Chuks Aneke lived up to his supersub tag as he kept Charlton’s play-off dream alive – a 3-1 victory over Lincoln ensuring the chase for a top-six spot will go to the final round of fixtures on Sunday.
The Addicks knew that nothing less than a win at The Valley would give them a realistic chance of overhauling Portsmouth and Oxford.
And with the first half largely incident-free, Charlton manager Nigel Adkins brought on Aneke in place of Ben Purrington.
Aneke cushioned Alex Gilbey’s cross for Jayden Stockley to ram home his eighth goal of his loan spell from Preston North End – and the first that has not been scored with his head.
The home side went 2-0 ahead on 65 minutes as Ryan Inniss punished really slack marking to head in Albie Morgan’s deep corner. The young midfielder had replaced Jake Forster-Caskey, who was unable to continue after sustaining an injury to his left knee in the 37th minute.
Almost instantly Charlton added another two minutes later. Liam Millar’s cross was met by Aneke and his shot deflected off TJ Eyoma to beat Lincoln keeper Alex Palmer.
But Aneke did not see out the contest. He had already been booked when he was spoken to by referee Carl Brook after another potentially cautionable foul. Adkins wisely withdrew the attacker to ensure he would be available for this weekend’s visit of champions Hull City, Darren Pratley coming on in his place.
Harry Anderson did reduce the deficit in the 89th minute and Ben Amos made a number of vital saves – twice keeping out Callum Morton after he was put through on goal as well as a double stop to deny Tom Hopper making it 3-2.
PICTURES: PAUL EDWARDS, KEITH GILLARD AND KYLE ANDREWS
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