Are Charlton on course this season to set a new club record for penalties scored?
Hours of painstaking research by CAST has revealed that the club have never before been awarded as many as eight penalties by mid November. Sadly, the two missed by Lyle Taylor mean that the count of penalties actually scored so far is reduced to six. Nevertheless, with the club record standing at nine converted penalties in a season there is good reason to believe that the speed and trickery of our forwards (not to mention our right back) could mean that the record will be threatened this season.
It was as recently as 2014/15 that Yoni Buyens stroked home seven league penalties plus one in the league cup. (Johann Berg Gudmundsson added the ninth as Buyens had already been substituted in the home game with Leeds.) Buyens revealed that the secret to his success was that he only ever looked at the goalkeeper (never the ball) when taking a kick. He acknowledged that one day he might take an air kick but he never looked anything but certain to score in his season with us.
The team also scored nine penalties in 1995/96 but these were shared among five different players. Paul Mortimer led the way with five. David Whyte, Bradley Allen, Mark Robson and Carl Leaburn each got one, with Leaburn's being the third of his celebrated hat trick at Ipswich.
Buyen's eight penalties brought him level with Mark Reid who was responsible for all our successful spot kicks in 1985/86. Reid famously missed a penalty against Crystal Palace in September 1985 but was forgiven because he had already scored two earlier in the game. He was the first Charlton player ever to take three penalties in one match and he scored another in the away game with Palace four months later. He was also on target against Sunderland in Charlton's first home game at Selhurst. He had scored seven by mid January but only had one more opportunity.
The team also scored eight penalties in 1976/77. Bob Curtis had notched five in the promotion winning 1974/75 season and he had put away another six by the end of January 1977. In his absence through injury it was Keith Peacock who took responsibility to score against Millwall in a 3-2 win in April. Curtis was back in side when the final penalty of the season was awarded against Burnley but Peacock stepped up again to score in a 5-2 win.
There were a number of seasons when seven penalties were scored. In the promotion season of 1934/35 the team scored 103 goals in all but only five (all by Norman Smith) were from the penalty spot. The following season as the team gained their second successive promotion Smith continued as penalty taker and had scored four before the game with Swansea at The Valley at the end of February. The match was a disaster for Smith as he not only missed a penalty but also gave away two. The next Charlton penalty (a fortnight later) was taken instead by George Stephenson who scored and added two more before the end of the season to bring the team's total to seven.
There were seven penalties in Clive Mendonca's total haul of 23 goals in the glorious 1997/98 season, although he didn't take his first spot kick until late November. Of course he did subsequently score an eighth and you could argue that the team mustered a total of fourteen by the end of that afternoon in May at Wembley. Incidentally, Sasa Ilic's save of Michael Gray's penalty was the first by a Charlton goalkeeper for six years.
So, over to you Lyle.