10-man Charlton fall to late Northampton loss

Alfie May battles for the ball

Charlton 2 Northampton Town 3

The Addicks fell to another late defeat on Tuesday night, as Louis Appéré claimed a winner in the seventh minute of stoppage time for Northampton Town.

In a topsy-turvy first half, it was the visitors who struck first. After a warning shot from Sam Hoskins was tipped over by Ashley Maynard-Brewer in the third minute, the breakthrough came four minutes later.

Kieron Bowie broke free in midfield and played a ball in behind for Tyreece Simpson who beat the offside trap, check back inside Rarmani Edmonds-Green and slot the ball past Maynard-Brewer.

Charlton responded well, sending in two dangerous crosses in the 13th and 17th minutes, the first from Tayo Edun and the second from debutant Edmonds-Green, though neither Tyreeq Bakinson nor Freddie Ladapo could quite get to the ball.

That was also the case in the 20th minute, but this time it did not matter. Alfie May burst down the right, got half a yard on Jon Guthrie and sent a cross along the floor. The cross was missed by Ladapo but ended up in the net courtesy of the left foot of Aaron McGowan, and the Addicks were level.

The full-back was visibly frustrated, but made immediate amends just two minutes later when the Cobblers retook the lead. Mitch Pinnock laid the ball out wide to McGowan, who pulled back an inch-perfect cross for Hoskins, who swept the ball home first time with his right foot.

Michael Appleton’s side had the bulk of the possession for the remainder of the half, but struggled to put moves together. They did go close in the 40th minute when, after Pinnock handled the ball on the left corner of the box, Conor Coventry sent in an excellent free-kick. Macaulay Gillesphey rose highest but his header appeared to strike Ladapo and went harmlessly over.

But, just when it looked like the home side would be trailing at half-time, they put together the kind of flowing move they had spent the whole half looking for. It culminated in Coventry feeding Ladapo inside the box on the right.

The striker saw his shot blocked by Guthrie but following in was Tennai Watson who drilled the ball home for his first Addicks goal.

If the first half was all-action, then the second was anything but. Until the 70th minute, all either side had to show was a rising drive over the top from Brighton & Hove Albion loanee Marc Leonard.

But with 20 minutes to go, Charlton sprang into life. May played a lovely ball on the turn out right to George Dobson, who centred for Ladapo in the box. The forward could not get a shot away but the ball fell kindly for May, whose shot beat goalkeeper Lee Burge but was kept out brilliantly by McGowan on the line. If he had handed the Addicks a goal in the first half, then he single-handedly prevented one this time.

Two minutes later, May was again the spark, this time feeding Bakinson with a backheel. The midfielder drove into the box but had it taken off his toe by Patrick Brough as he was about to shoot.

Against a side that had only lost one of their last seven coming into the match, the Addicks were the dominant force in the game. That momentum was not even halted when Edun was sent off in the 86th minute for a second bookable offence - both yellow cards coming for fouls on McGowan.

With a player less, for a while Charlton still looked the more likely to claim a winner, and for a second it looked like they had when, in the 91st minute, May sent a curling shot towards the far post from the right. It was tipped round the post brilliantly by Burge.

Two minutes laterm it was Maynard-Brewer’s turn to pull off a flying save when, following a corner, Pinnock sent a rasping drive towards the top corner.

But heartbreak would come in the 97th minute, when Pinnock picked up the ball 30 yards out and played a reverse ball for Appéré. The substitute made no mistake, converting the ball at the near post to give the Cobblers the lead for the third and final time.

Charlton: Maynard-Brewer; Edmonds-Green, Jones (Thomas 46), Gillesphey; T.Watson (Campbell 77), Dobson (c), Coventry (Fiorini 76), Bakinson, Edun; May, Ladapo

Subs (not used): Isted, Ness, L.Watson, Kanu

Goals: McGowan (og) 20, T.Watson 45+3

Assist: May 20

Booked: Edun 32 (foul on McGowan), Ladapo 58 (kicking ball away), Bakinson 69 (foul on Appéré), Coventry 71 (foul on Appéré)

Red card: Edun 86 (second bookable offence)

Northampton Town: Burge; McGowan, Willis (Monthe 52), Guthrie (c), Brough; McWilliams (Hondermarck 77), Leonard, Pinnock; Bowie, Hoskins, Simpson (Appéré 62)

Subs (not used): Moulden, Lintott, Springett, Dyche

Goals: Simpson 7, Hoskins 22, Appéré 90+7

Assists: Bowie 7, McGowan 22, Pinnock 90+7

Booked: Hoskins 25 (foul on Dobson), Bowie 89 (simulation)

Attendance: 10,943 (667 away)

Referee: Paul Howard

Read Time: 4 mins