Karlan Grant’s superb double saw Charlton return to winning ways in Sky Bet League One as they beat in-form Barnsley at The Valley on Saturday afternoon.
The academy graduate netted once either side of half-time – his sixth and seventh goals of the season – and at the other end of the pitch the Addicks defended resolutely to record their third league clean sheet of the campaign.
The result edges Charlton back towards the play-off places and they will hope to make it back-to-back home wins when they host Oxford United on Tuesday evening.
In terms of team news, Lee Bowyer made two changes to the side that started the Addicks’ last league outing against Coventry City a fortnight ago.
Jamie Ward and Krystian Bielik came into the team and the former would play a vital role in Charlton’s eighth-minute opener.
Following a clearance from Jason Pearce, Northern Irishman Ward brilliantly sprayed possession out to Grant. That gave the forward the chance to run at defender Ethan Pinnock and, after tearing into the box, he drilled his shot into the net via the post.
It was the perfect start for the south-east Londoners and it perhaps should have got better for them a few minutes later. Goalkeeper Jed Steer set goalscorer Grant clear and he raced towards goal before being bundled to the floor by Reds full-back Dimitri Cavare.
Referee James Linington – who also officiated the Addicks’ home match against Peterborough United in August – deemed it not to have been a foul, however. Had he given a foul, a red card for the defender would almost certainly have followed.
At the other end, Steer made a comfortable save from a long-range Alex Mowatt free-kick and on 29 minutes Cameron McGeehan curled a strike well off target.
A minute later, Charlton came close to notching their second. Joe Aribo and Lyle Taylor combined on the left and the latter then whipped in a low cross towards Ward, but his shot was well blocked.
A neat bit of link-up play saw the Addicks go close again five minutes before the break. Taylor headed across to Grant and he, in turn, nodded down to Ward, who saw his left-footed volley saved by Adam Davies.
Barnsley ended the first period on the front foot but, despite enjoying a lot of possession in the Charlton half, the best they could produce for their efforts was a wayward Mowatt volley.
The Addicks thought they had doubled their advantage five minutes into the second period. Pearce glanced a Reeves corner into the net but referee Linington ruled it out for a foul to the surprise of most inside The Valley.
But undeterred, the Addicks quickly settled back down and soon did get a second goal. Aribo put Taylor in on the left and he squared the ball to Grant, who tapped home from close range.
That made it seven goals for the season for the academy graduate and it gave the Addicks some valuable breathing space.
They almost made it 3-0 on 65 minutes. Reeves was the architect from a corner and his inswinging delivery look destined to fly into the net before Reds stopper Davies clawed it out from under his crossbar.
It was an improvised save from the Welshman and he was called into action again on 69 minutes. He just about beat two-goal Grant to a Taylor through ball and, with the stopper way out of his goal, centre-back Liam Lindsay then made a brilliant headed clearance from Taylor’s follow-up.
Barnsley substitute Mamadou Thiam curled a strike narrowly wide for the Tykes five minutes from time and Charlton then should have grabbed a third.
Aribo drilled a low cross into the box but the tireless Taylor just couldn’t divert it home and the visitors hacked the ball to safety. Five minutes of stoppage time were indicated at the end of the game but the hosts negotiated them perfectly to hold firm and earn all three points.
Charlton: Steer, Dijksteel, Bielik (Sarr 82), Pearce, Solly, Cullen, Aribo, Reeves (Lapslie 74), Ward (Fosu 62), Grant, Taylor.
Subs (not used): Phillips, Pratley, Marshall, Ajose.
Goals: Grant 8, 52
Booked: Solly 20 (foul on Potts), Bielik 63 (foul on Potts)
Barnsley: Davies (c), Dougall, Pinnock, Lindsay, McGeehan (Moore 46), Moncur (Thiam 60), Cavare, Potts, Pinillos (Hedges 60), Mowatt, Brown.
Subs (not used): Walton, Jackson, Williams, Adeboyejo.
Booked: Pinillos 12 (foul on Ward)
Referee: J Linington
Attendance: 12,416 (1,368 from Barnsley)