Tom Rubashow reports from the Macron Stadium
A courageous, battling performance by Charlton saw the Addicks secure a 2-1 victory against high-flying Bolton Wanderers, despite having to play for 80 minutes with 10 men.
Karl Robinson’s team made it 11 points from five games but had to deal with an aerial onslaught for much of an incredibly tense second half.
Debutant Jake Forster-Caskey was the provider, laying on goals for Patrick Bauer and Nathan Byrne as Charlton came from 1-0 down to win.
There were two changes from the side that drew with Millwall, with Forster-Caskey and Tony Watt starting in place of the injured Josh Magennis and the suspended Jorge Teixeira.
Declan Rudd started in goal with Chris Solly and Lewis Page at full back. Bauer was joined at centre half by Ezri Konsa. Andrew Crofts, Forster-Caskey and Aribo were set up to play in the centre of midfield with Byrne and Adam Chicksen on the wings. Watt up front in a young side with Rudd, at 26, the team’s second oldest player.
Charlton began the game with some neat passing as Forster-Caskey and Aribo looked to get on the ball in the middle of midfield. Indeed, Forster-Caskey was the first to test Bolton’s goalkeeper Ben Alnwick with a strike from the edge of the box that was gathered comfortably by the former Charlton man.
At the other end Bolton, a big, physical side, set their stall out early with some direct, long-balls into the Charlton box. It was from a long ball that the game seemingly changed.
Charlton’s centre-halves missed a hoof forward leaving Josh Vela through on goal. Page, on the cover, brought down the attacking midfielder outside the area and as the last man was given his marching orders by referee Robert Jones.
It went from bad to worse for the travelling Charlton fans as Zac Clough beautifully curled in the resulting free-kick into the net to give Bolton a 1-0 lead in the 13th minute.
Charlton had to change their shape, reverting to a 4-4-1 formation with Chicksen moving to left-back and Aribo to left wing.
In the 20th minute, Bolton had a wonderful chance to make it 2-0 when Clough, unmarked in the box, volleyed off target with the goal seemingly at his mercy.
10-man Charlton kept battling though and minutes later Watt capitalised on some sloppy play in the Bolton defence to win a free-kick in the left-wing position. Forster-Caskey stepped up to take it and his left-footed cross was wonderfully floated into the danger area where Bauer was on hand to head home an equaliser.
Bolton continued to press, striking the woodwork from a deflected cross and forcing some routine saves out of Rudd.
At the other end, Charlton’s joy was coming from free-kicks earned by battling work down the left wing.
In time added on in the first half Charlton took the lead with a fantastic counter-attack. Forster-Caskey strode forward from the back on a brilliant, driving run. After beating David Wheater he found Byrne with a perfectly-weighted pass and the winger slotted past Alnwick for his first Charlton goal.
The second half began in frantic style with Bolton chasing an equaliser while at the other end Tony Watt caused problems with some fantastic hard work.
The Bolton pressure grew and Lee Novak, Ricky Holmes and Johnnie Jackson were brought as Charlton looked to hold on.
Charlton dug in and worked tirelessly throughout the second 45 minutes. While Bolton had half chances and corners aplenty, a combination of Rudd’s dominance of his box and brave defending kept the home side at bay.
Despite all the pressure Bolton, didn’t have any clear-cut chances in the second half and Charlton were able to head back to London with three points that the team most definitely deserved.
Charlton: Rudd, Solly, Bauer, Konsa, Page, Crofts, Forster-Caskey, Aribo (Jackson 89), Byrne (Holmes 82), Watt (Novak 63), Chicksen.
Subs (not used): Mitov, Ajose Dijksteel, Dasilva
Goals: Bauer 23, Byrne 45+2
Booked: Forster-Caskey 43, Watt 52
Sent off: Page 11
Bolton Wanderers: Alnwick, Wilson, Beevers (Proctor 82), Wheater, Taylor, Spearing, Thorpe (Clayton h/t), Henry (Wilkinson 71), Vela, Clough, Madine
Subs (not used): Turner, Moxey, Osede, Trotter.
Goal: Clough 13
Booked: Beevers 35, Vela 85
Referee: R Jones.
REPORT | Bolton Wanderers 1 Charlton 2
January 28th, 2017
Read Time: 4 mins