Charlton boss Lee Bowyer pleased to return to The Valley with lead after play-off semi-final win at Doncaster

Charlton boss Lee Bowyer is pleased to be taking a lead back to The Valley for the second-leg of the play-off semi-final tie with Doncaster Rovers.

The Addicks bagged two goals in as many first-half minutes as Lyle Taylor and Joe Aribo opened up a priceless lead just beyond the half-hour mark.

There were chances to extend the lead further but Rovers managed to halve the deficit late on as Matty Blair became the beneficiary of a deflected cross and bundled home three minutes from time.

But Bowyer said he would have been happy before kick-off to take a lead of any type back to The Valley for Friday evening’s decisive second-leg.

“For sure, anything without losing,” said the Addicks boss, whose side haven’t lost at home in the league for over seven months.

“You just want to keep that momentum and that belief that we don’t lose games. We’re in a good place at the moment as a squad and we’re in that habit of winning games and it’s a great habit to be in.

Charlton Athletic’s Joe Aribo (left) celebrates scoring his side’s second goal of the game with Anfernee Dijkstee (centre) and Naby Sarr during the Sky Bet League One Play-off, First Leg at the Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster.

“Bit disappointed to concede so late on. A bit of fortune went their way, it looped and was indefensible for Ben on the far-post. But we’ve got a one-goal lead going back to The Valley. We haven’t been beaten there since the turn of the year, so it’s going to be tough for Doncaster. But we realise it’s another 90 minutes, anything can happen.

“We’ve witnessed that more than ever, in this week that’s just gone by, how crazy football can be. It’s not over until it’s over. Again, we’ll respect them and try and win the game.

“Out of possession we were solid, limited their chances. Knowing the people that we’ve got in the team, we were always going to create chances. I knew we would create and it’s just whether we take the chances on the day, which we did. They’re still in it, they’re still in with a shout but now I can’t wait for Friday.

“I’m over the moon because when we played here not so long ago we left with a 1-1 draw and you could say we were a bit fortunate that day. That’s why I changed the shape, you have to respect who you are playing against.

I was looking for more goals but Josh Parker got cramp and we didn’t have another striker to put on. Otherwise I would have swapped him one for one. Once we went down to the one striker we invited a bit more pressure but unfortunately, we don’t have another striker on the bench. That’s out of our hands but even then, I thought we might hit them on the break and we did at times.”

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