Charlton AthleticSport

Fleetwood Town 1-0 Charlton Athletic: Addicks suffer defeat on the Fylde Coast

Charlton slipped to a narrow defeat on the Fylde Coast as Ched Evans’ second-half goal earned Fleetwood Town all three points.

The South Londoners ended the game with ten men after Patrick Bauer was shown a second yellow card in the closing stages.

The Addicks, who were still missing talisman Lyle Taylor through suspension, were unable to find a way back into the game after falling behind and suffered a first defeat in six.

Reeco Hackett-Fairchild led the line for the Addicks, making his first league start for the club due to Karlan Grant’s transfer to Huddersfield Town during the week.

It was a slow start on the Fylde coast, taking until the ninth minute for either side to register a real attempt on goal.

Jonny Williams was felled 25 yards from goal in a central position. Ben Reeves stepped up to take the set-piece but saw his effort clip off the wall and over the bar.

The South Londoners forced a handful of early corners and Reeves had a golden opportunity to open the scoring from one. Josh Cullen pulled the flag-kick back to the unmarked midfielder on the edge of the area, but he missed the ball completely as he looked to drive at the target.

Charlton Athletic’s Patrick Bauer battles with Fleetwood Town’s Jason Holt

Paddy Madden executed an almost identical air-shot at the over end as Ched Evans looked to feed him at the near-post, before the Addicks came a whisker away from edging ahead midway through the period.

Full-back Chris Solly burst into the area on the right-hand side, but his left-sided teammate was unable to bundle a dangerous ball across at the far-stick. Williams’ follow-up was well blocked by Alex Cairns in the Cod Army goal and the chance was gone.

Ashley Nadesan lifted one over from inside the eighteen-yard box and Madden headed a tricky chance over as the sides went into the interval locked in a stalemate.

Addicks stopper Dillon Phillips kept it that way just after the break, diving well to his left to keep out a low free-kick from former Sheffield United man Ched Evans.

Deadline day acquisition Josh Parker came on to make his Charlton debut ten minutes into the second-period, with George Lapslie making his way. Boss Lee Bowyer also switched from a 4-3-2-1 to a 4-4-2 diamond as he looked to try and wrestle control of the contest.

Joey Barton’s side should have taken the lead on the hour mark. Nadeson latched onto a long ball over the top but skewed his volley wide, unaware he had more time than he thought to measure his effort.

Charlton Athletic’s Mouhamadou-Naby Sarr comes under pressure

Phillips was then called into action once again, coming off his line superbly to smother Evans’ close-range poke as he bundled his way into the Addicks area.

The hosts edged ahead with just over twenty minutes left to go. Ashley Hunter’s diagonal ball was nodded down by Madden, with Evans finishing unmarked from eight yards out.

Bowyer threw Tariqe Fosu and Igor Vetokele into the mix to try and salvage something from the game, with the latter returning from a shoulder injury that had side-lined him since early November.

Parker soon saw a shot dribble agonisingly across the face of Cairns’ goal, with Hackett-Fairchild unable to make contact at the far-post.

Things went from bad to worse for the Addicks two minutes from time. Bauer, who had already been booked, was shown a second yellow card by the referee – and the ten men South Londoners were unable to find a way past Cairns in the seven allotted minutes of added time.

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