Charlton Athletic (A) Match Preview

What a jolly difference the last 11 days have made. After a mesly 1 point return from that tricky block of games, the U’s have now picked up three wins on the bounce. 

You’d be right to not care too much about the Pizza trophy win, but, it’s a few extra pounds into the new defender in January fund. Cambridge will play either Portsmouth or Exeter (more on them later) in the next round. 

On the subject of next rounds, did you see the FA Cup 3rd round draw? A mega away day trip awaits for the Us as we travel to the richest club in the world. Bonner wanted a pay day in the third round and the draw delivered. Despite not being picked for TV, the tie should bring in some more contributions to the new defender in January fund. Whilst it appears everyone was happy with the Newcastle draw, down in Devon, Matt Taylor was far from pleased. Exeter received an apology for the Knibbs goal/offside incident but it wasn’t enough for Taylor, who told the BBC the decision has cost them the chance to bring in players in January. Our heart bleeds for you, Matt Taylor.

It’s paragraph 4 and I’ve only just got to Tuesday night stunning scenes in Gloucester. Given the tough games coming up, Tuesday was a key game. The most optimistic happy clapper would not have predicted what was to follow… 

It looked at half-time like we hadn’t done enough with the wind in our favour, but all doubts were soon banished via Mattie Pollock’s terrific OG. From there the Us were unstoppable, with May, Smith, Ironside claiming the plaudits but really, everyone was fantastic. This is a night that won’t be forgotten anytime soon!

Onwards then, to Charlton this weekend. A big away following is expected, an appealing trip to a former Prem team, a ground we’ve not played at in forever and some legend hired a boat. The big question is do you dare change a side that’s performed so impressively on Tuesday? Does Wes displace Adam May? Especially as May’s pressing and performance in the #10 role  on Tuesday were really eye-catching. Jubs also performed well at CB, but does he keep his place over Masterson who might deal better with the physique of Stockley. 

Takeaways from Bonner’s presser

Move onto the next section if you don’t want bad news…

  • Not looking like Tracey will be fit for Saturday after coming off at half-time on Tuesday. Fuck you Lewis Freestone.
  • The Lloyd Jones saga continues and is getting worse. The team are now reporting that Lloyd wont be fit for the Xmas period of games.

Expected line-up

We’re predicting a Wes start as Bonner looks to keep everyone fresh. Brophy in for the injured Tracey. 

Mitov, Williams, Dunk, Okedina, Iredale, Digby, May, Smith, Brophy, Wessi, Joe ‘I score perfect hattricks’ Ironside

Opposition preview

Charlton made a horrific start to the season. Just 2 wins from the opening 13 games saw them in the relegation places and saw Nigel Adkins shown the door.

Since then the Addicks, led by interim manager Johnnie Jackson, have recovered and find themselves one place above the Us in the table. The rise out of the bottom four has included some impressive wins over Sunderland, Plymouth and most recently Ipswich. 

We spoke to Charlton Live on our most recent pod.

Who is their player to watch?

Conor Washington. 

To be fair, I could have chosen either of their front two as they’re that good, but I mentioned Stockley in the ex-Us section, I’ll side with the former St Ives Town and B*ro man.

Washington is small, tricky and has an eye for a goal. 

Who’s in the dugout?

Johnnie Jackson.

We had anticipated that Jackson would be announced on a permanent basis this week but as it stands he’s still interim boss. 

Jackson is something of a legend at the Valley. This is his second spell as interim manager, before that he racked up nearly 250 appearances for Charlton as a player. The former Spurs youth teamer was part of the 2012 promotion winning team. 

What’s their recent form like?

A midweek win over Ipswich was much needed after falling to defeat against Shrewsbury and a draw with Morecambe had taken the gloss of the new manager bounce. November has seen an impressive win over Plymouth and a draw against table-toppers Rotherham. 

W-W-D-L-W

Any ex-United players?

Charlton were one of the clubs rumoured to be in for Mullin this summer. Instead they opted with Jayden Stockley. Stockley made a massive 3 appearances for the Us during a loan spell in 2014, playing for Richard Money’s recently promoted League Two side.

Stockley’s 2 goals for Cambridge were clearly the catalyst for his upwards trajectory after leaving Bournemouth. Stockley first went to Scotland, playing in a cup final defeat to Celtic. Exeter shelled out 100k for Stockley in 2017 and he went on to be a fan favourite. Poor Exeter don’t have money for signings this January though.

Stockley’s form at Exter led to a 750k move to Preston in the Championship. After falling out of favour at Preston, Stockley found himself at Charlton first via a loan, before a perm move this June. 

Stockley’s two goals for the Us came in a 5-0 pasting of Carlisle in August 2014, also on the scoresheet that day, Issa Diallo.

Last time out

We have to go back to September 1992 for our last game against Charlton. An uninspiring 0-0 at West Ham’s Boleyn ground as the Valley was being renovated.

The 92/93 season saw Cambridge relegated from the First Division. Our FA Cup opponents were league winners that season.

A matchday album to listen to

Aeon Station – ‘Observatory’

Aeon Station is the solo project of Kevin Whelan from The Wrens. More than a decade in the making, ‘Observatory’ shines a bright light on Kevin’s songwriting, receiving help on assorted tracks from his Wrens bandmates. This is an album awash in emotion, reflection and melodies.

The UTAS team’s terrible Moosenet predictions

Jordan: 2-1 Charlton, Smith

Julian: 1-1, Ironside

Owen: 1-0, Digby

Tom: 1-1, Wes

Swindle: 2-1 Charlton, Ironside 

From the archive

We’ve some 1991/92 Second Division gold for you. Goals from Shaggy and Dion give the Us the win in a season we’d go on to lose in the Play-Offs to join the inaugural Premier League.

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