Charlton lose at Oxford United

Jes Rak-Sakyi chases the ball

Oxford United 3 Charlton 1

Despite a much-improved second half, the Addicks were left to rue a sluggish first half as Charlton lost 3-1 at Oxford United.

Miles Leaburn’s goal in the 67th minute, combined with the threat of substitutes Jes Rak-Sakyi and Corey Blackett-Taylor, had given Charlton hope after conceding two soft first-half goals but Gavin O’Donkor’s goal eight minutes from time sealed three points for Karl Robinson’s side.

For Charlton’s second game in four days, Manager Dean Holden made four changes, as the Addicks lined up in a 3-5-2 formation.

The Addicks had the first sight at goal in the fourth minute when Jack Payne collected on the left and found Jayden Stockley in the box, though the striker’s shot was blocked away to safety by the home side.

Cameron Brannagan gave Charlton a scare nine minutes later, smashing a free-kick into the crossbar.

Oxford took a 20th-minute lead through an unmarked Billy Bodin, who tapped in at the back post from an inch-perfect Josh Murphy cross.

Matty Taylor made it 2-0 four minutes later, deflecting in a Bodin shot and leaving Ashley Maynard-Brewer with no chance in the Charlton goal.

The Addicks’ best chance of the half fell to Stockley, who headed just over from an Aaron Henry free-kick.

Holden made three changes at half-time as Charlton moved to a 4-2-3-1 formation.

The Addicks started the second half a lot better than they played the first and came close when substitute Blackett-Taylor blasted over after cutting inside from the left and onto his stronger right foot.

After a good spell Charlton got a goal back in the 67th minute. Richard Chin and Blackett-Taylor combined well on the left to set the winger free. Blackett-Taylor sped past Elliott Moore and picked out Leaburn with an excellent left-footed cross. Leaburn, arriving in the box, powered a header home for his sixth league goal of the season.

Three minutes later and the Addicks nearly levelled. Rak-Sakyi turned excellently and played a lovely reverse pass into the path of Leaburn. The striker’s shot was saved, behind for a corner, by Oxford stopper Ed McGinty.

The U’s sealed the victory when substitute O’Donkor tapped in on the line after Maynard-Brewer had kept out Yanic Wildschut’s initial shot eight minutes from full time.

Oxford United: McGinty, Long, Moore (c), Bodin (Seddon 90+4), Brannagan (Goodrham 90+4), Taylor (O’Donkor 81), Bate, Brown, McGuane, Murphy (Wildschut 46), Anderson (Findlay 71)

Subs (not used): Plumley, Jones

Goals: Bodin 20, Taylor 24, O’Donkor 82

Assists: Murphy 20, Bodin 24

Charlton: Maynard-Brewer; Ness, Lavelle (Rak-Sakyi 46), Thomas (Inniss 46); Clare, Payne, Dobson (c), Henry, Chin (Campbell 72); Stockley (Leaburn 60), Kanu (Blacket-Taylor 46)

Subs (not used): Harness, Fraser

Goal: Leaburn 67

Assist: Blackett-Taylor 67

Booked: Chin 45 (foul on McGuane), Leaburn 66 (foul on McGuane), Payne 77 (foul on Brannagan)

Referee: B Toner

Attendance: 8,889 (991 from Charlton)

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