubled the tally, after some great work on the left by Jolley and Blackman. Jolley set Blackman free, and the full-back blistering pace took him away from his faultering marker. Cutting in from the left it seemed likely Blackman would finish himself, but instead he intelligently squared for Minshull to crash home at the far post and put the game beyond the visitors.

All in, a convincing victory, and a morale booster at this early stage. Next weeks visit of Millwall will be a tougher test, as will the arrival of the Arsenal kids a week before the season starts  But you get the impression we will learn more about our rebuilt squad in games such as Maidenhead or Woking (ironically mentioned here as I won’t be able to attend either…), and there is a lot of hard work before Southport. Perhaps all yesterday did was settle the nerves of those who had seen a lot of names they han’t heard before this sumer come in, when other clubs in our division are spending thousands on proven talent. The amount of quality floating round as free agents at the moment suggests this might just be the right time to put together a team on a buget, the quality of some of our triallists yesterday showed that – especially Fraser Franks at centre half.

To sum up – the Dons are back!

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Charlton Athletic Preview 10.7.10

I’d love to be one of those super-cool fans who can spend the summer casually skipping through stories of new signings, pick up their season ticket, etc, and yet still resist all temptation to attend pre-season games. If I averaged over five pre-season games a year in my football watching life (and I’m fairly sure that’ll be about right…)  then I should have been to over a hundred by now… and the number of them that have featured any kind of entertainment can be counted on one hand. Of someone who has been involved in an accident involving a blender. Yet I never learn… I’m actually pissing my pants with excitement about tomorrow.  

It being a Friday today I treated myself to catching the train to work. I cant do it every day, it’ll bankrupt me for a start, so I will have to put up with the 24 mile round trip on the bicycle most days, which certainly gives me a new-found appreciation of the legends that are Velo and Blue… that and the fact that my saddle has normally split me to the naval by Thursday evening… So today I had the double treat of (1) not having one of my daily violent road rage exchanges with White Van Man while trying to traverse Copsem Lane, and (2) getting that fleeting glimpse of Kingsmeadow as the train rumbles through Berrylands. It’s still nowhere near as good as the thrill I got from spying the floodlights between Wimbledon and Earlsfield all those years ago, but it’ll do for now… 

 I didn’t make it down to Meet The Manager last night and haven’t had a chance to speak to anyone who was there, although its fair to say Rob produced a fairly comprehensive write-up over on SW19s,,, awww who am I kidding? I never used to turn up for that kind of thing when I lived ten minutes down the road… and bear in mind Mr Dunford is a professional journalist whereas I normally write this guff when I get a break from helping people fix their showers, I think it’s better to leave this kind of thing to him anyway…  

And as if to confirm the current part-time nature of this blog I won’t be going to Sandhurst tonight either. I’m still getting used to living in the middle of where I consider to be ‘the sticks’. I could have got a train from Deepdene station direct, but then I live three miles from Deepdene station and didn’t really fancy the cycle down a dark A25 at 11pm. Not that it wouldn’t be worth the trip, of course. I would recommend getting down to Bottom Meadow if you’re in the area tonight, and checking out the young players as I’m planning on doing later in pre-season (when we announce some more reserve friendlies of course…) . I think its fair to say the boys on trial in the squad tonight will more than likely be in the frame for a spot in the reserves rather than first team… otherwise Terry would have found room for them in one of the two Dons sides talking the field tomorrow – the one that starts the game, or the one that finishes it…  

So far I haven’t discussed our opponents, and it’s not as if we’re playing someone like Woking (with no due respect…). Charlton could, perhaps should, have been back in The Championship for next season. It’s no great loss to us of course, as the eventual playoff winners Millwall visit us next Friday, but to be honest, they’re a Championship club in everything but name… and there are kids of about 14 wandering around who think of Charlton more as a Premier League club fallen on hard times. Not that this is going to be a huge consolation to their supporters of course…  

There has already been a hell of a lot written about our current relationship with Charlton, and especially the two lads who will apparently join us for the season, and while I don’t want to go over the top on the implications, its worth keeping in mind Charlton’s status in the game. This is no ordinary League One side we are collaborating with.  

As for the game, what am I expecting? Well, Charlton have only been back in training for a week, and will themselves be fielding a team laced with trialists looking to impress. It’s a strange time, early pre-season, and for that reason the game certainly isn’t beyond Wimbledon… for what it’s worth. What would be nice to see would be a decent performance, signs of cohesion between the new signings – even if that’s just in terms of team spirit. A diamond or two to emerge from the half-dozen or so trialists would be a bonus, especially if they could fit into the budget in terms of their wage demands…  

And you will notice I haven’t mentioned the team too much, in fact I havent even mentioned most of them, and there was purpose to that. We need to hit the ground running in five weeks time at Southport, in what is a tough division. I would imagine outsiders would see it as slightly surreal in fact… But while certain other teams in our division spend their far Eastern windfalls with two-year ‘promotion-or-bust’ deadlines, we can get on with the job of building a team for the future on a strict budget. Because come next April, if Terry and the team can get this right, there might not be as big a gap between ourselves and those at the top of the table than some people think.  

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Addicks Lined Up For Pre-Season Cash-In

Ah, the election is over once more… That one day when politics is where it’s at, I stay up until 2.30am watching the early results come in, only to wake up dribbling on the sofa at 6.20 to find its all changed, and yes your worse fears/great hope has come to pass… and those two options aren’t mutually exclusive by the way. Sadly it seems like the end for Scottish Cyclops Gordon Brown, I being one of the few remaining people in the country to have any sympathy for him… I don’t read the papers you see, plus he seems to share my ‘spend it today, cos someone might try to take it off you tomorrow’ budgeting principle.

Hopefully I might have enough copper coinage left to gain entry to the Dons first pre-season game of the season, now it has been announced that top League One/struggling Championship side Charlton Athletic will kick off the pre-season build up on Saturday 10th July, shortly before England kick off their World Cup third-place playoff against the Ivory Coast. This marks a departure from our previous tactic of low-key preparations, and is a step up from Wycombe and Brighton last year, especially as both Charlton and Millwall have promised to bring over a first team squad.

Another positive step is the news that not only are they paying a visit, but each club is being tipped to leave a promising youngster with us for a season. We have been linked with Charlton’s young defender Yado Mambo, and Millwall forward John Marquis, both who enjoyed loan spells in the division below last term. A planned long tem loan agreement will suit all parties, especially the Dons who got their fingers burned last year with some increasingly desperate looking short-term deals, and a year-long arrangement would make sense at a club who on the whole sign players on yearly contracts. Hopefully Terry Brown won’t have to shuffle around looking for last-minute deals like his Prime Minister namesake…

Anyway, no news on any away pre-season games at present, except for some word of mouth gossip that one of them is a bit tasty – and I’ve genuinely heard no more than that, so don’t write in… Naturally whenever there is any official news, I’ll be on hand no more than twenty-four hours later to comment…

Heres what Charlton have to say about the fixture…

http://www.cafc.co.uk/newsview.ink?nid=36078&newstype=n

…although either they are a bit on the slow side when it comes to our current squad, or they have broken news of some extremely surprising signings…

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