More fun at The Cherry Red Records Stadium?


It is hardly an enticing prospect.

On the coldest Saturday of the season we are invited to travel across London to the very basic facilities of the CRR Stadium to witness our manager being berated by the delightful locals about a quarrel which is not ours.

Charlton's defeat last weekend by Shrewsbury was a chastening one. They were firmly put in their place by a well coached side which functioned very effectively as a team. Any optimism that might have been kindled through a series of half-convincing results against moderate teams in January and February was extinguished. With Plymouth and Rotherham in such imposing current form the likelihood of a play-off berth was looking very thin at 5pm last Saturday.

Nevertheless, we should be able to beat AFC Wimbledon. They have been on a poor run since their surprising 4-0 away win at Bradford on January 27th. Their only victory in February was 1-0 against Bristol Rovers courtesy of a 93rd minute goal from Joe Pigott who they signed from Maidstone during the transfer window. They managed a 1-1 draw at Peterborough but have been beaten by Rotherham (2-0), Bury (2-1), Northampton (1-3), Plymouth (4-2) and Blackburn (0-3). In the defeat by Blackburn on Tuesday evening they had only 43% of the possession and failed to record one shot on target. They sit in eighteenth place just two points off the relegation zone.

When Charlton beat Wimbledon 1-0 at The Valley last October it was the first time they had beaten the reformed club.  That stunning free kick from Ricky Holmes brought welcome relief in the 78th minute but looking back it seems like yet another example of Charlton relying on an individually brilliant moment rather than effective team work. The win consolidated our team in fourth place but it is hard to believe that on that same day Plymouth were bottom of the division after a 1-1 draw with Rochdale.

Saturday's fixture gives The Addicks the chance to avenge the 3-1 FA Cup defeat in January which denied them the chance to go to Wembley for the next round. They will need to find a way to contain AFCW's leading scorer Lyle Taylor who has 14 this season including 2 in that Cup game. Joe Pigott is unlikely to start but may make an appearance from the bench. Please don' t let him score the winner from a Barry Fuller cross.

Karl Robinson will have to reshuffle his team in the absence of consistent performers Ahmed Kashi and Jay DaSilva and the game, if it goes ahead, is likely to be a battle on a hard pitch. With a tough fixture at Peterborough coming up next week it seems essential that three points are gained on Saturday. Anything but a win will signal the increasing likelihood of a mid table finish and a first fixture against Accrington next season.