Kevin Nolan’s Valley View: Charlton Athletic 2-3 Morecambe

Kevin Nolan's Valley View

Morecambe were the visitors at the Valley for the penultimate home game of the season. KEVIN NOLAN was there to witness another frustrating afternoon for the Addicks.

A harum-scarum, knockabout collision between two sides destined to finish in the lower half of League One entertained the few neutrals present, while providing painful confirmation that both of them belong among the division’s also-rans. That verdict will not bother Morecambe, for whom safety from relegation after reaching English football’s third tier via the play-offs last season qualifies as a success. Under the shrewd stewardship of Derek Adams, the Shrimpers are nailed on to survive after outlasting – and at times outclassing – their hapless hosts.

Already sporting the world-weary appearance of a man who expects little and is rarely disappointed, Charlton boss Johnnie Jackson will understandably look forward to the end of this miserable campaign. To say his side has been a massive let-down would be to stretch understatement to unplumbed depths. Inconsistency has been their benchmark, one they have paradoxically made easy to predict.

Just seven days before tumbling to this defeat, Jackson took his team to Rotherham, where they were entertained by opponents fresh from a Wembley triumph and strategically positioned to make a run for automatic promotion to the Championship. Depleted by injury and suspension of his first choice centre backs, Jackson rang the changes and was rewarded by a spirited, heartening performance and an odds-busting 1-0 victory. Stepping in to replace Sam Lavelle and Ryan Inniss, both veteran Jason Pearce and novice Akin Famewo made sterling contributions, while goalkeeper Craig McGillivray kept his fifth clean sheet in eight games, having conceded only three goals in the process.

Presumably buoyed by the solid nature of the win in South Yorkshire, The Addicks started brightly on Saturday, created but missed several half-chances, then found themselves two down at half-time after conceding a pair of well-taken but poorly defended goals.

The first of them was claimed by the ultra-prolific Cole Stockton, who made it 23 in the league and was a lively, physical handful for Pearce throughout a testing afternoon. Built like the proverbial outhouse, Stockton regularly roughed up Pearce, who was booked for an exasperated second half foul on his nemesis. Stockton also found time shortly after scoring to exchange barbs with the covered end; his detractors were doubtless reminding him of the dubious part he’d played in winning and converting a penalty, with Pearce his outwitted dupe, during the 2-2 draw back in October. They were definitely not congratulating the old-fashioned centre forward on his clever movement in finding space to meet Greg Leigh’s cutback from the right byline, nor saluting the marksmanship he showed in steering a low drive in off McGillivray’s right hand post. It was a chance he was never likely to miss.

Supporting Stockton up front, meanwhile, was lesser known quantity Arthur Gnahoua, more athletically built than his colleague, more mobile and, based on what he showed, on Saturday at least, equally ruthless in front of goal. Two minutes before the break, he picked up his skipper Aaron Wildig’s flick, cut inside from the right flank and found the same bottom corner as Stockton with a crisp low drive which gave McGillivray no chance. There was still time for visiting keeper Trevor Carson to protect his side’s interval lead by spectacularly tipping Jayden Stockley’s point blank header over the bar.

Possibly feeling some responsibility for his failure to track back in the build-up to the visitors’ opening goal, Corey Blackett-Taylor made an indelible impression on the second half. Having already established his domination of Leigh along Charlton’s left flank, he proceeded to tease and taunt the visitors to distraction as he saw more and more of the ball. Eight minutes after resumption his dynamic run to the left byline spreadeagled a posse of Shrimpers, who proved helpless to prevent him from crossing precisely to Mason Burstow at the far post. Unselfishly, the youngster headed back across goal for Stockley to prod past Carson and the Addicks were back in business – until, that is, a disastrous misjudgement by McGillivray, barely six minutes later, restored Morecambe’s two-goal lead.

Seeking to release quickly after gathering a loose ball, McGillivray’s delivery, intended for Adam Matthews, was intercepted by Dylan Connolly and promptly moved on to Gnahoua. The rangy Frenchman made use of the room given him by a hesitant Sean Clare, moved the ball on to his left foot and thundered it into the top left corner, with McGillivray no more than a guilty spectator. The Addicks had not so much shot themselves in the foot as blown all their toes off.

There were, to their credit, no signs of surrender, particularly with Blackett-Taylor in such mesmerising form. Lending him sturdy support was never-say-die George Dobson, who exploded into the visitors’ penalty area, where he was bundled off the ball by Rhys Bennett. Not quite blatant enough to warrant a penalty, decided on-the-spot referee Marc Edwards – and he was probably right. But the Addicks weren’t quite finished and came back into contention with a second goal nine minutes before the end.

Again the mercurial Blackett-Taylor was the catalyst with another twisting, stop-and-go solo run cutting through Morecambe’s resistance and carrying him to the left byline. Checking back on to his right foot, he calmly placed a dinked cross on to substitute Chuks Aneke’s head and from nine yards, the powerful striker directed a deliberate, standing header beyond Carson. With the relegation-haunted visitors in a state of panic by now, Dobson’s Cruyff turn sent Bennett on his way east while he himself headed west and should have been crowned by a superb equaliser. Unfortunately, the eager midfielder’s hurried shot cleared the bar and it was time for the fat lady to burst into song. And as far as this miserable season is concerned, not before time…

Charlton: McGillivray, Clare, Pearce, Famewo, Matthews, Dobson, Morgan (Forster-Caskey 69), Gilbey (Washington 60), Blackett-Taylor, Burstow (Aneke 75). Not used: Harness, Purrington, Jaiyesimi, Leko. Booked: Pearce.

Morecambe: Carson, Leigh, Bedeau, Wildig (McLoughlin 88), Connolly (O’Connor 82), Phillips, Gibson (Conney 77), Gnahoua, Fane, Bennett, Stockton. Not used: Smith, Diagouraga, Ayunga, McCalmont.

Referee: Marc Edwards. Att: 10,700 (350 visiting).


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Greenwich Council elections 2022: Who’s standing in Charlton and are there hustings?

Polling station
The election will be held on Thursday May 5

Candidates have been announced for next month’s Greenwich Council elections – as well as hustings so you can ask questions of the hopefuls.

This time, Greenwich will elect 55 councillors across 23 wards – a big change from the last election when there were 51 seats across 17 wards. The increase is to reflect the borough’s growing population – particularly in Greenwich, Woolwich and Thamesmead.

Previously, Charlton was split into four wards, with most of the SE7 area being in a simple “Charlton” ward.

Victoria Way
Left: Charlton Hornfair. Right: Charlton Village

Now you can bin your old map, because the bulk of the area will be split into two – Charlton Village & Riverside and Charlton Hornfair. A chunk in the north-west is in a new Greenwich Peninsula ward, while a few streets close to the SE18 border are marooned in a Woolwich Dockyard ward.

Broadly speaking, the boundary between the Charlton Village and Charlton Hornfair wards runs along Victoria Way and the south fence of Charlton Park.

The changes mean you’ll definitely be in a new ward, and you may even have to go to a new polling station. (Check Democracy Club’s polling station finder.)


St Luke's Church
Charlton Village is now recognised as a council ward

CHARLTON VILLAGE & RIVERSIDE (Here’s a map)

This is, essentially, the old Charlton ward, but future-proofed to take in where the new riverside developments will be. Only two councillors will be elected from here.

Incumbent Charlton councillor Gary Dillon stands for Labour alongside Jo van den Broek – a new name to most voters but a longstanding activist behind the scenes in the Labour party. At least she’ll know what she’s letting herself in for.

The Greens came second in the old ward last time out, and they will be standing two candidates who also have some experience of how the council works. Clare Loops used to be one of its planning officers – she now works for Bexley – and is the chair of the Charlton Neighbourhood Forum. Phil Connolly is a party stalwart and is involved with the Derrick and Atlas Gardens Residents’ Association; more recently he has also been working with the council on its response to the pandemic in the Charlton area.

The Conservatives are fielding newcomer Lucy Woodruffe and James Worron, a local party activist, while Stuart Watkin carries the Liberal Democrats’ hopes. The Women’s Equality Party, which came third in 2018, is not fielding a candidate this time around.

Want to quiz the candidates? There are hustings at Charlton House at Wednesday April 20th at 7pm, held by the Charlton Society and Charlton Central Residents’ Association, which covers a small part of the ward near the station. Contact charltonsocietychair[at]gmail.com to ask a question.


SE7 sign in window
Charlton Hornfair takes in areas towards Bramshot Avenue

CHARLTON HORNFAIR (Here’s a map)

This brand new ward includes the SE7 bit of the Kidbrooke with Hornfair ward and what estate agents call the Charlton Slopes, together with the Cherry Orchard and Harold Gibbons Court estates and The Birches. A little chunk of SE3 slips in here, too, up to the Sun-in-the-Sands roundabout. Two candidates are elected here.

Labour stands Clare Burke-McDonald, a relatively new councillor who was elected to represent Shooters Hill last year. She is joined on the ballot paper by a newcomer, Lakshan Saldin.

The Greens are standing Cole Pemberton and Ann Brown, while Rupert Fienes and Alan O’Kelly represent the Tories. Sam Burridge is the sole Lib Dem representative.

Want to quiz the candidates? There are hustings at Charlton House (sssh, just outside the ward, but we won’t tell anyone) on Saturday April 23rd at 10.30am, organised by the Charlton Society. Contact charltonsocietychair[at]gmail.com to ask a question.


Rathmore Youth Club
The colourful Rathmore Road Youth Club benches are in Greenwich Peninsula ward

GREENWICH PENINSULA (Here’s a map)

If you were in Peninsula ward last time, you’ll be in Greenwich Peninsula this time, except if you’re in Barney Close, in which case you’ll be in Charlton Village (see above). If you’ve just moved into the new homes on Bowen Drive (welcome!), this is your ward. This new ward is all the new developments on Greenwich Peninsula, then Ikea and the flyover, then the east Greenwich communities around Aldeburgh Streets and Fearon Street, and then a chunk of Charlton up to the station. (Don’t ask.) Three candidates are elected here.

Labour stands incumbent Peninsula councillor and deputy council leader Denise Scott-McDonald here, along with veteran councillor David Gardner, moving down from Woolwich Common ward but a longstanding activist in the Charlton area. Newcomer Nick Williams makes up the trio.

The Greens have traditionally performed strongly in the old Peninsula ward, and Roger Bailey, John Holmes and Laura Sessions will be standing for them. The Tories are fielding Godwin Amaefula, James Cowling and Anthonia Ugo.

There are three Lib Dems here – youthful activist Ulysse Abbate, Richard Chamberlain (no relation to the author) and Greg Mulligan. The right-wing Reform UK party is represented by Terry Wheeler.

Want to quiz the candidates? Put your walking boots on – there are hustings at St Mary Magdalene School on the peninsula on Tuesday April 26th at 7pm organised by the East Greenwich Residents’ Association, Aldeburgh and Fearon Streets Neighbourhood Watch and Holy Trinity Greenwich Peninsula.


Morris Walk Estate
The new Woolwich Dockyard ward has a hole in the middle where Morris Walk Estate was

WOOLWICH DOCKYARD (Here’s a map)

While most of the SE7 bit of the old Woolwich Riverside ward has come home to Charlton Village, a few streets have been left out in the cold around Maryon Road, Erwood Road and Maryon Grove. Don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten you.

These are now in Woolwich Dockyard ward, which also includes the estate of the same name, the Cardwell Estate and the 1990s King Henry’s Wharf development by the Thames. This is another-future proofed ward – it will also include the Trinity Park development when that is built on the site of the Morris Walk Estate.

Incumbent Woolwich Riverside Labour councillor Dominic Mbang stays to fight for the new seat alongside newcomer Asli Mohammed. The Greens are not standing here, but the Tories are fielding Simon Gallie and David Chunu. Nichola Martin and Matthew Rose will stand for the Lib Dems.

Want to quiz the candidates? We don’t know of any hustings. If any are organised, we’ll add them here.


Full details of the candidates across the borough can be found on our sister website 853.

If you’ve not registered to vote, get a move on – visit gov.uk/register-to-vote by Thursday night.

For postal and proxy vote details, visit the Greenwich Council website.


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Charlton House gardens open day and Easter trail this Sunday

Old Pond Garden this month
Volunteers have been hard at work in the Old Pond Garden

What are you up to on Sunday? KATHY AITKEN from Charlton & Blackheath Horticultural Society invites you to a family day ay Charlton House…

The Charlton House walled gardens will be open specially this Sunday, April 10th, from 11-3pm, so visitors can see the fabulous work of all the volunteers, getting the gardens ready for the spring and summer.

There will be an Easter trail for children, Bunnies in the Beds, but with an international twist!

The Charlton & Blackheath Horticultural Society will be running a small plant sale (cash only), there are some lovely day lilies, Hostas and hardy geraniums ready to go to a new home.

The Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust has organised a producers’ market on the front lawn, there will be drop-in craft activities for kids in the house, and Frilly’s cafe will be open.

To find out more about Charlton & Blackheath Horticultural Society, visit cabahs.com


LIKE WHAT THE CHARLTON CHAMPION DOES? HELP US KEEP IT GOING

We tell the SE7 stories you won’t read elsewhere. And we’ll do the others better than anyone else. But it won’t survive without your help.

– Please tell us about your news and events – we reach people who stay away from social media groups
– Become a monthly supporter at presspatron.com/charltonchampion