Charlton v Doncaster – two teams in freefall?

When Doncaster won 3-2 at Plymouth at the end of September they were in third position in League One and just a couple of points off the automatic promotion places. On the same day Chris Solly's dramatic equaliser at Luton meant that Charlton were tucked into sixth place.

But both clubs have had a very poor October and have dropped out of the running.

Doncaster have taken just four points from a possible eighteen. They have lost to Accrington (1-0), Fleetwood (0-4), Sunderland (0-1) and Coventry (2-1). Their only win was at Rochdale (2-3) and they scrambled a point at home to Gillingham (3-3) with an injury time equaliser in a game which was remarkable for the fact that Gillingham only had 3 shots on goal in the entire game in contrast to Doncaster's 32. This poor form has seen Donny drop to eighth place.

Charlton managed four points from fifteen in October and have dropped to thirteenth. The win over Barnsley was impressive but any delusions of grandeur were well and truly shattered at Rochdale last week. All the clubs fancied for promotion have already won at Rochdale this season and Charlton's failure to do so emphasised that the team are still a long way off being contenders.

And the news doesn't get any better as we learn today that Lewis Page is likely to be out for a further six weeks. Although Chris Solly has done well at left back Page's absence since the early minutes of the Scunthorpe game has meant an unbalanced defence with players out of position. It is really extraordinary that the club allowed the season to begin without cover at left back, particularly as Page is such an injury-prone player. Furthermore, there is also a doubt about Lyle Taylor for Saturday and Vetokele and Ajose have done little so far to suggest that they could be adequate replacements.

Doncaster's danger man will be ex- Millwall striker John Marquis who has scored nine already this season. Remarkably, their team is also likely to feature the incredible James Coppinger who is now in his fifteenth season with the club for which he has now made well over 500 appearances. Although 37 years old he has been in the starting line up for most fixtures this year.