Scrappy win at Oldham to put Charlton in top two?

Last season's 14th February defeat at Oldham was a low point among many low points in Charlton's miserable season.

It came in the middle of that depressing January to March run which saw one win in fourteen games. It was a cold Tuesday night. The game was watched by just 2,946 people. Oldham scored in the fourth minute and Charlton lacked the guile or spirit to manage an equaliser in the following eighty six. It was a long way home afterwards for Charlton fans who had loyally made the trip.

On the whole, however, we like playing Oldham. That game was the first time they had beaten us in 13 attempts since the opening day 5-2 thrashing they gave us in 1994. Our record against them is very good - 21 wins, 20 draws and only 9 defeats.

And it would seem that we are playing them this Saturday at a very good time as they have lost all six competitive games they have played this season. At Boundary Park Oxford and Wigan have beaten them 0-2,  and Burton prevailed 2-3 in the League Cup. Away from home they have lost 1-2 at Blackpool and Walsall. In the Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday they managed to hold Port Vale 0-0 but lost 2-4 on penalties. The only silver lining is that, despite losing at Blackpool last Saturday, they moved off the bottom of the table thanks to Northampton's inferior goal difference.

Charlton fans will remember their manager John Sheridan from that extraordinary May night in 1987 at St Andrews. It was his deflected free kick (harshly given in the first place) that put Leeds United in front in the play-off play-off. Little did we know as the ball flew past Bob Bolder that the goal was merely setting the scene for Peter Shirtliff.

Sheridan is extremely downcast at the current situation. He says he needs five or six new players before the window closes and he emphasised the poverty of his resources by only naming three substitutes at Blackpool. Interviewed this week he was reminiscent of Robinson after the 3-4 defeat at Shrewsbury last season. You may recall that, when asked what he could do to improve matters, Robinson was reduced to repeating "Nothing" four times with increasing desperation. Sheridan is equally nonplussed by the inconsistency of his players:

"There's lots of positives to take from [the defeat] but we've only had a drink and sat down for 10 minutes, so why am I watching a different team in the second half?"

Charlton will be without da Silva and Magennis who are on international duty and Lee Novak who has left for Scunthorpe. It looks like eleventh hour loan signing Joe Dodoo from Glasgow Rangers will have to hit the ground running and make his debut up front.

In the thirteen games since that 5-2 drubbing in 1994 this fixture has failed to provide more than two goals, so a goal rush is not predicted. However, with expectations running high after victories at Rotherham and Crawley, anything but a win will be seen as disappointing. With Magennis or Novak playing we would have expected a 0-1 away win but Dodoo is an unknown quantity. With Wigan not playing this weekend it is possible that Charlton could be in the top two by 5pm on Saturday.

Tickets are £20 for adults.