Accrington trip in doubt

Charlton supporters were left to bite their fingernails for another week when Accrington Stanley failed to beat Stevenage on Saturday, thus allowing Oxford United and Bristol Rovers to overtake them into the automatic promotion places from League 2.

A record crowd of 4,386 at The Wham Stadium saw Stanley hit the woodwork three times before the bitter news came through of a 92nd minute winner for Bristol Rovers against Dagenham & Redbridge. Accrington's point from their 0-0 draw was not to be enough.

Unless Stanley can battle their way through the play-offs we will now be denied our right to a wet Tuesday night in Accrington. They play their first leg at AFC Wimbledon next Saturday at 7.30pm and, if they can overcome our South London friends, they will face the winners of the other semi-final - Portsmouth or Plymouth in the final.

Legendary manager John Coleman said (without apparently any hint of irony) "For a club of this magnitude never to have been at Wembley - maybe it is written in the stars, maybe it is fate".

It is hard to imagine anyone apart from John Salvatore wanting to go to Plymouth next season but some Charlton fans might relish the short trip to Wimbledon, and it is true that many would want to salute the fledgling club's amazing achievement. Others might look forward to a trip down to Fratton Park and the many memories a game with Portsmouth would evoke. As a Supporters' Trust there is an argument that says we should be backing either of the supporter-owned outfits -  Wimbledon or Portsmouth.

But the true Charlton supporter should without doubt be backing Stanley and hoping for a midweek fixture up there in late November next season. It is the stuff t-shirts are made of.