Who? Charlton Athletic
Where? The Valley
When? Tuesday, August 31, 7pm kick-off
Papa John’s Trophy Group Stage Match One
Tickets can be purchased from the club until 2pm today and can also be bought from The Valley tonight until kick-off.
ONES TO WATCH
Elliott Lee - Attacking Midfielder
Elliott, son of famous ex-England International and Newcastle United star Rob Lee, recently joined the Addicks on loan from Luton Town, and made a fifteen minute cameo off the bench in their last game against Crewe at The Valley on Saturday.
The 26-year-old looks likely to feature more heavily against the Reds tonight and could prove to be their missing creative spark from midfield this season. Lee held an impressive scoring record across his first two seasons at Luton, scoring ten league goals in the 17/18 campaign before then scoring twelve the season after. Lee spent his younger playing days at West Ham United where he was loaned on five occasions before his release in 2016 when he joined Barnsley on a permanent deal.
Corey Blackett-Taylor - Forward
Blackett-Taylor is another player who may be looking for a start against the Reds tonight in the capital. The striker has recently joined from Tranmere Rovers and will be looking to make his first start tonight after making a 22 minute cameo against Wigan Athletic, before being an unnamed substitute in their 2-0 victory against Crewe on Saturday.
Like Elliott Lee, Corey spent his younger playing days at a Premier League academy, leaving Aston Villa on loan for the first time in 2015 for Rhyl. Corey then spent a loan at Walsall before being picked up on a free transfer by Tranmere Rovers. The forward came on as a substitute against the Reds in our impressive 0-1 away victory last season as Tom Nichols’ intelligent strike stole the show.
Charlton have had a fairly underwhelming start to their season in League One where they certainly stand out as one of the favourites for promotion to the Championship. The Addicks began their league campaign with a goalless draw with Sheffield Wednesday before suffering four consecutive defeats in all competitions. They were knocked out in the first round of the Carabao Cup by AFC Wimbledon at home, before losing out 2-1 in consecutive away games against both Oxford United and MK Dons. Forwards Conor Washington and Jayden Stockley picked up the goals in those games.
Nigel Adkins’ men then hosted Wigan Athletic at The Valley, holding the Latics to a stalemate until the 88th minute when the deadlock was broken by Tendayi Darikwa. Wigan doubled their lead through James McClean with the last kick of the game.
However, on Saturday fortunes turned as the Addicks managed a more comfortable 2-0 home win over Crewe Alexandra with two first-half strikes. The result lifted them out of the drop zone and into a more comfortable 19th place where they find themselves with only four points in five games.
HEAD TO HEAD
Crawley have faced Charlton on four occasions since 2012, with the away side in these fixtures being victorious on every occasion. Our last meeting in 2018 was a pre-season friendly in which former Red Karlan Grant scored for the Addicks in a 0-2 win at The People’s Pension Stadium. In 2017, the Addicks won by the same scoreline in the first group stage game of the Papa John’s Trophy.
We also faced Charlton in the same competition in 2016, but this time Crawley were winners at The Valley in another game that finished 0-2 to the away side. Adi Yussuf and James Collins were the Crawley scorers as they upset the odds to conquer the Addicks and progress out of the group.
Crawley have not had too much fortune in the competition over recent years, finishing bottom of the group stage in the three seasons previous to finishing third last year, when they beat Ipswich from the bottom spot on goal difference.
Last season saw massive progress in the Papa John’s Trophy, as we picked up three points but certainly deserved more over the three group games. The Reds lost out narrowly in the opening group fixture to Gillingham in our first competitive game of the season, pulling a deserved goal back through Nathan Ferguson after falling two goals behind in 50 minutes.
We later hosted Arsenal U23 at The People’s Pension Stadium who fielded a strong side. Max Watters was introduced to the Crawley fans for the first time and opened his tally for the season with an equalising strike before Miguel Azeez struck the winner for the Gunners who took all three points. We finished the group with a tough home fixture against Ipswich Town, but young Striker Brian Galach had a fantastic game scoring twice in a convincing 2-0 Crawley win.
The last time we qualified through the group stage of the competition was in the 2016/17 season, when a 0-2 win over Charlton Athletic proved the deciding result to put the Reds into the round of 32. Coventry City were the side to knock us out in a hard-fought battle, Marvin Sordell scored the decisive goal that would see the Sky Blues progress all the way to the final where they beat Oxford United 2-1.