Charlton’s battling qualities might just be enough

Charlton Athletic 1-0 Queen’s Park Rangers

Extending our ‘London Soccer Shorts’ coverage, this afternoon
Yellow Sport are at The Valley, providing updates, as well as a report and reaction from relegation-threatened Charlton Athletic’s vital Sky Bet Championship encounter with capital rivals, Queen’s Park Rangers.

DARREN PRATLEY’S early goal assisted further in spearheading Charlton’s dash away from the Championship relation places.

A crucial three points gleaned at Hull City seven days previous had lifted Charlton clear of the dropzone, albeit by the slenderest of margins. Indeed, boss Lee Bowyer – never one to rest on his laurels – was quick to acknowledge there was still plenty to do for his troubled charges: “It’s been a positive start, but there will be more twists and turns before the end,” he explained.

Nevertheless, against a Rangers side with floundering play-off aspirations, it was the home side who were first to spark. Pratley met Josh Cullen’s flag-kick with the meat of his forehead – beating R’s stopper, Liam Kelly, via the foot of the post with the games first meaningful effort.

Charlton were workmanlike, but unspectacular during the opening period. But with Rangers appearing flat and without purpose, that proved amply sufficient

Returning – undoubtedly, with a flea in their ear from Mark Warburton, the West Londoners were first to threaten. West Ham loanee, Jordan Hugill, tested Dillon Phillips after Angel Rangel had fashioned an opportunity. Indeed, Rangers had increased the tempo and adopted a higher line, forcing the hosts deeper into as they started to dictate.

Geoff Cameron dragged a decent opportunity wide as Rangers continued to probe ineffectively. Meanwhile, Macaulay Bonne’s close-range header was ruled out – the former Colchester and Orient man – thwarted by a flag after believing he’d doubled the Addicks advantage.

Tom Lockyer perhaps should have done better, heading directly into Kelly’s midriff, while Pratley fired in another goalbound attempt as it became more so apparent that Charlton’s desire was greater although quality questionable.

But when embroiled in a relegation battle, honest application is the minimum requirement. Kelly blocked from Alfie Doughty, while five minutes of additional time was navigated as Bowyer’s men took another tentative step towards safety.

Charlton Athletic return to Sky Bet Championship action on Tuesday, June 300, when they travel to Cardiff City (6pm). Then, on Friday, July 3, Local rivals, Millwall visit The Valley (8:15pm).

Charlton Athletic: Dillon Phillips, Adam Matthews, Deji Oshilaja (Ben Purrington 77’), Tom Lockyer, Jason Pearce (Capt), Aiden McGeady (Alfie Doughty 60’), Darren Pratley, Macaulay Bonne (Sam Field 84’), Albie Morgan (Andre Green 84’), Josh Cullen, Tomer Hemed (Chuks Aneke 60’) Subs not used: Ben Amos (GK), Jonny Williams, Naby Sarr, Josh Davison

Booked: Darren Pratley (foul)
Goals: Darren Pratley 12’

Queen’s Park Rangers: Liam Kelly, Angel Rangel (Todd Kane 71’), Connor Masterson, Yoann Barbet, Ryan Manning, Geoff Cameron (Luke Amos 71’), Dominic Ball (Faysal Bettache 77’), Bright Osayi-Samuel (Aramide Oteh 71’), Ilias Chair (Olamide Shodipo 60’), Ebere Eze, Jordan Hugill Subs not used: Joe Lumley (GK), Luke Amos, Olamide Shodipo, Osman Kakay, Joe Gubbins, Jack Clarke

Booked: None
Goals: None

Referee: Tim Robinson
Assistants: Adrian Waters and Michael George
Fourth Official: James Linington

Reaction to follow…

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Brian Jeeves

Email: [email protected]