MATCH REPORT | Charlton 2 Plymouth Argyle 1

Karlan Grant’s dramatic double saw Charlton extend their winning run in Sky Bet League One to four matches as they beat Plymouth Argyle at The Valley on Saturday afternoon.

The academy graduate notched his fourth goal of the season to cancel out Graham Carey’s early opener for the Pilgrims and, two minutes from time, he bagged a deserved winner for his team.

The Addicks – who were denied a half-time lead after Lyle Taylor had a 40th-minute penalty save – piled on the pressure in the second half and Grant’s second goal was more than warranted.

The win lifts Lee Bowyer’s side into sixth in the league table and they now have a full week to prepare for next weekend’s trip to Luton Town.

In terms of team news, Lee Bowyer made one change to the team that started last weekend’s impressive victory at Bradford City, with Naby Sarr coming in for the injured Patrick Bauer.

Fit-again Nicky Ajose replaced Sarr on the substitutes bench but it was otherwise the same squad that performed so well in Yorkshire.

The Addicks bossed the opening exchanges, enjoying a lot of possession in the Plymouth half, and they created their first chance after four minutes when Ben Reeves fired a shot at goal that Matt Macey got down well to save.

Charlton continued to dominate the ball but, on nine minutes, the visitors grabbed the lead completely against the run of early play. An in-swinging cross came into the box and Carey was well placed at the back post to head into the bottom corner.

Despite going behind, the Addicks had still made an encouraging start to proceedings and they deservedly equalised almost immediately. Jamie Ward did brilliantly to win a corner and when Reeves’ flag-kick came into the box it was nodded down by Jason Pearce, allowing in-form Grant to hook the loose ball into the net.

Charlton quickly went in search of the lead after levelling and Reeves, popping up in a lot of space in midfield, shot off target before a lung-busting run from Joe Aribo ended with his shot deflecting behind for a corner.

At the other end, Steer made a comfortable save from a Joel Grant shot with 30 minutes played and five minutes later the Addicks were back on the front foot. Ward, Grant and Reeves combined on the edge of the box and the latter sent an effort curling inches wide of the far post from 20 yards.

The hosts then had a great chance to take the lead for the first time. Taylor played the ball into the path of Chris Solly in the box and, after he was hauled down by Anthony Sarcevic, referee Dean Whitestone pointed the spot.

Taylor stepped up from 12 yards but his penalty was brilliantly tipped onto the crossbar by Macey and the Addicks’ Grant was unable to turn home the rebound from a tight angle.

Charlton came close again on 42 minutes. Grant and Ward linked up and, after bursting into the box, the latter was denied by a superb save from Macey, who spread himself well. The goalkeeper was quick to his feet to deny Grant on the follow up, too.

The saves proved vital as they kept Plymouth level heading into half-time. The Pilgrims came close to regaining their lead 10 minutes after the restart. Grant cut in from the left and send a shot goalwards that deflected up and onto the Addicks’ crossbar.

The game was beginning to get stretched and Plymouth replacement David Fox saw a shot brilliantly blocked by a Charlton head on 59 minutes before, moments later, a low Taylor cross was just out of the reach of strike-partner Grant.

From that moment onwards, Charlton took control. They were applying pressure to the visitors’ goal and on 63 minutes Lewis Page and Aribo both had strikes well blocked and, three minutes later, Ward flashed a shot wide of the target.

Aribo was next to be denied by a block from inside the box and with a quarter of an hour to play, an incredible piece of defending from Plymouth’s Peter Grant kept the visitors level.

Taylor got in down the left and whipped in a low cross that looked destined for Charlton’s Grant but somehow the Pilgrims defender got his body in the way to block the ball six yards from goal.

The Addicks were really turning the screw and they came just as close with 77 minutes on the clock. Ward freed Grant on the right but having sprinted into the box he could only fire wide from a tight angle, with Taylor hoping for a cut-back in the middle.

As the clock ticked down, Charlton got closer and closer to scoring. On 85 minutes, they were just the width of the post away. Page took aim and his strike deflected off a man in green before crashing off the base of the post. 

They could not have come any closer and two minutes from time, they launched another attack on the Plymouth goal. This time, they got the goal. A deep Reeves cross was nodded down by substitute Igor Vetokele and it landed at the feet of Grant, who made no mistake with his finish.

It was a more than deserved winner that sent the Valley faithful potty and, although they had to survive a late scar when Fox thumped a volley wide, it earned Bowyer’s Addicks a fully merited three points.

Charlton: Steer; Solly, Pearce (C), Sarr, Page; Cullen, Aribo, Reeves, Ward (Vetokele 81); Grant, Taylor.

Subs (not used): Phillips, Dijksteel, Marshall, Lapslie, Morgan, Ajose.

Goals: Grant 12, 88

Booked: Taylor 45 (foul on Carey)

Plymouth Argyle: Macey, Sawyer (C) (Wylde 46), Songo’o, Edwards, Sarcevic (Fox 54), Carey, Lameiras, J Grant, Ladapo, Smith-Brown, Wootton (P Grant 38).

Subs (not used): Letheren, O’Keefe, Dyson, Fletcher.

Goal: Carey 9

Referee: D Whitestone.

Att: 10,818 (1,013 from Plymouth)

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