Kevin Nolan’s Valley View: Charlton Athletic 1-0 Brentford

Kevin Nolan's Valley View

The transfer window may have closed, but The Charlton Champion is delighted to announce a brilliant new signing – football writer KEVIN NOLAN, who will be reporting on home matches at Charlton Athletic during this season. Kevin wrote about the Addicks for the Greenwich Mercury, where he also covered local boxing, and he continues to write for Voice of The Valley and the South London Press to this day. We’re delighted to have him on board.

Sent back down the Thames without so much as a point to show for their skilful efforts, Brentford at least accomplished something four Championship sides have failed to achieve this season. They prevented Lyle Taylor from scoring.

Having already relieved Charlton of Ezri Konsa, who used them as a stepping stone en route to the Premier League, the Bees made enquiries about Taylor this summer but were knocked back by his current employers to the player’s brief displeasure. It’s a clear sign of the topsy-turvy change in football’s pecking order that Brentford, an irreproachable 130-year old club with a spectacularly modest record of success, are in a position to prey on Charlton. Not so long ago, it was the other way around.

Starting the new season in irresistible form, Taylor becomes vulnerable again when the second transfer window opens in January. And nothing his manager Lee Bowyer said in a curious interview in the South London Press last Friday was apparently designed to discourage suitors.

In a lengthy back page article, Bowyer conceded that “if he carries on doing what he has been doing for me it will be impossible to keep him. That’s being honest. Lyle has come into the Championship … and fitted straight in. I look at other strikers in the Premier League and Lyle could do what they are doing … for sure he could go ino the Premier League.” Hardly a hands-off “no pasaran” clarion call of defiance – more like an invitation to meet Charlton’s asking price, with an o.n.o rider attached.

It seems inevitable that early next year, Taylor, still the right side of 30, “ain’t gonna work on Roland’s farm no more“.

Denied a scoring chance by a vigilant corps of watchdogs, Taylor did the next best thing. He began his colleagues’ spirited resistance to unarguably the smoother side with a tireless display of defending from the front. No run was too pointless, no tracking back too exhausting.

With all his obvious charisma, the coveted striker continues to play football like an insatiable kid in the street. It’s impossible for either teammates or crowd not to be carried along by his guileless will to win, which is after all the one essential point of the beautiful game.

Torrid afternoon

On a sizzling summer afternoon, Charlton were often given a torrid chasing by Thomas Frank’s patient, well-oiled West Londoners. But they resisted with a mixture of defiance and no little defensive skill of their own. Blocks were heroically made, last ditch tackles successfully launched, cover one for another taken for granted.

Behind his beleaguered, bloodyminded teamates, Dillon Phillips contributed three saves of varying excellence. It made for stirring stuff and if we can borrow for a second time from the Spanish Civil War, the atmosphere smacked of “no pasaran!” courage. Though they dominated possession and apparently enjoyed a 20-3 shot count, the Bees were impressive only up to a point.

Four minutes before the interval, they were handed a lesson in the only statistic which emerges as meaningful from a game of football. Caught dawdling in their own danger area, they carelessly conceded the only goal.

Mobile Spanish forward Sergi Canos had already been responsible for missing Brentford’s most clearcut chance by prodding over the bar the gift presented him by a ghastly mix-up between Phillips and an otherwise impeccable Ben Purrington. Preparing to start yet another attack from outside his own penalty area, Canos was surgically dispossessed by Jonny Williams and with the underworked visiting defence wrongfooted by the abrupt switch in momentum, the ball was deftly slipped through them to an alert Conor Gallagher.

Sensibly composing himself, the tousle-haired teenager gleefully finished into the roof of David Raya’s net. Against the run of play it may have been but Brentford had only themselves to blame for falling into arrears. They had an entire half to put things right.

Magnificently stubborn

Phillips duly came into his own, despite one hapless fumble of a speculative snapshot. His soaring fingertip effort to tip Ollie Watkins’ rocket over the bar was superb; the reaction save from Henrik Dalsgaard’s close range header relatively routine; a full length dive to turn aside an accurate drive from a Pontus Jansson spectacular.

As the second period wore on with the Bees swarming over their intended victims like.. well, bees, it seemed at times that Charlton’s magnificent stubbornness must falter. And before they and their unwavering supporters could relax, there were four added minutes of almost indescribable madness to negotiate. Pearce cleared Emiliano Marcones’ header off his goalline before, in a blur of wild action, no fewer than three point blank shots were charged down, with the ball conveniently caroming back to an attacker on each heart-stopping occasion.

A sequence of probably less than a minute seemed to stretch on indefintely before sanctuary was reached and a shattered Valley saluted their bloodied but unbowed heroes. As to a man, heroes they were.

Charlton: Phillips, Oshilaja (Lapslie 32), Lockyer, Pearce, Purrington, Pratley, Cullen, Williams (Field 81), Gallagher, Leko (Hemed 46), Taylor. Not used: Amos, Bonne, Sarr, Oztumer. Booked: Phillips.

Brentford: Raya, Henry, Pinnock, Norgaard (Mokotjo 60), Canos, Jensen, Watkins, Marcondes, Jansson, Dalsgaard, Racic (Benrahma 60). Not used: Daniels, DaSilva, Mbeumo, Clarke, Jeanvier. Booked: Henry, Canos, Dalsgaard.

Referee: Tim Robinson. Attendance: 16,771 (2,250 visiting).


Kevin will be alternating his match reports between The Charlton Champion and Greenwich.co.uk, and we’ll be aiming to publish on Monday mornings.

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Charlton Neighbourhood Forum: Play your role in Charlton’s future

The forum aims to involve local people in the redevelopment of Charlton’s riverside

With Charlton about to see huge changes over the next 20 years, a group of residents want to set up a neighbourhood plan – a legal planning document which ensure local people have a genuine say in the future of the area. JODIE COUGHLAN, one of the organisers, explains more, and invites you to its first public meeting on Saturday 13 July.

Since its inception in November 2017, Charlton Together – a collective of local groups in Charlton (including Charlton Central Residents’ Association (CCRA), Derrick & Atlas Residents’ Association (DAGRA), SE7 Action Group, The Charlton Society, Valley Hill Hub, and the Charlton Parkside Community Hub) have worked tirelessly and campaigned ceaselessly as a voice for residents and businesses on planning and development issues in Charlton and Charlton Riverside.

There have been ups and downs along the road, the down being the Fairview development on Victoria Way being approved by Greenwich Council’s planning board in January 2018, the up having successfully fought the Rockwell development on Anchor & Hope Lane at City Hall a year later.

More recently Charlton Together has been working on a more proactive approach to planning and development, by becoming a neighbourhood forum. We would like as many people who live and work in the area to get involved, to help create a Neighbourhood Plan for Charlton.

In order to get the project off the ground, Charlton Together have had a stand at Charlton Station, and several local outdoor events. We’ll also be at the Sherington School Summer Fair tomorrow.

What’s it all about?

In order to produce a neighbourhood plan, we first need to set up the Charlton Neighbourhood Forum, which is a group of local people that live and work in the area.

A neighbourhood plan (supported by the Localism Act 2011) gives the community the right to influence the form of development locally, and is a formal planning document, written by local people and businesses, and forms a material consideration when the Council decides planning applications. (See more detailed background.)

For a forum to be established, there needs to be at least 21 people from across Charlton, and it must be representative of the area. Membership of the forum is free and is open to anyone who living or working across Charlton (all the way from Charlton Riverside, Charlton Central, across Charlton Slopes (Victoria Way, Bramhope Lane, Wyndcliff, Mayhill, Hopedale, Sherington Roads to Eastcombe, Bramshot Avenues, Tallis Grove and Highcombe) across Charlton Road, up towards the Lido, including the roads around near to Charlton Park, Maryon Wilson Park and Maryon Park.

The proposed forum area – which covers the entire SE7 postal area plus areas included in the Charlton Riverside masterplan

Do I need planning & development expertise?

There will be many different roles in producing this plan, so tell us where you can help, whatever your skills they will be welcome. We believe that it will take time to create the plan, but think it will be well worth the effort.

How do I join the forum?

For more information, visit www.charltonneighbourhoodforum.com and click on ‘’Contact’’ to get in touch.

You can also come along to the forum’s first annual general meeting at the Assembly Rooms, Charlton Village, at 4pm on Saturday 13 July. At this meeting a committee will be formed, and officers elected. A constitution will also be agreed and the boundary of the plan area finalised.

After the AGM, an application to Greenwich Council will be made for formal designation.

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What happened at Maryon Park’s Big Picnic 2019?

A group of neighbours who live near Maryon Park held a big picnic there last Saturday. HELEN JAKEWAYS, one of the organisers, explains what happened…

This was our fourth Picnic and once more we were extremely lucky with the weather. We were able to put on many more games and activities this year thanks to funds raised from Greenwich Council’s ward budget, Tesco Bags of Growth and sponsorship from Lovell.We were also kindly supported by the council’s Park Rangers team.

We hosted about 500 people over the course of the afternoon, including all the performers, group leaders, stall holders and our 30+ strong volunteer team and the main field in Maryon Park was bustling with activity surrounded by people enjoying their picnics in the shade provided by the trees round the edge of the park.

We enjoyed a couple of lovely dance performances and workshops run by Greenwich Dance, football sessions run by Charlton Athletic coaches which were enormously popular, non-contact boxing taster sessions with St Peter’s Amateur Boxing Club and late-arriving roaming hula hoops and basic circus skills sessions from Aircraft Circus.

There was a busy programme on and around the small stage including a set from Charlton based DJ Ed Simmons and performances from the Brass Band, the Woolwich Singers, The Tuesday Morning Recorder Group and Creative Generation Dance and Gymnastics, all kept in order by MCs Christopher Seaden and Justine Bennett from Charlton Parkside Community Hub.

We were delighted to have our stage powered entirely by the sun and can highly recommend the Solar Roller, run by the Minesweeper Collective (enquiries to minesweepercollective[at]gmail.com) – this comes complete with a sound system and lovely technician Camden, who has attended our event for three years now.

We had a broad range of games for smaller children to play with and on including our stable of pink space hoppers and a very busy creative making tent hosted by Liz Buck from St Luke’s Church. A more sedate guided tree walk was hosted by the Friends of Maryon and Maryon Wilson Parks. Community stalls included the 38th Woolwich Scout Group, the Brownies, Friends of Maryon and Maryon Wilson Park, Charlton Athletic Community Trust Youth Services, Riverwood (a Mencap-funded carpentry project), Friends of Windrush School, Neighbourhood Watch, Greenwich Dance, the St Thomas Church Tuesday Group and the local Neighbourhood Forum. Woodhill Brewing Collective (Simon, Dan and Owen) were on site selling their very popular homebrew, the profits from which they generously donate to the St Thomas Church Night Shelter project every year and there were soft and not-so soft drinks on sale organised by Andrew Donkin from Valley Hill Community Hub.

The Community Garden was open for the afternoon so the whole park really was busy. The event was rounded off by some very competitive sack, egg and spoon, three-legged and space hopper races, the tug-of-war and raffle, proceeds from which will be used to support the St Thomas Church Night Shelter project. This free local event aimed at families is growing in confidence every year, but we aim to keep it small and manageable so there is plenty of space and opportunity for everyone to enjoy the afternoon.

Huge thanks are due to all those who pitched in this year – volunteers, performers, groups running the activity sessions, stall holders and of course the audience who turned up to help make it all such a special afternoon. We are always looking for local volunteers to help especially with fundraising, planning and stewarding on the day – if you’d like to be involved next year please contact Charlton Parkside Community Hub Admin on cpchadm[at]gmail.com.

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