Cheltenham Town
V Charlton Athletic
Completely-Suzuki Stadium
Cheltenham Town
Charlton Athletic
Kick off

Cheltenham Town 1 Charlton 3

Late goals from Tyreeq Bakinson and Alfie May were enough to give the Addicks three points on Tuesday evening, as they secured a 3-1 win at Cheltenham Town to move seven points clear of the drop zone.

Given the fact that the reverse fixture in November saw two goals inside the first 17 minutes, the Completely-Suzuki Stadium may have been expecting a fast start this time around.

That was not the case, with the first 18 minutes passing almost entirely without incident. Then, suddenly, Charlton were ahead. Conor Coventry received the ball from George Dobson and played a perfect ball inside Will Ferry for Tennai Watson to run on to.

The wing-back hit a first-time cross, and Daniel Kanu got in front of Curtis Davies to slot home with his left foot. It was a wonderful team goal, with the Addicks making a difficult move look very easy.

After a slow start, the game had exploded into life and the rest of the half was played out in frantic fashion. In particular, a five minute period between the 28th and 33rd minute saw May go close four times against his old club.

First, a looping ball out of defence by Macaulay Gillesphey was knocked down for May by his strike partner Kanu, and the number nine drove into the box, shuffled the ball inside, but saw his shot blocked by Liam Kinsella.

Next, in the 31st minute, May’s in-swinging corner from the left had to be touched onto the bar by goalkeeper Luke Southwood.

Two minutes after that, May had two opportunities in quick succession when Coventry pinched the ball back and Dobson played the striker through on goal. His first shot from just inside the area was straight at Southwood, and May dragged the rebound wide on the half-volley.

It was a remarkable period of the game, and sandwiched in between May’s chances was a golden opportunity for Thierry Small to claim his second Addicks goal. After the wing-back’s corner was partially cleared, Gillesphey re-centred the ball to find Small unmarked six yards out, but the 19-year-old headed just wide.

The Addicks were keen to double their advantage to avoid being pegged back later in the game, as was the case at Northampton Town on Saturday. And while they dominated the half, the hosts were not without their own opportunities.

The best came in the 34th minute when a heavy touch from Terell Thomas was seized upon by George Lloyd, who played in Matt Taylor. The striker looked set to level the scoring, but a wonderful block from Rarmani Edmonds-Green diverted the ball wide of Harry Isted’s left post.

Chances continued to flow for the rest of the half, with May twice going close again and Dobson heading just over from a Small cross at the end of the first period. But somehow the teams went in for the break with only one goal scored.

What followed was a second half which gave the impression that both managers had been unimpressed with the defending up to that point. But despite a much tighter 45 minutes, there were still chances for either side.

In the 54th minute, Robins’ captain Sean Long went close, flashing a shot wide of Isted’s left post from the edge of the box.

Ten minutes later, Kanu had a half chance when he got on the end of a Watson cross, but he could not sort his feet out. It was a moment that, along with the missed chances in the first period, would come back to haunt the Addicks.

With 20 minutes remaining, and Cheltenham’s influence on the game growing, the hosts found their equaliser. Having been introduced from the bench ten minutes earlier, Jordan Thomas went on a terrific solo run on the left, skipping inside Watson and Coventry.

The winger had a shot which was kept out by Isted, but Liam Sercombe was on hand to touch in the rebound and level the scoring.

It seemed that, for the first time in the game, Cheltenham were on top. But the Addicks hung in there and, just as they did in the reverse fixture, claimed all three points late on.

In the 85th minute, Dobson stepped in brilliantly to halt a Robins counter-attack, before launching a long ball into the box. On hand was substitute Bakinson, who chested the ball down before firing in a shot on the turn.

Just as he did for the first goal, Southwood got a hand to it. But once again, the goalkeeper could not keep it out, and Bakinson had his first Addicks goal.

Charlton were not done yet, though. Five minutes later, May had the goal he had looked likely to provide all evening. A slip from Tom Pett on the edge of his area was enough to put Small through on goal, and the wing-back unselfishly squared for the striker to roll home.

May has now scored in each of the last four times these sides have met – twice for Cheltenham, and three times for Charlton.

It is a win that moves the Addicks up to 14th in the table, and Nathan Jones’ side will now look ahead to Saturday when they host Carlisle United at the Valley.

Cheltenham Town: Southwood; Long (c), Davies, Bradbury; Kinsella, Bonds (Thomas 60), Pett, Sercombe, Ferry (Smith 25); Taylor (Keena 76), Lloyd

Subs (not used): Shepherd, Pardington, Harrop, Sloggett

Goals: Sercombe 70

Charlton: Isted; Edmonds-Green (Jones 65), Thomas (Hector 90), Gillesphey; T.Watson, Dobson (c), Coventry, Anderson (Bakinson 79), Small; Kanu (Ladapo 78), May

Subs (not used): Maynard-Brewer, Campbell, Asiimwe

Goals: Kanu 19, Bakinson 85, May 90

Assists: T.Watson 19, Dobson 85, Small 90

Booked: N.Jones 71 (dissent), May 86 (excessive celebration), Bakinson 88 (foul on Pett)

Attendance: 4,392 (629 from Charlton)

Referee: Scott Jackson