Olly Groome reports from the Crown Oil Arena
A late Jorge Teixeira leveller earned Charlton a point from a pulsating 3-3 draw with Rochdale at the Crown Oil Arena on Saturday.
The Addicks showed great fighting spirit to claw themselves back level on two occasions after Niall Canavan gave the hosts the lead after just four minutes.
Jordan Botaka’s first goal for the club brought the Londoners level before the break, before substitute Teixeira nudged his side in front with 23 minutes remaining.
It was not long before Dale equalised through Calvin Andrew and the home side thought they had victory in their grasps when Nathaniel Mendez-Laing netted with just six minutes left on the clock.
Charlton, however, had other ideas and grabbed the point that their efforts deserved in the 89th minute as Teixeira sealed his brace to round up a thoroughly entertaining six-goal thriller.
Karl Robinson adjusted Charlton’s system for the second trip up to Greater Manchester in four days.
Tony Watt came back into the side to provide support to Josh Magennis up front in one of three changes in personnel made by the Manager.
The team news in full saw Declan Rudd start in goal. He was protected by a back four of Chris Solly, Patrick Bauer, Ezri Konsa and Lewis Page, who was back in the side following suspension and injury.
Andrew Crofts and Jake Forster-Caskey again occupied midfield berths, while Jordan Botaka and Ricky Holmes – the latter earning a recall – were out wide.
Up front, Watt was given more of a free role to provide the link between midfield and central striker Magennis.
The Addicks had their first opening after two minutes when Holmes saw his shot blocked in the box, by what looked like a possible hand, before Watt’s follow up was also denied by a blue shirt.
But despite the bright start, it was the home side who would take the lead with their first foray into the Londoners’ box after four minutes.
A Solly trip on Charlton’s far right side resulted in a free-kick which was swung deep into the penalty area, and with Rudd under pressure from Dale striker Calvin Andrew, he did not get hold of it as his attempted catch was impeded by the head of his teammate Magennis, leaving it to drop to the feet of Canavan who tapped home.
Moments later, the hosts came close to a second from another troublesome set-piece with Joseph Thompson seeing an effort cleared off the line by Page, while the Addicks had chances of their own at the other end to find a leveller.
Magennis turned Watt’s cross wide, before the latter sent a low, speculative shot spinning off target from 20 yards soon after.
But it was Magennis who was awarded the best chance to find the net early on when he found himself one-on-one with Dale stopper Ben Wilson.
The Northern Irishman bundled his way through the defence before tearing into the box, but he was denied by the legs of Wilson to maintain his side’s advantage.
Rudd was called into action on 18 minutes when he made a superb save to keep out Donal McDermott’s swerving effort from 25 yards, impressively tipping it over the bar, and made another eye-catching save seven minutes later to keep out Andrew’s header.
Robinson’s frustration was compounded before the half-hour mark when Konsa was forced to hobble off with injury and replaced by Teixeira, but just as it looked like Charlton would struggle to find a way through before the break, they came up with an equaliser.
Magennis flicked a header past Rochdale’s high line, playing Botaka through on goal with just Wilson to beat.
The Congolese remained patient before getting away his first shot, which beat the keeper, but came bouncing back off the left upright. He made no mistake with his second bite of the cherry, however, dispatching the ball into the bottom left-hand corner of the net to draw level.
Early in the second half, a half-chance fell at the feet of Teixeira from a corner. With the delivery cleared only as far as the Portuguese, he improvised well to send a half-volley curling just wide with the outside of his right boot.
Indeed, the second half was a far tighter affair in the middle of the park, with clear-cut chances few and far between and Robinson shuffled his pack on 64 minutes, bringing Stephy Mavididi off the bench in place of Tony Watt.
The Arsenal loanee very nearly made an incredible, immediate impact, picking the ball up 25 yards from his own goal before breezing past the majority of Rochdale’s lineup to find himself one-on-one with Wilson.
But with the keeper rushing out quickly he made a good save to put the ball behind for a corner.
Mavididi’s lung-busting run would, however, count for something as the Addicks took the lead from the resulting set piece.
Bauer got his head on it to put the ball back across goal where Teixeira was hand to bundle the ball over the line for his side to take the lead for the first time.
The Addicks could, and probably should, have stretched their lead further moments later when Bauer failed to convert a free header from another corner which would prove to be costly, with Dale going straight down the other end to net an equaliser.
Andrew was the man to punish Charlton, jumping highest to power home a header at the far post from a left-wing cross, cutting short the visitors’ celebrations with the lead having lasted just three minutes.
With 14 minutes remaining, the home side nearly punished the Addicks further when Andrew struck the crossbar with his angled shot, but with just six minutes left on the clock, they did find the net through Mendez-Laing.
The substitute received the ball on the edge of the box and placed a powerful effort firmly into the bottom right-hand corner and beyond the reach of Rudd’s dive to seemingly earn the points for the hosts.
However, Charlton were by no means finished and struck another leveller in the 89th minute with Teixeira bagging his second of the afternoon and it was a near-carbon copy of his first.
With a set-piece delivered into the danger zone, Bauer headed it back into the mixer where his defensive partner was on hand to turn it home and complete the scoring in a topsy-turvy encounter which leaves the Addicks eight points off the play-off places.
Charlton: Rudd, Solly, Bauer, Konsa (Teixeira 28), Page, Crofts, Forster-Caskey, Botaka (Novak 78), Holmes, Watt (Mavididi 64), Magennis.
Subs (not used): Phillips, Jackson, Dasilva, Aribo.
Booked: Magennis 79 (foul on Rafferty), Holmes 90 (attempted professional foul)
Goals: Botaka 41, Teixeira 67, 89
Rochdale: Wilson, Rafferty, Canavan, Andrew, Camps, McDermott (Rathbone 64), Thompson (Mendez-Laing 76), Keane, Allen, Kitching Noble-Lazarus 58), Henderson.
Subs (not used): Logan, McNulty, McGahey, Cannon.
Booked: Keane 34 (foul on Botaka), Rathbone 90 (foul on Bauer), Rafferty 90+3 (foul on Mavididi)
Goals: Canavan 4, Andrew 70, Mendez-Laing 84
Referee: S Duncan.
Read Time: 6 mins