REPORT | Charlton 0 Fleetwood Town 0

Despite controlling much of the game the Addicks were held to a 0-0 draw by Fleetwood Town at The Valley.

Charlton had 14 shots at goal, hit the target five times, had one goal disallowed and had two shots cleared off the line but weren’t able to score a winner in a slow-paced game.

Darren Pratley was everywhere and Krystian Bielik passed with finesse as the Addicks won the midfield battle but despite their best efforts Charlton weren’t able to break down a Fleetwood side coming off a very impressive 5-0 away win at Scunthorpe United on Wednesday night.

Lee Bowyer made one change to the team that were cruelly beaten by Peterborough on Tuesday with Mark Marshall coming in for Albie Morgan. There was however a change in formation with the caretaker boss opting for a 4-4-2 rather than the 3-5-2 from Tuesday. There was also a return to the bench for injured duo Igor Vetokele and Jason Pearce.

Charlton started very well and Taylor nearly put Charlton ahead in the first minute when his strike partner Karlan Grant broke well down the left channel. Grant pulled the ball back to Taylor whose flick from close range was well blocked. This was followed by a short delay as the pitch had to be cleared of crisp packets thrown on from the stands.

The Addicks fast start continued and Patrick Bauer twice had headed chances at goal from Lewis Page corners and Mark Marshall sent a dipping shot over from outside the area.

Charlton’s best chance came of the first half came in the 24th minute, Page, who seemed to be involved in everything, flighted a ball out to Lyle Taylor who skinned his defender on the outside down the right wing. His driven cross was cleared over by the crossbar by Craig Morgan from inside the six-yard box. The clearance could have gone anywhere but the defender had to go for it with Grant lurking for a tap-in.

After the home side’s quick start Fleetwood managed to get a foot hold in the game and Ched Evans came close in the 35th minute but Bielik was on hand to deflect behind for a corner. 

Just before half time Page made a brilliant diving block with his chest to deny Wes Burns what looked like a certain goal after a swift Fleetwood counter attack.

Taylor had the first chance of the second half but a short spell of Fleetwood pressure followed and Phillips was forced into a fantastic fingertip save to deny Ashley Hunter in the 56th minute.

After that scare Charlton took hold again. Pratley shot over in the 60th minute and then a Taylor squared ball across goal was cleared behind for a corner with two Charlton players ready to tap-in. Grant then had a goal probably fairly disallowed for offside.

With Charlton chasing a goal on came Vetokele in the 63rd minute for his first game for the club since the 2015/16 season.

The best bit of football in the game nearly produced Charlton’s opener. Bielik played Pratley in on the right and he combined well with Solly. The full back’s cross from the byline found Aribo whose first time effort went agonisingly past the post.

Another Bauer header, which this time looked goalbound, was well deflected behind by Evans.

Charlton continued to press but when substitute George Lapslie had a header cleared off the line in stoppage time, the Addicks faithful knew it wasn’t going to be their day.

Charlton: Phillips, Solly (C), Bauer, Sarr, Page; Marshall (Vetokele, 63), Pratley, Bielik, Aribo (Lapslie, 77); Grant, Taylor

Subs (not used): Steer, Pearce, Dijksteel, Lapslie, Morgan, Ajose

Booked: Sarr (10, foul on Burns), Pratley (56, delay of game), Bauer (88, foul on Long)

Fleetwood Town: Cairns, Coyle, Holt, Eastham, Burns, Evans (Long, 83), Madden (McAleny, 90+2), Morgan, Hunter, Marney, Husband

Subs (not used): Jones, Dempsey, Grant, Bolger, Sheron

Booked: Hunter (38, foul on Marshall), Eastham (45+2, foul on Taylor), Husband (82, foul on Pratley), Morgan (90, foul on Lapslie)

Attendance: (8,810, 80 from Fleetwood)

Referee: Anthony Coggins

Read Time: 4 mins