Olly Groome reports from the ABAX Stadium
Charlton fell to defeat at the hands of Peterborough United at the ABAX Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Despite a decent first-half showing at London Road, the Addicks were made to suffer for missing a number of good opportunities while the home side took theirs late on with Martin Samuelson’s and Marcus Maddison’s goals proving to be the difference.
Jason Pearce and Josh Magennis both took their places on the bench having recovered from injury.
Pearce had been absent since sustaining a groin injury against Bradford City on December 10th, while Magennis has missed the last two games with a hamstring problem.
The team news in full saw Declan Rudd start in goal and he was protected by a back four that consisted of Nathan Byrne, Jorge Teixeira, Patrick Bauer and Adam Chicksen.
In midfield, the returning Johnnie Jackson - who replaced the injured Ezri Konsa – took his place, with Fredrik Ulvestad, Jake Forster-Caskey and Ricky Holmes also providing support.
Tony Watt passed a fitness test on an injury this morning and started up front with Lee Novak.
An impeccably- observed period of silence in memory of loyal Addick PC Keith Palmer, as well as all those who lost their lives in the recent terror incident in Westminster, took place prior to the action getting under way, and it was the hosts who registered the first shot on goal on 12 minutes with Chris Forrester forcing Rudd into a save from distance.
The Addicks enjoyed their first opening five minutes later, coming close when a neat passage of play ended in Watt supplying the ball for an unmarked Novak in a great position in the box, but as he pulled the trigger 10 yards from goal, he was denied by a goal-saving block from a blue shirt.
Moments later, the striker came close again, this time forcing keeper Luke McGee into a decent save from a bobbling effort.
The Addicks began to come into their own as the half wore on and Forster-Caskey was next to worry McGee when his 25-yarder bounced narrowly wide of the right upright.
Posh came close twice in close succession when Maddison sent a clever, left-footed volley soaring towards the top right-hand corner which Rudd did well to palm away, while Leonardo Da Silva Lopes’ shot went skidding just wide of the post from 20 yards seconds later and the sides headed into the break goalless.
Ulvestad saw his shot well blocked soon after the restart, while Holmes’ good-looking left-wing cross was only millimetres out of reach for Novak’s jump.
Charlton came closer still on 53 minutes with Forster-Caskey heading wide another Holmes cross, this time being whipped in from the right.
Just after the hour mark, Rudd was called into action to keep out Jerome Binnom-Williams’ stinging, angled drive aimed towards his near post.
Come the 68th minute, Karl Robinson looked to shuffle his pack with a double substitution. Magennis and Crofts made their way off the bench in place of Watt and Jackson, but it was the home side who very nearly took the lead moments later when Rudd reacted brilliantly to make a save from Michael Bostwick’s flick after a bit of pinball in the crowded box.
Indeed, it was not long before Peterborough took the lead with 14 minutes remaining.
Posh substitute Samuelson had only been on the pitch for a matter of seconds before he got on the end of Maddison’s cross from the right and there was little Rudd could do to prevent the West Ham United loanee’s header from hitting the back of the net.
That goal certainly knocked the wind out of the Addicks’ sails and filled the hosts with the confidence they needed to put the game beyond doubt, with Maddison netting his side’s second goal on 84 minutes.
The winger advanced into the box and sent a fantastic chip over Rudd and in off the underside of the crossbar.
Ulvestad had a close-range header blocked late on, while Crofts’ 20-yard drive was well held by McGee, but it was to be another disappointing afternoon for Charlton who were left to suffer a fourth consecutive defeat on the road.
Charlton: Rudd, Byrne, Bauer, Teixeira, Chicksen, Ulvestad, Jackson (Crofts 68), Forster-Caskey, Holmes, Watt (Magennis 68), Novak (Botaka 74).
Subs: Phillips, Pearce, Aribo, Dasilva.
Booked: Byrne 66 (foul on Maddison), Bauer 90 (foul on Morias)
Peterborough: McGee, Smith, Bostwick, Baldwin, Forrester (Samuelsen 74), Maddison, Da Silva Lopes, Nichols (Mackail-Smith 61), Nichols, Binnom-Williams (Hughes 77), Morias, Grant.
Subs: Tyler, Inman, Chettle, Borg.
Booked: Morias 90+3 (dissent)
Goals: Samuelson 76, Maddison 84
Referee: G Salisbury
Read Time: 4 mins