Outstanding Addicks win at Derby

Karoy Anderson celebrates

Derby County 1 Charlton 2

The Addicks have their first win of the Nathan Jones era, after they came from behind to claim a fantastic 2-1 victory at high-flying Derby County on Tuesday night.

The new boss has put a lot of emphasis on improving the defence since his arrival at Charlton, and following the weekend’s draw with Portsmouth, Charlton again looked solid at the back in a first half with few chances at either end.

It took until the 25th minute for either side to go close, when Korey Smith dragged a shot wide from 20 yards after a nice Derby move involving Dwight Gayle, Max Bird, and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing.

Three minutes later, the Addicks struck back with a very similar effort, with Panutche Camará going close from range in what was his first start since October.

In a scrappy half, it appeared increasingly likely that any chance was going to come from a set piece. In the 39th minute that chance came, and it was taken by the Rams.

After good work from Mendez-Laing won a corner off Terell Thomas, the winger’s set piece found Eiran Cashin at the near post and the Irishman nodded the ball home to give his side the lead.

With the second half following on in much the same fashion as the first, Nathan Jones decided to send on Alfie May and Chuks Aneke to add some impetus on the hour mark.

Within 10 seconds of his introduction, the latter so nearly levelled the scoring when Thierry Small’s in-swinging corner was flicked on by Cashin and Aneke got his head on it, but the big striker could only direct the ball onto the post from close range.

It would not matter too much, though, as five minutes later Jones’ other substitution would provide a crucial intervention. A wonderful ball around the corner from Conor Coventry found Daniel Kanu racing into the box on the right, and the striker got to the ball before the onrushing Joe Wildsmith.

The goalkeeper dangled a leg and, right on the corner of the box, brought down Kanu. The referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot, and May’s first touch since coming on would be to drill the penalty past the motionless Wildsmith and level the scoring. It was no more than the Addicks deserved.

To their credit, Derby responded well and went close ten minutes later when Mendez-Laing’s deep free kick fell to Sonny Bradley, but the captain’s volley was deflected over by Macaulay Gillesphey.

But the game’s defining moment would come with ten minutes to go. Ebou Adams received the ball halfway inside his own half, but mis-controlled the ball and Aneke was on him in a flash. The substitute fed his strike-partner Kanu inside the box, and the Sierra Leone international had his shot saved well by Wildsmith.

It looked for a moment as though the chance had gone, but Karoy Anderson had other ideas, running onto the rebound to crash the ball into the roof of the net. It was his first ever league goal, and it could not have come at a better time.

The 657 travelling Addicks would have been anxious when they saw the fourth official indicate eight minutes of added time, but despite a heart-in-mouth moment when Bradley headed straight at Harry Isted from the penalty spot, Charlton held on for a huge victory.

Nathan Jones wasted no time in going over to celebrate jubilantly in front of those away fans, and his side will surely be raring to go again when they visit Northampton Town on Saturday.

Derby County: Wildsmith; Nyambe (Barkhuizen 52), Bradley (c), Nelson, Cashin; Wilson, Smith (Sibley 62), Adams (Blackett-Taylor 84), Bird, Mendez-Laing; Gayle (Waghorn 62)

Subs (not used): Loach, Thompson, Fornah

Goal: Cashin 39

Assist: Mendez-Laing 39

Booked: Bradley 22 (foul on Kanu), Wildsmith 64 (foul on Kanu)

Charlton: Isted; Edmonds-Green, Thomas (c), Gillesphey; T.Watson (Ness 74), Coventry, Camará (Aneke 60), Anderson, Small; Ladapo (May 60), Kanu

Subs (not used): Maynard-Brewer, Edun, Dobson, Campbell

Goals: May (pen) 65, Anderson 80

Assist: Kanu 65

Booked: Gillesphey 82 (foul on Adams), Aneke 90+5 (time-wasting)

Attendance: 24,557 (657 from Charlton)

Referee: Jeremy Simpson

Read Time: 4 mins