Charlton 1 Leyton Orient 0
The Addicks got off to a winning start to the 2023/24 season this afternoon with a 1-0 win over League One new boys Leyton Orient in front of the largest crowd at The Valley for more than a year.
The Valley nearly saw its first goal of the season inside four minutes. Corey Blackett-Taylor, by far the liveliest player on the pitch in the first half, beat Rob Hunt and clipped a cross to the back post. Nathan Asiimwe, making his full league debut, headed back across goal where Alfie May took it on his right foot, flicked it onto his left, and volleyed at goal. The strike looked destined for the net but O’s keeper Sol Brynn got a strong left hand to it.
After a fast start, the game settled down and the next half hour proved cagey. The home side were on top and debutant Alfie May did go close on a couple of occasions, first from a curling free kick and then when goalkeeper Brynn managed to punch clear a Karoy Anderson cross just in front of the new number nine.
But, with the teams looking likely to go into half time at 0-0, the Addicks got the breakthrough on the stroke of half time. Blackett-Taylor beat Hunt once again and hit a low left-footed cross into the six yard box. Both May and George Dobson were waiting, and it was the captain who got to it first to turn it into an empty net. Charlton had their first goal of the new campaign and it was no less than they deserved.
The second half began in the same manner as much of the first, with few chances for either side. The Addicks woke up in the 70th minute with the introduction of another new man – Panutche Camará. Within seconds of coming on, the number eight picked up the ball in the centre of the park and drove at the O’s defence before toe-poking through to Tyreece Campbell. Through on goal, the 19-year-old tried to take it round Brynn but the keeper just managed to stretch an arm and gather.
Just a minute later Brynn was called into action again when Blackett-Taylor beat Hunt again and this time opted to shoot, his shot stinging the palms of the Orient goalkeeper on its way over.
Camará should have sealed the win in injury time when Scott Fraser’s fierce shot was palmed out by Brynn. But 12 yards out and with the goal at his mercy, the Guinean was only able to side-foot wide.
It did not prove costly though, as under late pressure from the O’s, the Valley rose to its feet to sing the Addicks home. Charlton have three points to kick off the season and now look ahead to a trip to Newport County on Tuesday for the EFL Cup.
Charlton: Maynard-Brewer; Jones (Hector 76), Ness, Thomas; Asiimwe, Dobson (c), Anderson (Camará 70), Fraser; Blackett-Taylor (Edun 83); May, Campbell (Kirk 83)
Subs (not used): Isted, McGrandles, Payne
Booked: May 49, Fraser 60, Maynard-Brewer 90+1
Goal: Dobson 45
Assist: Blackett-Taylor 45
Leyton Orient: Brynn; Hunt (Brown 80), Beckles, Happe, James (Graham 80), Sweeney; Pratley (Galbraith 80), El Mizouni, Sotiriou; Archibald (Pegrum 90+1), Pigott (Moncur 70)
Subs (not used): Howes, Turns
Booked: Beckles 13, El Mizouni 15
Referee: Andrew Kitchen
Attendance: 18,512 (3,155 away)