Charlton AthleticSport

Charlton 3-1 Bristol Rovers: Addicks seal third straight league win

Charlton remain in League One’s top six after a hard-fought home win over Bristol Rovers.

The Addicks had edged ahead through Jamie Ward on ten minutes, before a piledriver from Joe Martin brought the visitors level. Joe Aribo nodded the South Londoners back in the lead just before the break, but it took until second-half injury time for Karlan Grant to make the points safe as the Gas pushed hard for an equaliser in the closing stages.

The Addicks could have led as early as the third minute. Nicky Ajose swung a corner in towards the near-post where Jason Pearce was on-hand but the Addicks skipper’s volley skewed off-target.

Ajose was involved again as his pull-back found George Lapslie unmarked on the penalty spot but Jack Bonham in the Gas goal saved well from the Charlton youngster- however the visiting stopper was powerless to prevent the opener on ten minutes

Charlton Athletic’s Jamie Ward scores his side’s first goal of the game

The goal was created superbly by Bonham’s opposite number Jed Steer. The Addicks keeper had claimed a deep free-kick before immediately launching a measured ball over the top to pick out the run of Ward, whose pace had sent him clear. The Nottingham Forest-loanee lifted the ball over the onrushing Bonham to claim his first goal in Charlton colours.

Rovers, who started the day in League One’s drop-zone, took a while to react and it wasn’t until Tom Nichols couldn’t quite reach Stefan Payne’s low-cross midway through the half that they showed any creativity going forward.

But that chance heralded a spell for the visitors and it was during that they pulled level. Liam Sercombe slipped the ball outside to Martin as the Gas countered, with the full-back rifling an unstoppable effort beyond Steer and into the top-corner.

They were nearly gifted a lead moments later as Krystian Bielik and Chris Solly both failed to clear their lines, but Steer was on hand to save well from Ollie Clarke.

Charlton Athletic’s Jamie Ward celebrates scoring his side’s first goal of the game

Ajose was denied by a superb last-ditch block from Upson soon after, and saw a free-kick deflect just wide with Bonham beaten as we approached the interval – but the Addicks would return to the changing rooms ahead.

A corner was taken short and it resulted in Ajose’s deep cross being headed back into the middle. Karlan Grant tried to fire on the turn but the ball looped into Aribo’s path to nod home his fourth of the campaign.

Patrick Bauer, on his return to league action after a couple of months out with a knee injury, saw a header flash wide after central-defensive partner Jason Pearce kept a loose ball alive and whipped in a decent cross.

Charlton Athletic’s Joe Aribo scores his side’s second goal of the game

Goal-scorer Ward then nearly laid one on a plate for Ajose, but his low-cross was just behind the striker, with Aribo then nearly adding a second of his own as he flashed a drive wide from 18 yards.

Rovers were looking for a first away win over the Addicks in nineteen visits but couldn’t find a leveller when Sercombe’s half-volley was held by Steer at the second attempt.

Substitute Kyle Bennett cut-in from the right to line up, but saw his shot fly out for a throw-in on the far-side as Rovers went in search of an equaliser and it was their desperation that cost them a third goal.

Everyone was forward for an injury-time corner, including goalkeeper Bonham, but the Addicks cleared their lines and Grant was able to charge towards the empty net to roll home and seal a third league win in a row.

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