Newport County 3 Charlton 1
The Addicks fell to their first defeat of the season as they were beaten 3-1 by Newport County in the first round of the Carabao Cup on a rainy Tuesday night in south Wales.
Charlton were utterly dominant in the first half and very nearly took the lead in the 22nd minute when Michael Hector played a glorious ball over the top to Charlie Kirk, who got to the byline and laid the ball back to Jack Payne. The midfielder would have been disappointed to see his scuffed shot roll just wide of the far post.
Despite the Addicks' dominance, chances were few and far between and it looked like they would have to settle for 0-0 at half-time, but - just as they did at The Valley on Saturday - Charlton managed to find the breakthrough on the stroke of the interval.
Much like George Dobson’s winner against Leyton Orient, the goal started with some great play down the left wing. Tyreece Campbell, on as an early substitute after Richard Chin picked up an injury, played a clever one-two with full debutant Tayo Edun and found himself 12 yards out with a chance to shoot. He struck his effort towards the far post and Daniel Kanu was on hand to divert the ball into the back of the net.
The home side ran towards referee Scott Simpson claiming Kanu’s shot hit Jack Payne in an offside position, but, after consulting his assistant, the official pointed to the centre circle and the Addicks were ahead.
Newport, having offered little in the first half, were very nearly level two minutes into the second period. Aaron Wildig got the ball back from his short corner and sent in a teasing inswinger which bounced in front of Harry Isted, making his first competitive appearance for the club. The Addicks could not clear and the ball fell to Harry Charsley, who managed to dig the ball towards goal but could only find the outside of Isted’s post.
The Exiles looked a different side in the second period and got their equaliser 15 minutes later. Conor McGrandles, down by the byline, let a ball from Hector run across his body and was caught in possession by Seb Palmer-Houlden and, suddenly, Wildig was free in the box and, from the corner of the six-yard box, dispatched under Isted.
Full of renewed optimism, Newport began to dominate and took the lead in the 76th minute. Charsley’s hopeful cross from the right was not cleared and Matthew Bondswell, fresh off the bench, took it on his left and pulled the ball back to Will Evans who finished confidently.
Things went from bad to worse for the Addicks five minutes later. An unfortunate slip by debutant Terry Taylor left Charsley and Palmer-Houlden two-on-one with Ness and it was a simple task for the latter to slide it beyond Isted and double the Exiles’ advantage.
Charlton responded well and were twice very nearly back in the game. First, Kirk’s left-footed shot from the edge of the box was deflected onto the post by Josh Seberry and then Alfie May got on the end of a long ball by Terrell Thomas but couldn’t steer his lob over Townsend. Kanu laid the follow-up off to Hector, but with three defenders between him and the open net, the skipper was only able to fire over the bar.
That meant the Addicks were condemned their first defeat of the season and will be looking to bounce back at Peterborough on Saturday.
Charlton: Isted; Mitchell, Ness, Hector (c); Chin (Campbell 14 (Anderson 46)), McGrandles (May 77), Payne, Camará (Taylor 46), Edun (Thomas 69); Kanu, Kirk
Subs (not used): Maynard-Brewer, Dobson, Blackett-Taylor
Goal: Kanu 43
Assist: Campbell 43
Booked: Hector 27
Newport County: Townsend; Seberry (McLoughlin 90+2), Delaney, Jameson, Evans; Charsley, Bennett (Lewis 57), Morris, Waite (Rai 90+2); Wildig (Bondswell 74), Palmer-Houlden (Bright 90+2)
Subs (not used): Maxted, Bowen, Wood
Goals: Wildig 63, Evans 76, Palmer-Houlden 81
Assists: Palmer-Houlden 63, Bondswell 76, Charsley 81
Booked: Wildig (45+4), Waite 88, Charsley 90+8
Referee: Scott Simpson
Attendance: 2,600 (617 from Charlton)