BY LOUIS MENDEZ
Charlton extended their winning run to four games as they dispatched former manager Karl Robinson’s Oxford United side 2-0 at The Valley.
The results put the Addicks into sixth in the League One table with a game in hand on the teams above them. A win in the game in hand would put them level on points with third-placed Ipswich.
Conor Washington broke the deadlock just after the half-hour mark at The Valley as he latched on to Andrew Shinnie’s smart pass to slide home his third goal of the campaign.
Provider turned scorer just before the break when Shinnie whistled a free-kick beyond Simon Eastwood to double the hosts’ advantage.
Lee Bowyer’s side were reduced to 10 men midway through the second-half as Ryan Inniss received a second yellow card but the Addicks held on to stretch their unbeaten run to five.
Bowyer said: “I thought it was a real good team performance. From start to finish. They had a bit more possession than us but didn’t really hurt us. I can’t remember too many clear-cut chances where Ben [Amos] had to make saves.
“We get the goal – that was something that we walked through earlier today: Shinnie getting into those little pockets. He’s a very clever player. A great run from Conor and a great pass – he took it well.
“Then obviously it was an outstanding free-kick from Shinnie. We deservedly went in at half-time on top. Second-half, the sending off makes it more difficult but we still had good chances.
“To manage the game the way they did, a lot of men out there and experienced players. We managed it really well when we went down to 10. I’m really proud of them today, I thought we deserved the three points.”
The South Londoners have now gone over seven and a half hours without conceding – a run that Bowyer says is thanks to the hard work of the entire side.
“That doesn’t just happen with your back four and your goalkeeper, it starts from up top,” explained the Addicks manager.
“Conor Washington today and Omar Bogle, young Paul Smyth. They worked their socks off. It starts from up there, your defensive line. They’re all working as hard as they can. You’ve got the experience in front of the back four protecting.
“Then you’ve got the solid back four and a great goalkeeper to back that up as your last line. Another good clean sheet. The players – I’ve just said to them it was outstanding. They’re not a bad side, Oxford. They’re a very good side that were in the play-off final last season. To keep them limited like they did, even after going down to 10 men, they should be proud.”
PHOTOS: KYLE ANDREWS/ PAUL EDWARDS
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