BY LOUIS MENDEZ
Charlton made it three wins from three in rancid conditions at Sixfields as Darren Pratley’s strike couple with an own-goal from Jack Sowerby secured a 2-0 away win.
The contest was played under a howling wind and steady downpour but a solid rear-end display from the Addicks defence means they’ve now gone over six hours of football without being breached and gave them the base upon which to build the victory with the two goals in the second-half.
Pratley, who came into the action as a half-time substitute, walloped a Ryan Inniss knockdown in from a corner to open the scoring ten minutes after the break. A fine run from Alfie Doughty led to Sowerby slicing through his own net just four minutes later.
Charlton manager Lee Bowyer was happy to come away with another maximum in trying conditions at Sixfields.
Bowyer said: “The most important thing and the positive I can take from that is it’s another clean sheet. I don’t care what the game looked like. We’ve come here, tough conditions, bobbly pitch, wind blowing a gale and we’ve got three points. That’s all I care about today.
“These are the ones. When you do get promotion, these are the ones that count. Ben Amos was outstanding. Young Ian [Maatsen], excellent. The two centre-halves, [Chris] Gunter. Those were the standout ones for me today. Pratley made a difference when he came on.
“It was difficult for Omar [Bogle] up top on his own at times. But as a group, for them to gel like that and have that fighting spirit so quickly, that’s the positives I’m taking from today.
“We’re always going to create, that’s the way we are, that’s the way we play. If we can keep on keeping clean sheets, they’re the things that you build on. They had a couple of chances first-half and Ben [Amos] kept us in the game. But the most important thing is that we leave with three points. That’s all I care about. I don’t care how pretty it looked or how dogged of a fight it was.”
Pratley replaced 19-year-old Manchester United loanee Dylan Levitt at the break, and Bowyer admitted it hadn’t been the young midfielder’s afternoon.
“It was difficult for young Dylan there,” Bowyer explained.
“It was not his type of game. But I can’t predict what the weather is going to like or what the pitch is going to be like. Once we got to half-time, I’d seen Dylan a couple of times, it didn’t go his way. Not through any fault of his own but I needed Prat’s experience in front of the back four. I knew the wind, they had the wind and I needed Pratley there to protect that back four.”
PHOTOS: KYLE ANDREWS
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