Charlton are ready to pounce if anyone slips up in the race for the top two – Lee Bowyer

Lee Bowyer says that his Charlton side are ready to pounce if anybody above them gives ground in the race for the top two.

The Addicks ended league leaders Luton Town’s 28-game unbeaten run with a hugely impressive 3-1 win at The Valley on Saturday afternoon, climbing to within three points of the automatic promotion places in the process.

Sunderland were beaten 5-4 at home by Coventry at the same time, but wins for Portsmouth and Barnsley meant the South Londoners still have ground to make up with time running out.

“I’ve said if we win all our games, we’ll be in and amongst it,” said Bowyer.

“We need a lot to go our way. You need three teams to make mistakes, not just one. But all we can keep doing is keep working hard. Win our games that we have. If anyone wants to give it to us, we need to be in a position to take it. Nothing changes for me. I believe we can go and win the next four. We’ve got good players. A squad in there fighting for everything. What a week it’s been.”

The table-topping Hatters were a goal to the good at the break through Harry Cornick, but a penalty from Lyle Taylor and a fine finish from Igor Vetokele had turned the game on its head with twenty minutes left.

Taylor added his second of the game and 21stof the season soon after the Addicks saw the victory out comfortably.

“I thought first-half, we were good,” explained Bowyer after the entertaining clash.

Lyle Taylor celebrates with his team mates after Charlton’s third goal against Luton. Paul Edwards

“We were the better side first-half. They created chances, we created chances, but they took their chance. I said before the game that the team who takes their chances will win the game.

“Two good teams playing some great football at times. We press very well and they passed it around us some times. They’re a very good team and they play a similar way to us.

“I said to the lads at half-time that if you score the next goal, you’ll win the game. I knew once we scored the crowd would come alive and the place would bounce and we’d go on to win the game. I couldn’t be happier today.

“To have the bravery to get on the ball and pass it and move it the way they did in the second-half was outstanding. If you ask their manager, I don’t think anyone else would have done what we’ve done to them this season.”

Referee Gavin Ward had been the centre of attention at times throughout the game, notably when he failed to dismiss Hatters keeper James Shea for a mistimed challenge on Vetokele and also waved away penalty appeals from Jonny Williams shortly before he did point to the spot for a foul on Taylor.

“From where I was it looked like it was a red card [for Shea],” added Bowyer.

“It was a reckless challenge. If that was from an outfield player, he’s going off. Jonny Williams looked like a penalty to me and maybe that’s why he gave us the other one because that looked soft. That looked half a penalty compared to what Jonny’s was. It evened itself out. You can’t control those things. We’ve had a lot of decisions go against us this season but thankfully our players stood up and didn’t let that happen. They just grabbed the game by the horns and took it away from Luton.”

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