Charlton 1 Oxford United 2
The Addicks suffered a late defeat on New Year’s Day as Oisin Smyth's long-range strike earned Oxford United a 2-1 win at The Valley.
The U’s were coming into this on the back of a lightning start against Derby County on Friday, but it was Charlton who raced into the lead in SE7. Chem Campbell started and finished an impressive counter-attack in the fifth minute. The Wolves loanee did brilliantly to pinch the ball off Ruben Rodrigues in midfield and suddenly the Addicks were away with George Dobson releasing Corey Blackett-Taylor.
The winger shifted the ball onto his left foot and saw his shot saved by former Charlton academy goalkeeper James Beadle, but Chem Campbell pounced, taking one touch and firing into the near corner.
The Addicks’ left-hand side was running rampant in the early stages, with Chem Campbell and Blackett-Taylor linking up to excellent effect. In the eighth minute, the former fed the latter who this time opted to come inside before stinging Beadle’s palms with a firm effort.
With 15 minutes gone, Oxford had two excellent chances to draw level. First, Cameron Brannagan released Rodrigues on the right, who had his shot parried away by Ashley Maynard-Brewer and 30 seconds later Brannagan was denied what looked like a certain goal by a wonderful block from Michael Hector after Finley Stevens had found the former Liverpool man in the box.
It was a lively first half and in the 20th minute Charlton went very close. Blackett-Taylor was again found by Chem Campbell and the winger twisted Stevens inside and out before dinking a perfect ball to the back post where, with Beadle stranded, Daniel Kanu was denied by a wonderful, last-ditch block from Ciaron Brown.
Games can pivot on fine margins such as those and, having survived going two goals down by a matter of inches, the U’s were soon level. Rodrigues turned in midfield and played a great ball for Stevens to run on to. In behind the Addicks’ defence, the right wing-back hit a first-time cross to the near post where Mark Harris poked home.
It was a fairly even remainder of the first period, but Charlton were quick off the blocks again in the second period, with the Chem Campbell and Tyreece Campbell twice combining to good effect. In the 51st minute, the latter sent in an excellent cross for the former, who was unable to claim his second, heading wide.
Two minutes later the Welshman returned the favour, releasing Tyreece Campbell inside the box on the right, but the winger’s low shot was parried away by Beadle.
But just as they did in the first half, the U’s gradually came into the contest. Two decent chances for Harris signalled his side’s growing dominance, the first of which came just after the hour-mark when he got on the end of a Joe Bennett cross but could only send his header looping up into the cold winter air.
Then, in the 79th minute, Harris went closer, playing a one-two with substitute Billy Bodin before curling a shot wide of Maynard-Brewer’s far post.
The winner, when it did come, was some strike. From the left touchline, Brannagan played a ball inside to Smyth who had roamed into midfield. The Northern Irishman got the ball out of his feet and hit a scorching drive from 30 yards into the top-right corner to snatch all three points for the visitors.
Charlton: Maynard-Brewer; T.Watson (Thomas 82), Hector, Jones, Edun; Dobson (c), Anderson, C.Campbell (Rylah 90); T.Campbell, Kanu (Casey 88), Blackett-Taylor (Fraser 82)
Subs (not used): Walker, Asiimwe, L.Watson
Goal: C.Campbell 5
Booked: Jones 60 (foul on Harris), Anderson 89 (foul on Rodrigues)
Oxford United: Beadle; Stevens, Moore (c), Brown, Bennett; McGuane (Gorrin 90+1), McEachran (Bodin 60), Brannagan; Smyth, Rodrigues, Harris
Subs (not used): Eastwood, Henry, Mills, Woltman, O’Donkor
Goals: Harris 22, Smyth 85
Assists: Stevens 22, Brannagan 85
Booked: McGuane 45+5 (foul on Kanu), McEachran 53 (foul on Kanu)
Attendance: 13,955 (1,070 away)
Referee: Alex Chilowicz