Charlton’s League Cup Record

Tonight Charlton take on Dagenham & Redbridge in the First Round of the League Cup.  Charlton fans will be hoping for a better performance than last time out in 2011 when they beat us in League One and a better performance still than in 2001 when Premiership Charlton came within four minutes of defeat to the non-league Daggers.

Charlton fans will also be hoping to do rather better in the League Cup than we have in the past. This will be Charlton’s 142nd match in that competition and we have currently won only 52 of those.  Since our first match in 1960, for some reason wearing blue jerseys, where we conceded three goals against West Ham, including a 25 yarder from Bobby Moore, things have not looked good.

Played Won Drawn Lost For Against
141 52 30 59 220 218

Many fans will remember recent humiliations against the likes of Yeovil and Hereford, the wasted opportunity against Wycombe or the ridiculous capitulation to Shrewsbury having taken a 3-0 lead.  The pain isn’t all recent though.  If there are any fans still around who visited Bloomfield Road in 1963, they must still be smarting from the 7-1 drubbing handed out that night – thankfully still our biggest defeat in the competition.

You may wonder why, in a competition just over fifty years old how come Charlton have played so many matches if they’ve been beaten so much.  There are two reasons for this.  Firstly, it wasn’t until the 1990s that penalties superseded replays as a way of decided drawn ties.  Secondly, and something which can only be explained by the mis-placed greed of the footballing authorities, in the last quarter of the 20th Century early rounds were played over two legs.

When Charlton’s record is scrutinised leg by leg it looks even worse than on a match by match basis.  Of a total of 101 rounds played Charlton have only progressed through 45 of them.

Number of Rounds Won in a Season Number of Occasions
Won 0 rounds 26
Won 1 round 17
Won 2 rounds 11
Won 3 rounds 2

The worst time span in the club’s League cup history was soon after the competition started.  On the 13th October 1965 Charlton lost 4-3 to Peterborough, it wouldn’t be until the18th August 1970 that we’d register a win, putting three past Southend. That’s 58 months to get a decent result.  Although that’s a long time span we have had worse sequences of results.  Between 1991 and 1994 we played six matches, notching up just one draw. Then between 2007 and 2012 we played seven matches, recording five defeats and two draws.

Despite this poor record we have had our moments.  On two occasions we have notched up three consecutive wins.  We’ve won 14 rounds on aggregate (despite not winning all of those matches). On four occasions we’ve put five goals past the opposition – Brentford, Peterborough, Chesterfield and Wimbledon.  We’ve also won three penalty shootouts, most notably against Chelsea leaving Sr. Mourinho in a state of denial.  And best of all (though most disappointing in the end) in 2006-07 we reached the Quarter Finals.

So Charlton can do good things in this competition.  What we need though is for the club, the management and the players to take it seriously.  A win against Dagenham tonight could be the springboard to great things, but we’ve got to believe that and want it.  On too many occasions in the past we’ve entered this competition in a half-hearted manner and got our just deserts.


The Foundation of England’s Football League Clubs

With Charlton Athletic celebrating it’s 110th birthday this week.  We thought it would be worthwhile looking at how Charlton’s origins compare to the other 91 clubs in English league football.

The first thing to say is that the foundation of our club is quite unique.  It is the only league club to be founded by local youths with no previous organisation to help them.  There are seven other clubs whose foundation was based around schools, though the setting up of these clubs was based around old boys, school masters or organised games.  The boys of Charlton are different in that they took the initiative to get themselves organised.  We can’t claim self-sufficiency to be solely located in South London though; Hull City were set up by a group of local men, whilst several other clubs were formed as a result of locally held public meetings.  Though often these were led by single pioneers or entrepreneurs.  Of these, Port Vale is notable because rather unusually it took its name not from the town that it represented, but form the venue name of its inaugural meeting “Port Vale House”.

Screenshot 2015-06-13 14.22.15

A surprisingly large number of clubs were formed from earlier football teams.  Few can boast a number of teams in their lineage like Dagenham & Redbridge (Ilford, Leytonstone, Walthamstow Avenue, Redbridge Forest, Dagenham), though several (Luton, QPR, Walsall) were the result of mergers and amalgamations of earlier clubs.  Gillingam and Hartlepool seem to have been inspired by other neighbourhood clubs, whilst Brighton and AFC Wimbledon were directly set up by the supporters of other clubs.  Several clubs seem to have taken advantage of other teams in their district failing, including Leeds who benefitted from the FA’s winding up of Leeds City in 1919.  Perhaps the die was cast here for the Leeds-Charlton court cases of the 1980s.

Many clubs have uncertain origins, but of those where their formation is known, cricket is the next biggest source.  These range from Sheffield United and Derby County that were official spin-offs of their respective County Cricket Clubs to Aston Villa and Birmingham who were set up by cricket playing members of local church congregations.  This brings us on to another largish category; church related teams.  Not including the willow loving Brummies above, the foundations of six teams were church related.  Bolton and Everton though sunday schools, Fulham, Barnsley, Southampton and Mansfield through church parishioners.  Two clubs Accrington and Oldham really can claim to be pub sides.

Many clubs have their origins in industry.  Arsenal of course had their origins in the Woolwich Arsenal, taking on that name after a brief period as Dial Square (a place near the Royal Artillery Museum) and a further 5 years as Royal Arsenal.   West Ham were famously known as Thames Ironworks.  Coventry represented the Singer factory and were known for fifteen years as Singers F.C.  Wycombe Wanderers were founded by furniture manufactures whilst Stoke City and Man Utd. had their origins in the railways.  Millwall started life as a team representing a jam factory, which if it doesn’t explain how jammy they have been over the years, it at least tempers all that dockers nonsense they like to spout [Edit: the jam factory origins are disputed by Millwall, please see post from Lewis Moody below].

Five clubs were set up with the specific aim of forming professional teams.  Three of them, Liverpool, Chelsea and Crystal Palace, were set up by entrepreneurs looking to make money from sports grounds that they already owned.  Two of them Portsmouth and Southend didn’t have the grounds (though both were quick to acquire them) but still wanted to make money.  Looking at how much they’ve lost over the years it makes you wonder how those starting them would rate their ventures if they could look back now.

The final word on clubs foundations needs to go to Doncaster Rovers who were formed in 1879 to play a one-off match against the Yorkshire Institution for the Deaf.  136 years on and this temporary club are still going.

Screenshot 2015-06-13 14.33.14

Charlton are still a relatively new club.  They were the 72nd of the current league teams to be formed so there are only 20 that are younger.  The first clubs, Notts County, Nottingham Forest, Chesterfield, Sheffield Wednesday and Stoke were formed in the 1860s.  The heyday for club formation was the 1880s with 26 clubs founded. In one year alone, 1881, five of the current league teams were formed: Leyton Orient, Newcastle, Preston, Swindon and Watford. The 1900s was the last decade to see the formation of a lot of league clubs.  Charlton, three months younger than Chelsea and a similar time older than Palace, were formed right in the middle of that decade.  The following decade saw very few new clubs as war swept the continent.  Even in the peace time that followed there weren’t many new emergers.  For whatever clubs have been formed since then, breaking into the league has been a very difficult thing to do.  So, hats off to those lads from East Street that through their own spirit and determination, and not inconsiderable footballing skills, got our club off the ground.  If they hadn’t done it when they did, there might never have been league football in Charlton.

Seeing Double

Saturday’s victory over Reading gave Charlton their second league double of the season; the first coming against Wigan. The only other chance of a double this season is against Bolton. Whether that is achieved or not, it is still a big improvement on last season when there were no league doubles. So far, our best since gaining promotion to The Championship is three in 2012/13 (Leicester, Blackpool, Bristol City). The promotion season itself saw the club equal its all time record of nine league doubles, notching up eighteen wins against Bournemouth, Brentford, Carlisle, Chesterfield, Exeter, Hartlepool, Sheffield Utd, Wycombe and Yeovil.

Congratulations to Yoni Buyens who scored his first Brace for Charlton on Saturday. The second of which was also his first from open play – the rest all having come from the penalty spot. Buyens has now scored against: Colchester in the Cup, Derby, Watford, Blackpool, Cardiff, Blackburn and two against Reading. The Cardiff goal was the only one scored away from home.

Will done to Simon Church who for the first time in his Charlton career has scored in two consecutive matches: Scoring with a 61st minute strike against Blackpool on Tuesday and putting away what turned out to be the winning goal against Reading on Saturday. Simon has once scored twice in a match for the Addicks in a 4-0 victory against Oxford in the League Cup.