Five-star Charlton continued their perfect Valley record so far this season by sweeping Plymouth Argyle aside in Sky Bet League One on Tuesday night.
First-half goals from debutant Jes Rak-Sakyi, Jayden Stockley and Sean Clare – with the Addicks' second coming from the penalty spot and moments after the visitors had seen defender James Wilson sent off for a handball on the goal-line – had them in control at the break.
Argyle pulled one back through Morgan Whittaker in the second period but further strikes from Charlie Kirk and Miles Leaburn added some more-than-deserved gloss to the scoreline.
Ben Garner’s side end the evening in sixth position in the league table, setting them up perfectly for their second home game of the week against Cambridge United on Saturday.
The Addicks started the game brightly and almost broke the deadlock when Albie Morgan whistled a low free-kick narrowly wide from 25 yards on 10 minutes.
The hosts only had to wait 60 more seconds to grab the lead, though, and Morgan was again involved. His deep cross was met by the head of Stockley’s, whose header was saved but debutant Rak-Sakyi was perfectly placed to bundle the rebound into the empty net.
Charlie Kirk saw a volley kiss the outside of the post a few minutes later as the Addicks continued to dominate and the same man then curled off target, having been teed up by Scott Fraser with 17 minutes gone.
Plymouth had their first real shot in anger on the half hour mark when midfielder Adam Randell’s low strike forced Joe Wollacott into a save to his right-hand side.
But the Addicks responded with a great chance of their own shortly afterwards when the ever-dangerous Rak-Sakyi twisted his man inside and out before firing over the crossbar from inside the penalty area.
In the final five minutes of the half, Charlton firmly made their dominance count. Another Kirk volley was this time kept out by the arm of James Wilson, leaving referee Sam Purkiss with no choice other than to point to the penalty spot and send the Argyle defender for an early bath.
Stockley made no mistake from the spot, claiming his first goal of the season, and before the half was out the hosts had grabbed another goal.
Unfortunately, this match report will never be able to do the strike from Clare justice, so we would suggest that head to CharltonTV to take a look at it yourselves.
It ensured that the Addicks held an unassailable lead heading into half time and they maintained that until the visitors bagged a consolation through Whittaker’s effort from the edge of the box on 71 minutes.
The three-goal parity was restored five minutes later when Kirk claimed his first goal for the club, converting a low Morgan cross.
But arguably the biggest cheer of the night was reserved for the 84th minute when academy graduate Leaburn dispatched a loose ball into the top corner of the net from the edge of the box.
The goal drew chants of ‘Leaburn, Leaburn, Leaburn’ from the Valley faithful and brought the curtain down on a great evening in SE7.
Charlton: Wollacott; Clare (McGrandles 58), Lavelle, O’Connell (Inniss 77), Clayden; Fraser (Payne 64), Dobson, Morgan; Rak-Sakyi (Leaburn 63), Stockley (c), Kirk
Subs (not used): MacGillivray, Sessegnon, Blackett-Taylor
Goals: Rak-Sakyi 11, Stockley (pen) 41, Clare 45+3, Kirk 76, Leaburn 84
Plymouth Argyle: Cooper; Wilson, Scarr, Gillesphey; Edwards (c) (Lonwijk 83), Randell (Butcher 46), Houghton, Mumba (Galloway 46); Whittaker, Hardie (Ennis 46), Azaz (Jephcott 55)
Subs (not used): Burton, Mayor
Goal: Whittaker 71
Sent off: Wilson 39 (handball)
Referee: Sam Purkiss
Attendance: 12,392 (1,160 from Plymouth)
The Addicks host Cambridge United at The Valley on Saturday. Click here to get your ticket.