Charlton’s cushion above the League One play-off chasing pack stretched to 11 points after a routine 2-1 win over Burton Albion.
The result, coupled with Peterborough’s defeat at AFC Wimbledon, means the Addicks look almost certain of a top-six finish for the second season running.
A penalty apiece from Charlton’s Lyle Taylor and Burton’s Lucas Akins meant it was all-square after eighteen minutes. Ben Reeves headed the hosts back ahead ten minutes before the break and that’s the way it would stay as the Addicks stretched their run of unbeaten home league games to thirteen.
A frantic opening saw Patrick Bauer deny the Brewers’ Marcus Harness with a timely block as he burst into the area inside the first fifteen seconds, with Taylor then skewing a half-volley wide at the other end just a minute later.
Tariqe Fosu came even closer to breaking the early deadlock soon after as he crashed against the bar from eight yards out but the supporters inside a freezing Valley didn’t have to wait much longer to welcome the opening goal.
John Brayford hauled Taylor down inside the area, with the Addicks frontman dusting himself off to send Bradley Collins the wrong way from the penalty spot and take his goal tally up to seventeen for the season in all competitions.
Both sides had benefited from a first-half penalty in the reverse fixture at the Pirelli Stadium back in November and the same was to be true this evening.
Referee Thomas Bramall spotted a handball by Bauer, with Akins obliging from the spot to haul the visitors level with eighteen minutes on the clock.
The contest settled into a more comfortable pace after it’s frantic start as Nigel Clough’s side looked to try and frustrate their hosts, but the Addicks would regain their lead ten minutes before the interval.
A slick move found Taylor in space down the Charlton right. He whipped in a deep cross that was met by a stunning flying header from Reeves that left Bradley Collins stranded in the home goal.
The score remained unchanged as the sides returned to the dressing rooms and the game struggled to come back to life after the interval.
Akins had sent a shot well wide on the turn for the visitors as they tried to find a way back into the contest before Joe Aribo, who would soon be replaced, saw a cross hacked narrowly over his own bar by a desperate Burton defender.
Liam Boyce was chucked on by the visitors and he came inches away from levelling the scores. Harness’ cross was headed just wide of Dillon Phillips’ near-post by the substitute, who then drew a save on the stretch from the Addicks stopper from a tight angle.
But there was to be no way back for the mid-table Brewers as Lee Bowyer’s side held on for their second home win in four days.
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