Sam sizzler brings maximum joy to rejuvenated Charlton

Charlton Athletic 2 Brentford 0

Rehab can be a painful process, but Charlton are making it appear simple. The south Londoners have been mired in turmoil for the last three seasons but they are piecing together their self-confidence in League One, and in some style. Phil Parkinson's side cemented their position at the top of the table yesterday after brushing aside Brentford with a performance that oozed authority. It was the club's sixth straight League win and, while the new campaign may be less than a month old, already their supporters are chattering excitedly of a return to the Championship at the first attempt.

"I'm enjoying Saturday nights again now," said Parkinson, whose position was also the subject of feverish speculation in the summer. "From the first day of pre-season, it was all about re-establishing a winning mentality, right from the first seven-a-side we played. It's difficult to bounce back from what happened to us last year but we've started very well. There will be a big feel-good factor at the training ground next week but nobody is getting carried away."

Parkinson's wariness is understandable. For all the optimism generated by their unblemished start to the season, Charlton remain a club in recovery. Just three years ago, they were contesting derbies against Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham in the Premier League; for kudos, a local squabble with Brentford simply cannot compare. They also remain dogged by financial concerns, with a proposed takeover by former chief executive Peter Varney apparently no nearer completion.

Even so, in comparison to the last three years – when managers have been hired and fired at a bewildering rate and the club has suffered two relegations – these are days to savour. In addition to bulwarking their position at the top of the table, the club also confirmed that Jonjo Shelvey, the highly-rated young striker, had signed a one-year extension to his current contract, tying him to The Valley until 2012.

The 17-year-old has been the subject of admiring glances from a clutch of Premier League sides, with Chelsea supposedly leading the chase. Shelvey's decision to pledge his future to the Addicks means that Frank Arnesen, Chelsea's sporting director, will have to wait to add him to the club's roster of talented teenagers, although given the headlines to have emerged from Stamford Bridge in recent days, that might be no bad thing.

"It's very important for the club," Parkinson added. "We don't want to develop players for other clubs, we want to keep them here so we're delighted he's staying. And Chelsea can't bid for him until January 2011, so that's a bonus."

Shelvey might yet find he can fulfil his ambitions at Charlton. He should certainly anticipate being able to dazzle against Championship defences on the basis of his team's polished display yesterday, when Brentford were blown away by half-time.

There was a large dollop of good fortune attached to the first goal, which owed everything to a horrible error from Brentford defender Sam Wood. His attempt to nod back to his own goalkeeper merely presented the ball to Charlton's Lloyd Sam and the winger's cut-back was lashed into the net by Burton, via James Wilson's shin.

But if that was lucky, their second goal was luminous. Brentford's defenders were left dizzy by an audacious 15-pass move which culminated in Deon Burton teeing up Sam with a cute reverse ball. The winger turned Wood with ease and swept nonchalantly into the bottom corner.

The visitors might have feared a rout but rallied after the interval and provoked flutters of concern in the home defence. Myles Weston blazed over when well placed, Robbie Elliott saved spectacularly from Carl Cort and David Hunt struck the crossbar with a free-kick but this was not their day. "I don't like losing but we gave away two poor goals and we don't usually do that," Andy Scott, their manager, said. "We kept battling away and we gave a good account of ourselves. The guys are disappointed that they have come here, to a good side, and lost. That is encouraging for me."

Alexis Sanchez has completed a £35m move to Arsenal, the club have confirmed
sportGunners complete £35m signing of Barcelona forward
Poor teachers should be fearful of not getting pay rises or losing their job if they fail to perform, Steve Fairclough, headteacher of Abbotsholme School, suggested
voicesChris Sloggett explains why it has become an impossible career path
world cup 2014
Ray Whelan was arrested earlier this week
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
In a minor key: Keira Knightley in the lightweight 'Begin Again'
Arts and Entertainment
Celebrated children’s author Allan Ahlberg, best known for Each Peach Pear Plum
peopleIndian actress known as the 'Grand Old Lady of Bollywood' was 102
Wayne’s estate faces a claim for alleged copyright breaches
newsJohn Wayne's heirs duke it out with university over use of the late film star's nickname
Life and Style
It beggars belief: the homeless and hungry are weary, tortured, ghosts of people – with bodies contorted by imperceptible pain
lifeRough sleepers exist in every city. Hear the stories of those whose luck has run out
Mick Jagger performing at Glastonbury
Life and Style
fashionJ Crew introduces triple zero size to meet the Asia market demand
Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini of Arsenal launch the new Puma Arsenal kits at the Puma Store on Carnaby Street
sportMassive deal worth £150m over the next five years
Arts and Entertainment
Welsh opera singer Katherine Jenkins
musicHolyrood MPs 'staggered' at lack of Scottish artists performing
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
Arts and Entertainment
Currently there is nothing to prevent all-male or all-female couples from competing against mixed sex partners at any of the country’s ballroom dancing events
Potential ban on same-sex partners in ballroom dancing competitions amounts to 'illegal discrimination'
Caption competition
Caption competition

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice