Charlton 1 Accrington Stanley 1
Steven Sessegnon’s wonderstrike, his first career goal, levelled the scoring as the Addicks shared the spoils with Accrington Stanley at The Valley.
After a sharp start from Charlton, Shaun Whalley gave Accrington the lead but Sessegnon’s strike, an excellent double save from Ashley Maynard-Brewer and a clearance off the line from George Dobson meant the game finished 1-1.
Ahead of kick-off it was announced that Manager Dean Holden had put pen to paper on a three-year contract extension to the delight of the home fans who welcomed the boss with loud cheers pre-game.
Holden recalled Corey Blackett-Taylor and Miles Leaburn to the starting line-up and began the game in a very attacking formation that at times operated as a 4-2-4.
It was Blackett-Taylor who was most dangerous early on, driving just wide of the post after a clever one-two with Leaburn, before his cross from the left was headed against the visitors’ bar by Accrington defender Mo Sangare.
In the 15th minute Blackett-Taylor cut in from the left and forced the visitors’ goalkeeper Toby Savin into a low save to his right.
After Charlton’s fast start it was Accrington that took the lead in the 28th minute, benefitting from a loose ball out of defence with Tommy Leigh knocking down for an unmarked Whalley to head home.
Striker Aaron Pressley on the stretch wasn’t quite able to put Accrington 2-0 up, clearing the crossbar from close range.
There was nothing close range about the Addicks 37th-minute equaliser which lit up the home support. Lucas Ness collected a pass from Jack Payne and found Sessegnon, who wriggled away from a defender before aiming for goal. The full-back’s strike from more than 35 yards was perfectly placed into the top corner of the goal, giving Savin no chance.
It was the visitors who came out the stronger in the second half, with Maynard-Brewer, who signed a three-year contract extension on Friday, first keeping out Whalley and then Pressley with an incredible double save. Dobson then cleared off the line to deny Harvey Rodgers.
The Addicks had two big chances to win the game in stoppage time first Daniel Kanu got on the end of Dobson’s long ball forward but wasn’t quite able to lob over the onrushing Savin, then Tyreece Campbell’s driven cross went agonisingly across the face of goal but no Charlton striker was quite able to get on the end of it and the game finished level.
Charlton: Maynard-Brewer; Clare, Ness (Thomas 84), Hector, Sessegnon; Rak-Sakyi (Campbell 70), Dobson (c), Kilkenny (Morgan 62), Blackett-Taylor; Leaburn (Bonne 84), Payne (Kanu 62)
Subs (not used): Wollacott, Henry
Goal: Sessegnon 37
Assist: Ness 37
Booked: Dobson 54 (foul on Whalley), Holden 90+6 (dissent), Morgan 90+7 (foul on Lowe)
Accrington Stanley: Savin, Clark, Whalley (Adedoyin 77), Leigh, Longelo (Nolan 87), Sangare, Rodgers, Pressley (Lowe 77), Martin, Conneely (c), Tharme
Subs (not used): Isherwood, Nottingham, Butler-Oyedeji, Fernandes
Goal: Whalley 28
Assist: Leigh 28
Booked: Rodgers 49 (foul on Leaburn), Tharme 61 (foul on Clare), Conneely 90+6 (foul on Campbell)
Referee: D Drysdale
Attendance: 11,972 (154 from Accrington)