REPORT | Charlton 0 Oxford United 1

George Jones reports from The Valley

Charlton suffered a home defeat on Tuesday night, losing 1-0 to Oxford United at The Valley.

Conor McAleny struck the game’s only goal in the 10th minute and, despite hitting the woodwork twice during the match, the Addicks were unable to find the net themselves.

Charlton were reduced to 10 men on 70 minutes when Chris Solly saw red and, in the dying seconds, Patrick Bauer came within a whisker of snatching a point for his side, only to see his header cleared off the line.

In terms of team news, Karl Robinson made three changes to the team that started at Rochdale. Stephy Mavididi – who impressed off the bench at the Crown Oil Arena – came inside the eleven, as did weekend brace-scorer Jorge Teixeira and Nathan Byrne.

They replaced Tony Watt, Jordan Botaka and the injured Ezri Konsa, and it was Charlton that created the game’s first chance on three minutes.

Lewis Page cut the ball back to Byrne, following a determined run forward from Mavididi, and the Wigan loanee crashed a powerful strike against the crossbar.

Mavididi tested Simon Eastwood three minutes later with a stinging drive and Josh Magennis then put the visiting stopper under some pressure after Holmes had hooked a high ball into the Oxford penalty area.

The U’s grabbed the lead on 12 minutes. McAleny picked the ball up 30 yards out and sent a dipping drive towards goal that bounced off the post and rolled along the goal-line before nestling in the other corner.

The goal had come somewhat against the run of play but, buoyed by the opener, Oxford almost scored a second on 20 minutes. John Lundstram whipped in a free-kick from the left and Phil Edwards sent a free header over the bar.

The Addicks responded by creating a chance of the own. Page broke down the left and sent in a low cross that Magennis stretched for and steered wide.

Mavididi tested Eastwood with a low drive having jinked away from a couple of men and Holmes then blasted over from a tight angle with 29 minutes gone.

At the other end, Liam Sercombe dragged an effort wide from the corner of the penalty area and Holmes then saw a free-kick deflected over the bar for the Addicks.

From the corner that followed, Teixeira – hoping to add to his two goals at the weekend – nodded onto the roof of the net.

Oxford held a one-goal lead at the break and in the opening chance of the second half Liam Sercombe fired a shot at goal that was easy for Declan Rudd to gather.

A vital interception from United’s Chey Dunkley prevented Andrew Crofts from playing Magennis in on goal and the Addicks midfielder then did well to reach the byline but Eastwood was able to claim his cross.

Robinson made a double change on 56 minutes, bringing on Watt and Joe Aribo, and the pair both occupied the penalty area when Teixeira headed straight at Eastwood immediately after their introduction.

Watt and Holmes combined down the right to carve out a shooting opportunity for the latter, only for Oxford to get a last-ditch tackle in on him, and after recycling possession Charlton came within inches of levelling.

Mavididi skipped beyond his man on the left and cut inside another before crashing a strike against the base of the post.

It would have been a brilliant, individual goal from the on-loan Arsenal man and his side came close again moments later.

This time Aribo beat a man and, from a central position, Eastwood held his strike at the second attempt.

Charlton continued to push and Holmes shot over on the hour mark and six minutes later Eastwood adjusted his body well to collect a deflected cross from the Addicks wide man.

The stopper made a fantastic save on 69 minutes. Watt chipped the ball over the top towards Magennis and the Northern Irishman looked set to score, only for the stopper to race off his line and punch clear.

Charlton were reduced to 10 men a couple of minutes later. After Solly appeared to be fouled himself, he stretched to try and recover the ball and, in doing so, caught Lundstram with a late, but one-footed, tackle. Referee Gavin Ward deemed it worthy of a straight red card although on first glance it looked like a harsh decision.

Kane Hemmings shot into the arms of Rudd as the visitors looked to make the most of their numerical advantage and, at the other end, Bauer fired an instinctive shot well off target.

The German headed over from a Holmes corner three minutes from time, before Edwards went close for the visitors, and in the final second of stoppage time Bauer came so close to pinching a point for his side.

Aribo delivered a corner from the left and he met it with a firm header that looked destined for the corner but Ryan Ledson was there to nod it off the goal-line.

Charlton: Rudd, Solly (c), Bauer, Teixeira, Page, Crofts (Botaka 81), Forster-Caskey (Watt 56), Byrne (Aribo 56), Holmes, Mavididi, Magennis.

Subs (not used): Phillips, Dasilva, Jackson, Novak.

Booked: Forster-Caskey 24 (persistent fouling), Crofts 45 (altercation with Lundstram), Bauer 69 (foul on McAleny), Watt 80 (foul on McAleny)

Sent off: Solly 71 (foul on Lundstram)

Oxford: Eastwood, Skarz, Lundstram (c), Nelson, Martinez (Hemmings 60), Sercombe (Hall 75), McAleny (Maguire 88), Edwards, Ledson, Johnson, Dunkley.

Subs (not used): Stevens, Ruffels, Rothwell, Raglan.

Goal: McAleny 12

Booked: Lundstram 45 (altercation with Crofts), McAleny 86 (kicking the ball away), Johnson 90+4 (kicking the ball away)

Referee: G Ward

Attendance: 9,101 (699 from Oxford United)
Read Time: 5 mins