BY LOUIS MENDEZ
Charlton were forced to settle for just a point after Nottingham Forest struck late at The Valley.
The Addicks, who remain unbeaten four games into their return to Championship football, took a deserved lead through Lyle Taylor’s fourth goal of the season before twenty minutes had been played.
Lee Bowyer’s side were dominant in the first-period but failed to add a second goal and were made to pay as substitute Albert Adomah levelled ten minutes from time.
The Addicks boss made four changes from the side that drew at Barnsley on Saturday, including handing a surprising debut to new signing Erhun Oztumer.
The hosts came flying out of the traps and twice could have broken the deadlock inside the opening six minutes.
The lively Jonathan Leko was a whisker away from his first Addicks goal as he flicked Oztumer’s corner on, only for visiting stopper Arijanet Muric to touch it onto the inside of the post.
The Forest custodian was soon called into action again as Chelsea loanee Conor Gallagher controlled a lofted ball into the area. The 19-year-old’s shot was charged down by Muric, with Leko’s follow-up denied as well.
The South Londoners finally had their deserved lead after eighteen minutes. A sumptuous 22-pass move culminated in a first-time cross from Leko that Taylor glanced into the net from close-range. It meant the striker became the first Charlton man to score in each of the first four league games at the start of a campaign since Darren Bent achieved that feat in 2005/06’s Premier League season.
Lee Bowyer’s side, with debutant Oztumer amongst many who were impressing, continued to weave some glorious spells of possession but couldn’t add to their solitary strike – before visitors Forest issued two warning shots before the break.
Tiago Silva had already swiped an effort over the bar before only a perfectly-timed last-ditch challenge from Tom Lockyer stopped Lewis Grabban from finishing as a deflected long-range shot fell into his path eight yards out.
Forest eased their way back into the contest after the restart but still struggled to create any openings – and were lucky not to fall further behind on the hour-mark.
Taylor wrestled his way into the right-hand side of the Forest box but his pull-back was blazed over by Leko from six yards out.
Visiting boss Sabri Lamouchi made a double change as he knew he was running out of time to find an equaliser – and one of those he introduced did just that for him.
The Addicks couldn’t clear a corner and Adomah rifled the loose ball into the roof of Dillon Phillips’ net with just over ten minutes on the clock – with neither side able to find a winner after that.
Charlton have now gone 19 league games without tasting defeat at The Valley.
HEADER PHOTO PAUL EDWARDS
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