West Ham’s inability to draw a sweat from the opposition’s goalkeeper continued on Saturday in a much-anticipated, but rather flat, 0-0 derby against Charlton at The Valley.
In contrast to previous ties, manager Slaven Bilic had named a strong team to cross the Thames with Diafra Sakho, Enner Valencia and Dimitri Payet all on show.
Payet, a summer signing from the French first division, had a bright debut in the previous Saturday’s friendly against Southend and was the most enterprising on show for the Irons, although his passes and chips were countered by the Addicks’ tackles and blocks.
Young Reece Burke looked the most likely to score from the Premier League club but it was Charlton’s Morgan Fox who put new defender Angelo Ogbonna to work with the most piercing of crosses in the first half.
Ogbonna was put to work again to deny Simon Makienok but fans’ had to make-do with thin fare in a largely forgettable encounter. The second half rarely found rhythm such was the comings and goings of substitutes.