Charlton 2 Barnsley 0
Charlton made it three league wins in a row to kick off 2023 with a 2-0 victory over sixth-placed Barnsley at The Valley.
Tyreece Campbell scored his first senior goal, Jes Rak-Sakyi notched his seventh goal of the season and the Addicks defended bravely to secure a clean sheet and an important three points.
While Barnsley had much of the possession and hit the woodwork twice, they managed just two shots on target, compared to Charlton’s four as the Addicks continued the positive momentum that has been building in recent weeks.
Manager Dean Holden made three changes from the side that played Manchester United in midweek, bringing in new signing Todd Kane, Jack Payne and Campbell to freshen up his side which began in a 4-3-3 formation. Holden had to made a late change with Steven Sessegnon, who was set to start, missing out after the warm-up, which meant Kane started at left-back and Sean Clare came in to start at right-back.
Barnsley made a good start and Ashley Maynard-Brewer made a smart save to keep out Jordan Williams in the ninth minute.
At the other end, new boy Kane picked out Jes Rak-Sakyi with a wonderful chipped pass. The winger controlled well but Bradley Collins smothered his shot.
The Addicks took the lead in the 19th minute when Payne pounced on a loose ball just inside the Charlton half. He released Campbell down the left wing, who broke well and sped up the pitch. The young winger was shown on to his left foot but made no mistake with a powerful finish which beat Collins at his near post.
Barnsley responded well and hit the crossbar twice as they looked for an equaliser. The first was a wonderstrike from Josh Benson – who scored from similar range in the reverse fixture – and the second was a header at the back post from Nicky Cadden in first-half stoppage time.
Both teams were forced in to first half changes with Benson and Kane both suffering injuries that resulted in substitutions. Kane’s injury meant a change in shape for the Addicks, who moved to a 3-5-2.
Charlton doubled the lead just after the hour-mark, when Barnsley were unable to clear from a dangerous Campbell cross. Aaron Henry won a header on the edge of the opposition's box, the ball fell to substitute Macauley Bonne - making his return to the Addicks - who turned well and his low shot was saved on to the post by Collins. The ball bounced back to Rak-Sakyi who passed into the empty net from seven yards out.
The Addicks nearly made it 3-0 shortly afterwards and again Campbell was involved. The 19-year-old got to the byline and his devlish cross made its way through to Ryan Inniss, who did well to get to the ball but couldn’t quite direct his shot on target.
Inniss, again, and Clare both came close to scoring and the Addicks had to defend some heavy Barnsley possession but were able to keep out their opponents for an impressive win.
Charlton: Maynard-Brewer; Clare, Inniss, Ness, Kane (O’Connell 45+4); Payne (Henry 58), Dobson (c), Fraser; Rak-Sakyi, Leaburn (Bonne 58), Campbell (Blackett-Taylor 83)
Subs (not used): Harness, Morgan, Stockley
Goals: Campbell 19, Rak-Sakyi 61
Assists: Payne 19, Bonne 61
Booked: Inniss 82 (push on Norwood), Clare 84 (foul on Wolfe), Bonne 90 (foul on Phillips)
Barnsley: Collins, Williams, Kitching, Andersen (c), Cadden, Kane (Norwood 64), Benson (Larkeche 39), Aitchison (Martin 64), Phillips, Cole (Watters 64), Connell (Wolfe 79)
Subs (not used): Walton, Thomas
Booked: Kitching 43 (foul on Leaburn), Kane 58 (foul on Leaburn), Andersen 66 (foul on Bonne), Phillips 90+1 (foul on Blackett-Taylor)
Referee: Craig Hicks
Attendance: 13,266 (1,012 from Barnsley)