On May 5th 2012, when Johnnie Jackson raised the NPower League One trophy to crown a perfect season, very few inside The Valley that day would have expected to open the season against a League One side and feel a huge sense of excitement about it. But that’s the situation we find ourselves in as Charlton play their first competitive game of the 2012/2013 season at home to Leyton Orient in the Capital One Cup.
Despite being a competitive fixture, I fully expect Chris Powell to play a side containing mostly those players on the fringes. New signings Salim Kerkar, Jordan Cook and Lawrie Wilson are in line to make their home debuts whilst the likes of John Sullivan, Paul Hayes and Cedric Evina may get a game. Danny Hollands may be one of the guaranteed starters who starts tonight following a toe injury which interrupted his pre-season. A mixed side of fringe players and first teamers should have no problem getting past The Os.
Last season’s 20th placed finish has seen the East London side bring in a number of new head for the coming season. Nathan Clarke, signed after over 300 games for Huddersfield, and former Colchester midfielder Lloyd James are among the highlights. Despite the new names, Orient still have a small squad and much is expected of young prospects Moses Odubajo and Billy Lobjoit. The contingent of ex-Addicks remains strong among the Orient team with David Mooney and Kevin Lisbie likely to lead the Os front line.
A game that wont get anywhere near the fanfair, 2-0 to Charlton in a dull and lifeless game with the only highlight being an unnamed signing being show the crowd at half time. Unlikely, but still, a man can dream.