REPORT | Rochdale 1 Charlton 0

Charlton will take part in the Sky Bet League One play-offs despite suffering a 1-0 loss at Rochdale.

The Addicks needed just a point to guarantee sixth spot but Plymouth Argyle’s 5-2 defeat at the hands of Gillingham meant that wasn’t required on the last day of the regular season.

The results mean Lee Bowyer’s men finished sixth in the table and will host Shrewsbury Town at The Valley on Thursday. 

For Rochdale there was delight as the win lifted them above Oldham Athletic and out of the relegation zone.

With the Addicks looking likely for a play-off spot Bowyer used the game to rotate his squad. Jay Dasilva was the only enforced change, replacing the injured Lewis Page, with Joe Aribo, Sullay Kaikai and Michael Zyro in for Ben Reeves, Nicky Ajose and Josh Magennis. 

Rochdale needed to better Oldham’s points at Northampton in order to avoid relegation and Keith Hill’s side came out of the gate firing. The Addicks were very lucky not to go a goal down in the sixth minute when a powerful Callum Camps free kick was saved by Ben Amos into the path of Ian Henderson who somehow managed to hit the post from six yards out when scoring looked easier. 

At the other end Aribo was the first to trouble Joshua Lillis in the Rochdale goal when he pounced on a loose ball deep inside the visitor’s half, drove towards goal and unleashed an effort from 20 yards out which was straight at the goalkeeper.

The game continued at a frantic pace with Amos again called into action to deny Ryan Delaney a headed goal before Calvin Andrew cleared a Patrick Bauer knocked-down header off the line.

Not for the first time Forster-Caskey was at the heart of the action for Charlton and three times in quick succession gave the Rochdale fans a scare. His first effort, a left-footed curler from just outside the area, was probably most dangerous as it only just cleared the crossbar. His second was a free kick that went just past the post and the third was a more straight forward save for Lillis again from just outside the penalty area. 

After the quick start both sides lost a little bit of momentum as the half went on and neither team were able to get on the scoresheet before half-time with Kaikai and Marshall causing the most problems for Charlton.  

The second half again saw few clear cut chances, a dragged Marshall shot and a blocked Zyro effort the only attempts for the visitors while Camps forced a low save from Amos. With Rochdale needing a win attacking substitutions were required and Joseph Thompson and Steven Davies replaced Jimmy McNulty and Oliver Rathbone in the 68th minute.

The substitutions had an immediate impact with Thompson sweeping home inside the area after the Addicks struggled to clear a scramble in the six yard box following a Rochdale penalty appeal to give the home side a 1-0 lead just two minutes after the substitution. 

The Addicks failed to test Lillis following the goal but there was time for club legend Johnnie Jackson to make career appearance 499 as he came on for Aribo just before full time. 

The full time whistle went and there was a nervous wait for Rochdale of more than five minutes before confirmation came through that Oldham had drawn ensuring 'Dale remain in Sky Bet League One.

Rochdale: Lillis, Rafferty, McNulty (Davies, 67), McGahey, Andrew, Camps, Rathbone (Thompson, 67), Done, Inman (Hart, 86), Delaney, Henderson

Subs (not used): Humphrys, Wiseman, Moore, Mitching

Booked: McGahey (27, foul on Kaikai)

Goal: Thompson 70

Charlton: Amos, Konsa, Bauer, Pearce (C), Dasilva, Marshall, Kashi, Forster-Caskey (Reeves, 61), Aribo (Jackson, 88), Kaikai (Mavididi 71), Zyro

Subs (not used): Phillips, Sarr, Dijksteel, Magennis

Referee: T Harrington

Attendance: 5,294 (1,161 from Charlton)

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