We never win at Bolton

OK, that's not strictly true. But if you've been supporting Charlton for a long time you would be forgiven for thinking it is. Our record up there is dismal:

Played 45

Lost 30

Won 6

Drawn 9

It was August 1955 when a Stuart Leary hat trick gave us a 3-1 win at Burnden Park. We then had to wait for 45 years and 19 games, (including two FA cup matches), before triumphing up there again. We lost seventeen of those games and there were some spanking defeats (we conceded four or more on seven occasions). There was an overall goal difference of 50-11.

The worst defeat was 5-0 in October 1975 but perhaps the most painful one was the FA Cup quarter final at The Reebok Stadium in February 2000, when a Gudjohnsen goal denied us a semi-final place. Some revenge was reaped a few weeks later, when goals from Martin Pringle and Andy Hunt gave us a 2-0 win on our way to promotion. The 45 year wait was over at last.

Since then our record has been a lot better - two wins and six draws in twelve games.  We won there, 2-1, in January 2017 with goals from Patrick Bauer and Nathan Byrne but last season they did the double over us. They came from behind to win 4-1 on a wet and windy October night at The Valley and beat us, 2-1 up there, after a late Chuks Aneke goal had given us hope of snatching a point.

The Trotters made a bright start this season but have lost their last three games. They began with a creditable draw at Ipswich and followed it with a comfortable 3-0 home win against Wycombe. They beat Salford 5-1 in the EFL cup, drew 0-0 at Port Vale and then saw off Morecambe 1-0 at home. Against stiffer opposition, however, their frailties have been exposed. Home defeats by Sheffield Wednesday (0-2) and Aston Villa (1-4 in the EFL Cup) were followed last Saturday by a 2-0 loss at Plymouth. They are currently in tenth place.

Transfer deadline day passed, as it did in SE7, without any new arrivals at The University of Bolton Stadium. Manager Ian Evatt commented:

"We have worked really hard to build the squad that we have got and we have also worked extremely hard on the culture and environment of the club. Sometimes when you get offered crazy deals which you think are unbelievable, when you drill down into the cultural aspect and the effect it might have, it is probably not the right thing to do."

Evatt will be pinning his hopes on the players who delivered for him last season although they have hardly hit the ground running. Excluding Papa John's games, Jon Bodvarsson has scored 1 in 241 minutes; Dion Charles 1 in 285 and Oladapo Alofayan 1 in 341. Contrast that with Jes Rak-Sakyi (2 goals at 112 each) and Miles Leaburn (2 at 143 each) and we look a bit sharper. Mind you, perhaps best not to mention Jayden Stockley (1 in 526).

Our away form has so far been a great improvement. Last season's squad lost at Accrington and Wycombe and our performance last month at Sheffield Wednesday was far better than the limp one back in February. On that basis we hope that we can turn last year's narrow defeat at Bolton into a draw to keep us in contention ahead of two home games against "weaker" sides.