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The Best Charlton Moments of 2013

2013 has been a year of ups and downs, mostly downs, for the Addicks.

But there have been special moments along the way, from wonder goals to incredible victories.

Here are 13 of the best moments from the year, with the chance to vote on your favourite at the end.

Jackson’s Knee Slide – Watford 3-4 Charlton – 1 January

The Addicks came into the New Year’s Day game at Vicarage Road without a win in six; the Hornets had lost just one game in their last 11. This wasn’t going to be pretty.

It seemed as if Charlton were going to be in for a long afternoon when Daniel Pudil put the home side ahead after just 11 minutes, but an own goal and a Yann Kermorgant header gave the Addicks an unexpected lead at half-time.

The visitors started the second half as they had ended the first, on top and creating chances. And so it was gut wrenching when a clumsy tackle from Dorian Dervite on everyone’s favourite twinkle-toed forward, Fernando Forestieri, gave Watford a penalty that was converted by Almen Abdi.

If that goal was gut wrenching, Alexandre Geijo’s 68 minute strike to give the Hornets the lead for the second time was soul destroying. This was going to be a seventh game without a win; where was this season heading?

But Ricardo Fuller’s clever footwork allowed him to tee up Kermorgant for the equaliser two minutes later. Sheer relief in the away end.

And that relief quickly turned to joy as Johnnie Jackson’s powerful header gave the Addicks all three points. His knee slide celebration one of the most iconic moments and images of the year.

Ricardo’s Solo Strike – Crystal Palace 2-1 Charlton 2 February

It’s a game, with the Addicks throwing away a lead to their bitter rivals, and a day, with misbehaviour marring the aftermath, that most Charlton fans would much rather forget, but Fuller’s solo effort deserves to be remembered.

It was one of those days where everything came off for the Jamaican with the ball glued to his feet. His touch to bring down a long ball was sublime; his run to break into the box even better. The emphatic finish beyond Julian Speroni was the icing on the cake.

The celebrations in the away were incredible. Hopefully 2014 will bring celebrations after 90 minutes in a derby game.

Haynes’ Hammer Blow – Leicester City 1-2 Charlton – 19 February

It takes something special to make a Kermorgant goal against Leicester seem insignificant, and Danny Haynes’ incredible volley was exactly that.

With the scores level at 1-1, Chris Wood cancelling out Kermorgant’s opener, and Charlton on the back foot, it appeared as if the best the Addicks could hope for was a point at the King Power Stadium.

An innocuous long ball forward didn’t look like changing that, but Kermorgant’s flick on bounced into the path of Haynes. His vicious, dipping volley was exquisite, soaring over the head of Kasper Schmeichel to give Charlton a lead they would cling onto.

The celebrations that followed were just as memorable; I can’t remember every celebrating a goal as much as that.

Fuller the Game Changer – Charlton 3-2 Bolton Wanderers – 30 March

Much like the Watford game, the stats didn’t make for pretty reading. Bolton came into the game as the division’s in form side, having won five of their last six; Charlton had won just one of their last five, and a derby day defeat to Millwall had drawn them uncomfortably close to the bottom three.

A Marvin Sordell goal was followed up by a Medo strike to give the visitors a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes.

But the Valley crowd stuck with the Addicks, and Jackson’s fine 25th minute strike following a half cleared corner gave Charlton hope of a comeback.

However, the course of the game really turned after half-time, when Ricardo Fuller decided to leave the Ricardo Fuller that was on show in the first half in the dressing room and emerge as a completely different player.

From moans and groans, including cries of ‘get him off’, in Fuller’s direction in the first 45 to incredible ball control and the ability to make something happen every time he had possession; the forward’s change in performance matched Charlton’s.

And it was his run with the ball at his feet at Sam Ricketts that forced the defender to commit a cynical foul and receive a second yellow card. Kermorgant’s following free-kick hit the post, but Dorian Dervite tapped in the rebound before Kermorgant converted a penalty to give the Addicks the lead.

But it was Fuller’s complete change in performance that really turned the game, kick starting Charlton’s end of season unbeaten run.

Hamer’s Heroics – Brighton 0-0 Charlton – 2 April

In a tough fixture at Brighton’s AMEX Stadium, the Addicks had held firm all evening against the Seagull’s considerable attacking threat.

Much of that was down to Ben Hamer, who had made a number of saves throughout the 90 minutes to keep the scores level.

But it was a stop in stoppage time that really stood out; the timing as well as the manner of the save making it truly exceptional.

From point-blank range, Hamer tipped a well struck effort from Vicente onto the bar. Many in the away end already had their heads in their hands, expecting the net to ripple and the home fans to celebrate, but, somehow, Hamer had secured Charlton a point that felt like a victory.

Obika in the Last Minute (x2) – Charlton 2-1 Leeds United– 6 April/Charlton 2-1 Wolves – 20 April

In a season in which the Addicks had conceded late on, conceding points in the process, on several occasions, it was only right they had their own moments of last minute joy.

Previously isolated, rarely getting a game and failing to impress Charlton fans, Jonathan Obika’s introduction in the final ten minutes against Leeds didn’t set the pulses racing.

But he immediately set about proving his doubters wrong, involving himself in several attacking moves with pace and movement down the channels.

It was his contribution in the middle that will be remembered most, however, as a fine Rhoys Wiggins cross in the final minute of stoppage time was powerfully headed home by the on-loan forward.

If there were any doubters remaining, Obika got them onside two weeks later, as another last minute goal secured all three points against Wolves.

It remains a huge disappointment that the Addicks were unable to secure his services for the 2013/14 season, with the talented forward continuing to rot in Tottenham’s U21 squad.

Barnsley Bashing – Barnsley 0-6 Charlton – 13 April

There were plenty of special days and nights in the Premier League and the League One title winning was full of them, but this was right up there in terms of Charlton’s best moment in recent times.

With-in form Barnsley scrapping for survival, it promised to be a tough game for the Addicks, but promises aren’t always kept.

After just four minutes, goal-misser extraordinaire Bradley Pritchard had given Charlton the lead. Pritchard is one of my favourite players, if not the favourite, but even I’ll admit a goal from the Zimbabwean is a moment in itself.

But 55 minutes later, his goal was playing second fiddle to the scoreline. “4-0, even Pritchard scored,” chanted the delirious travelling fans, who had seen Jackson, Kermorgant and Callum Harriott add to Charlton’s lead.

Salim Kerkar added a fifth after Stephen Dawson’s sending off, with the Algerian becoming the subject of a 5-0 chant.

Tom Kennedy’s dismissal saw the Tykes end the game with nine men, and Ricardo Fuller, who had a torrid day in front of goal, got the goal his effort had warranted to give Charlton a sixth.

6-0, Charlton’s biggest ever away win, certainly wasn’t flattering. The Addicks could have had a few more; such was the level of their performance. What a sensational day.

Champions Tamed II – Cardiff City 0-0 Charlton – 16 April

What does every young chap want to do the day before their 18th birthday? If you answered anything but take a seven and a half hour round journey to Wales to take in a 0-0 on a Tuesday night, you answered wrong.

But, away from deciding that crossing the bridge was the best thing to do the day before I became a man (sort of), this was one of Charlton’s best performances of the year. Not only did they match a side who would secure promotion on the night, they, at times, outplayed them.

Every player in a Charlton shirt was outstanding, from Solly’s incredible display at the back to Ricardo Fuller’s attempts to create a goal out of nothing. Had it not been for David Marshall’s heroics in the Bluebirds goal, and Michael Morrison’s ineptitude in front of it, the Addicks may well have ruined the promotion party at the Cardiff City Stadium.

It’s probably not a view that’s shared by all, but this performance was as good, if not better, than the one in the 5-4 win over Cardiff in the first half of the 2012/13 season.

I remember coming away from the ground feeling nothing but pride at how Chris Powell’s side had performed. It also filled me with high expectations for the following season; with some investment, we could be emulating Cardiff in a year’s time.

Whilst those expectations are yet to come to fruition, I still can’t help but feel immensely proud when I recall that night.

“We’ve Got Our Charlton Back” – Charlton 4-1 Bristol City – 4 May

The scenes on the final day of the 11/12 season were never going to be topped, but 12/13’s final day wasn’t far off.

As was the case so often in the final weeks of the season, this was an exceptional, almost faultless Charlton performance.

And it was one of those days where Kermorgant was unplayable, scoring two, providing an assist for another and coming close to a deserved hat-trick on several occasions.

Shambolic defending from the Addicks allowed Bobby Reid to pull one back for Bristol City after Kermorgant had put Charlton two up, but Obika’s tap in after the Frenchman’s chip hit the post and Jackson’s strike ended the season in style.

The only thing that could have made it better was if Scott Wagstaff, in his final game for the club, hadn’t been denied an emotional farewell goal by a clearance off the line.

A heroic speech from Saint/Sir/Superhuman Chris Powell followed, as did the chant “we’ve got our Charlton back”, which clearly touched the great man with the microphone.

It’s going to take a strong second half of the current season for scenes like that to be repeated.

Church Answers Charlton’s Prayers – Barnsley 2-2 Charlton 17 August

After all the positives and incredible performances in the final period of the 12/13 season, the poor start to the 13/14 season was infuriating.

It appeared as if Charlton were going to lose the opening three fixtures of the new campaign after going 2-0 down at Barnsley just after half-time. A stalk contrast from the last time the Addicks were at Oakwell.

But substitute Jordan Cousins grabbed his first professional goal to give Charlton hope with just over 25 minutes to play, before Simon Church tucked the ball past Luke Steele after Kermorgant’s flick to draw the Adddicks level.

Compared to many other moments in 2013, this one is relatively insignificant, but the celebrations in the away end at Oakwell meant it certainly wasn’t at the time.

Same Old Story – Charlton 2-1 Leicester City – 31 August

Yann Kermorgant’s Charlton Vs Leicester City: A Step by Step Guide

1)      Yann Kermorgant is booed at every plausible opportunity by the Leicester supporters.

2)      Yann Kermorgant scores, promptly silencing the boo boys, and Charlton win 2-1.

It’s really as simple as that, but it doesn’t stop the moment getting better every time it happens.

After Charlton’s disastrous start to the season, and Leicester’s impressive one, the result was probably the most improbable of the three Addicks victories over the Foxes.

But Michael Morrison, also a former Leicester player, headed Charlton in front just before the half hour, and Matty James’ red card just after half-time put the Addicks in a strong position.

And Kermorgant’s bi-annual goal, a powerful header past Schmeichel, against his former employers sealed the victory.

Danny Drinkwater pulled one back for the visitors, but Charlton held on for their third consecutive 2-win over the Foxes with Kermorgant the goal scoring hero once again.

Stephens’ Screamer – Charlton 2-0 Doncaster Rovers– 26 November

In this crucial relegation six pointer, it appeared as if Charlton were going to make the most of their reprieve following the original fixture’s abandonment with the Addicks 3-1 down, with the home side well on top.

But Chris Powell’s men, try as they might, couldn’t stick the ball in the net. Kermorgant and Church both came close on several occasions in the opening 35 minutes, but their luck in front of goal was out.

And so, with guilt edge chances being wasted, Dale Stephens took it upon himself to open the scoring with what will surely win goal of the season.

Cameron Stewart’s cross was met by a Doncaster head, but the ball looped up to the edge of the area, where Stephens was lurking.

The ball was in the air long enough for me to wish for him not to shoot, only for the midfielder to incredibly volley into the top corner.

And with many missing the game due to chaos at London Bridge, those who had bussed, walked and fought their way to The Valley were delighted to see their efforts rewarded with such an eye-catching strike.

Walking in a Wilson Wonderland – Charlton 3-2 Brighton 26 December

The 1-1 draw with Bolton less than a week before the Boxing Day clash had left many optimistic of snatching a point against the Seagulls. Dreaming of a point turned out to be somewhat pessimistic.

It looked as if the Addicks wouldn’t be getting anything early on as they started sluggishly and Leonardo Ulloa gave Brighton the lead after 22 minutes.

But the Addicks responded, and two goals from Lawrie Wilson gave Charlton what was now a deserved lead.

‘”He used to be s****, but now he’s alright, walking in a Wilson wonderland,” chanted the home fans. To suggest Wilson had underperformed in his Charlton career up to that point was incredibly harsh; to suggest he was just alright was an understatement.

The battered and bruised Kermorgant rounded off a heroic display with classy free-kick to give the reds a 3-1 lead, meaning that Ulloa’s last minute goal was nothing more than a consolation for Brighton.

Could Wilson’s goals, and Charlton’s victory, be the catalyst for a strong 2014? It remains to be seen.

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