Charlton 3 Port Vale 2
There have been more goals scored at The Valley in the league than any other stadium in League One this season and the Addicks were once again in goalscoring form in a 3-2 victory at home to Port Vale.
Charlton’s front three, Jes Rak-Sakyi, Miles Leaburn and Tyreece Campbell, have a combined age of 58 and all three found the net as Dean Holden's side demonstrated their ruthlessness in front of goal in the final home game of the 2022/23 campaign to move to 10th in League One ahead of next week's season finale at Cheltenham Town.
Scott Fraser and Campbell returned to the starting XI as Holden made two changes from the side that played Morecambe last weekend, as the Addicks once again began in a 4-3-3 formation.
It was a quick start for the Addicks and Rak-Sakyi created the first opportunity for the dangerous Campbell, who collected his teammates' cross in space and saw his shot from inside the penalty area blocked away to safety in the sixth minute.
Albie Morgan had the next sight of goal six minutes later when he got on the end of a George Dobson long ball but his chipped effort, from a tight angle, cleared the crossbar.
The pressure meant it wasn’t a surprise when the Addicks took a 14th-minute lead. Rak-Sakyi fed the ball back to Morgan on the right wing whose deep cross was headed by a Port Vale man right into the path of Campbell. The academy graduate took a touch to control the ball before rifling into the bottom-left corner of the goal.
Campbell came close to a second, latching onto Rak-Sakyi’s fantastic long, crossfield ball but his shot, cutting in from the left, was blocked behind for a corner.
Charlton had one more chance before the break, Steven Sessegnon cutting in from the left onto his right foot and curling a 25-yard shot just past the post.
The visitors were forced into a double substitution at half-time in response to Charlton’s first half and started the second period with more threat. Daniel Butterworth skipped into the penalty area and saw his shot blocked behind for a corner before Aaron Donnelly’s effort looked destined for goal but was blocked by Sessegnon.
The Addicks doubled their lead with Rak-Sakyi netting his 15th goal of the season in the 58th minute. The visitors weren’t able to properly clear a Dobson through ball and Rak-Sakyi got to it first, cut onto his left foot and finished with the power and accuracy that Charlton fans have become accustomed to seeing during the 20-year-old’s loan spell.
Leaburn nearly added a third three minutes later, turning well in the box but the striker was not quite able to get enough power behind his left-footed shot.
Port Vale pulled a goal back a minute later, James Plant capitalising from close range when the Addicks weren’t able to clear a corner. Ashley Maynard-Brewer then made a good low save to keep out Tom Conlon’s free-kick.
Charlton’s third was a nice team effort, as Sessegnon collected a crossfield pass and fed the dangerous Campbell on the overlap. The winger picked out Rak-Sakyi in the box who controlled well before teeing up Leaburn to calmly stroke home his 12th league goal of the season.
The visitors pulled a goal back deep in to stoppage time, Matt Taylor converting a penalty after Terell Thomas was adjudged to have handled the ball in the penalty area.
The Addicks followed up the victory with a lap of appreciation for the supporters in attendance.
Charlton: Maynard-Brewer; Clare (Egbo 73), Hector (Mitchell 79), Thomas, Sessegnon (Kane 85); Morgan, Dobson (c), Fraser (Payne 79); Rak-Sakyi, Leaburn, Campbell (Henry 85)
Subs (not used): Wollacott, Kanu
Goals: Campbell 14, Rak-Sakyi 58, Leaburn 77
Assist: Rak-Sakyi 77
Booked: Clare 4 (foul on Benning), Hector 39 (altercation with Proctor), Morgan 65 (foul on Ojo), Dobson 74 (foul on Politic)
Port Vale: Stone, Donnelly, Smith, Worrall, Benning, Proctor (Plant 46), Ojo, Forrester (Taylor 46), Massey, Pett (c) (Conlon 70), Butterworth (Politic 70)
Subs (not used): Stevens, Holden, McDermott
Goals: Plant 62, Taylor 90+7
Booked: Proctor 39 (altercation with Hector)
Referee: C Brook
Attendance: 15,314 (996 from Port Vale)