BY LOUIS MENDEZ
Charlton came away with a hard-fought three points from Bristol Rovers as they won for the first time in six.
Jake Forster-Caskey’s fortunate strike, direct from a corner, on 64 minutes was enough to halt the winless run, despite Albie Morgan’s late dismissal.
The Addicks also held on for a first clean sheet in nine outings as Deji Oshilaja starred in defence.
The South Londoners looked bright from the off at the Memorial Ground. Chuks Aneke, starting consecutive games for the club for the first time, saw three decent openings come and go in the early stages – each time failing to convert from crosses into the area.
Forster-Caskey also came close as he dragged an effort wide of the near-post after a well-worked short corner, before the hosts had their first sight of goal through former Charlton man Brandon Hanlan, who fired wide from inside the area.
Paul Tisdale’s men, having survived a few let offs, started to grow into the contest and came close again through Jonah Ayunga, before Luke McCormick forced visiting stopper Ben Amos into a save from close-range.
Aneke and Jonny Williams then conspired to pass up another decent opportunity from a tight angle as the first-half somehow ended goalless.
The game was just as open after the interval, with penalty shouts for a potential foul on Hanlan waved away at one end and Conor Washington denied when through on goal almost immediately at the other.
For all their decent build-up play, Charlton finally broke the deadlock in fortuitous fashion. The Addicks had been working the majority of their corners short, with little success, but Forster-Caskey elected to whip one towards the near-post just beyond the hour-mark. Liam Millar ducked beneath it and the ball crept all the way in, deceiving Joe Day.
The Addicks had a lead to defend for the first time in nearly a month. Bowyer looked to freshen his attacking line-up with a triple substation as Ronnie Schwartz, Omar Bogle and Paul Smyth entered the fray.
Charlton always looked dangerous on the counter as Rovers pushed forward in the search for a leveller – but hanging on for the win was made all the more difficult as Morgan was dismissed five minutes from time. The youngster, who had been tireless in the midfield, received a second yellow card for a mistimed challenge and Charlton had to hang on with depleted numbers.
Bogle may well have put the game out of sight as he was denied one on one late on but a superb, late block from Deji Oshilaja that prevented a certain goal ensured the three points returned to South London.
PHOTOS: KYLE ANDREWS
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