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Charlton Athletic 0-2 Doncaster Rovers: Weakened Addicks side dumped out of the FA Cup

Charlton were dumped out of this season’s FA Cup as fellow League One outfit Doncaster Rovers ran out second round winners at The Valley.

Second-half goals from Ben Butler, albeit via a huge deflection from Addicks midfielder Mark Marshall, and John Marquis saw Rovers safely through to the next round in front of just over 3,000 fans in a sparsely-populated stadium.

Lee Bowyer had made a total of nine changes from Tuesday’s win over Burton Albion for cup clash but his second-string side were unable to get anything from the tie.

A minute’s applause was held before kick-off in memory of former Addicks midfielder Darren Pitcher, who passed away aged 49 last weekend.

Grant McCann’s side were gifted an early opportunity as Ben Reeves, on his return from injury, was dispossessed inside the Addicks half. Tommy Rowe was laid off but slipped as he looked to fire at goal from the edge of the area and his effort sailed wide.

Reeco Hackett-Fairchild, who was making just his second start of the campaign, almost broke his duck for the season as he flicked a cross towards goal only to see it blocked near the line.

Charlton Athletic’s Mark Marshall in action

Billy Clarke suffered the same fate moments later, with Butler on-hand to deny the Irishman’s drive after Nicky Ajose had touched a deep cross into his path.

Rowe headed a deep cross over at the other end, before Niall Mason then flashed a dangerous ball across the face of the Addicks goal. Nobody gambled in a Doncaster shirt to make a telling touch and open the scoring.

Clarke then did well to chest a cross down in the Rovers area but again saw his shot hit a Doncaster man, this time deflecting wide for a corner that the visitors were able to deal with.

Reeves was next to try his luck for the hosts, but his curler from 22 yards took a touch from a Rovers defender on its way wide of the far-post.

Dillon Phillips made short work of Donny midfielder Herbie Kane’s rising half-volley as the sides returned to the dressing rooms with neither finding a breakthrough.

The game seemed to open up in the early exchanges of the second-period. Phillips got down well to hold onto Alfie May’s dangerous ball into the Addicks box, with Reeves seeing a drive headed behind by Tom Anderson after Mark Marshall set the home side away on the break.

Clarke was inches from breaking the deadlock as his free-kick whistled just over Ian Lawlor’s crossbar – but it would be the visitors who edged ahead with a quarter of the game to go.

A simple corner was floated into the Addicks box, with Butler’s header deflecting off Marshall, beyond Phillips and into the back of the net.

Doncaster Rovers Andy Butler (centre) celebrates scoring his side’s first goal of the game with teammates

Substitute Mallik Wilks should have doubled the lead moments later but shanked an effort wide when through on goal.

Hackett-Fairchild wasted a golden chance to draw the Addicks level as he mis-controlled a Marshall cross that fell into his path, and he was punished soon after as the Yorkshire outfit doubled their lead.

It came from another set-piece, with former Millwall man Marquis bundling home at the far-post as Butler nodded a deep free-kick across the face of goal.

Kane was once again denied from distance by Phillips as the visitors went in search of a third, but they had to thank goalkeeper Ian Lawlor as his superb save stopped a bullet Marshall header from halving the deficit with three minutes to go.

Phillips twice denied Donny from adding another in the closing stages, with Toby Stevenson then somehow failing to add to his remarkable scoring record this season as he headed a Brendan Sarpong-Wiredu cross over from just yards out – as the Addicks crashed out of the FA Cup.

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