Charlton 0 Cheltenham Town 1
Charlton fell to a 1-0 defeat against Cheltenham Town at The Valley on Friday night.
After the Addicks had seen two goals from Jes Rak-Sakyi and substitute Charlie Kirk chalked off for offside, Alfie May struck for the visitors five minutes from time to earn the visitors all three points.
The late loss dampened the spirits after an evening of celebration as the club commemorated 30 years back at The Valley, with the class of 1992 leading the teams out and a host of legends paraded to the crowd at half-time.
Academy graduates Lucas Ness and Zach Mitchell came into the side as two of four changes made by Ben Garner, with Craig MacGillivray and Diallang Jaiyesimi also returning to the starting XI.
The Addicks started brightly and created the first chance of the match after just four minutes, when Sean Clare's drilled shot was brilliantly blocked by Lewis Freestone.
Charlton continued their dominance with another great chance as Albie Morgan's beautifully floated ball was headed towards goal by Ryan Inniss, though Luke Southwood gathered the defender's effort.
Cheltenham’s first opening came on 16 minutes when N’Lundulu's pressing left him one-on-one with MacGillivray, but his lobbed effort struck the crossbar. Ness then produced an excellent goal line clearance to deny May, followed by an equally-impressive block from Inniss to turn behind James Olayinka's strike.
At the other end Rak-Sakyi glided through the midfield brilliantly before forcing Southwood into action with a low drive.
In the 54th minute, George Dobson's shot from the edge of the box fell to Rak-Sakyi who stroked the ball past the onrushing Southwood, though the assistant referee raised his flag for offside.
Moments later Jaiyesimi saw his shot loop over the bar after a great last-ditch tackle from Elliot Bonds.
Charlton's second offside call came 10 minutes from time as Kirk latched onto substitute Jack Payne's through ball before finishing coolly past Southwood, only to be denied by a late flag from the linesman despite appearing to time his run perfectly.
May scored the only goal of the game five minutes later. Liam Sercombe’s lofted through ball was misjudged by the sweeping MacGillivray, allowing the striker to loop the ball into an empty net.
The Addicks pushed hard for a late leveller but the Robins’ defence held firm on what was ultimately a frustrating night in SE7.
Charlton: MacGillivray; Mitchell (Forster-Caskey 90+2), Inniss, Ness; Clare, Morgan (Payne 78), Dobson (c), Fraser, Sessegnon (Campbell 77); Rak-Sakyi (Kirk 65), Jaiyesimi (Aneke 66)
Subs (not used): Maynard-Brewer, Lavelle
Cheltenham Town: Southwood; Long (c), Taylor, Freestone; Broom, Sercombe, Bonds, Williams (Hutchinson 71); Olayinka (Jackson 72); May (Norton 85), N’Lundulu
Subs (not used): MacDonald, Brown, Barkers, Raglan
Goal: May 84
Booked: Bonds 38 (foul on Morgan), Southwood 90+5 (time-wasting)
Referee: Alan Young
Attendance: 12,566 (346 from Cheltenham)
(Match report by Billy Wooldridge)