Charlton’s first pre-season game descended into farce in Spain on Thursday evening with the match abandoned in the 49th minute following the dismissal of two Gaz Metan Mediaș players, with the Addicks leading 1-0.
The match was due to be a 70-minute affair, but it fell 21 minutes short when Lyle Taylor was brought down in the box, leading to disgraceful scenes which included two players from the Romanian top-flight side man-handling the referee early in the second half.
Unhappy at the decision, the visiting staff urged the referee to let them simply sub the offending players off, something which the Addicks were happy to agree with, but the referee insisted in playing to the letter of the law, resulting in Medias withdrawing their players and the match being abandoned.
Prior to kick-off, Chuks Aneke was handed his debut, while Tom Lockyer took his place on the bench. Macauley Bonne, however, was unavailable with the striker having returned to England for 24 hours to attend the funeral of former Leyton Orient boss, Justin Edinburgh.
With the action under way, the first 35-minute half started in much calmer fashion and it was Charlton who made the first impression, taking a 13th-minute lead with their first real foray forward.
Good work from Alfie Doughty in the centre of the park saw him lay the ball off to fellow youngster Albie Morgan, who in turn played an excellent through-ball to release George Lapslie into the box. The midfielder did brilliantly to hold off a defender before rounding the keeper and stretching to put the ball into an empty net.
Medias looked to respond shortly after. Moussa Sanoh saw his tame header saved by Dillon Phillips, before Darren Pratley made a vital block in the box to deny another good opportunity, while Stephan Drăghici dragged a low shot narrowly wide.
At the other end, Morgan was involved again when he came very close to doubling the lead in first-half injury time – his first-time effort from the edge of the box curled towards goal and had the keeper beaten, but dipped just over the bar.
Things were looking good at the break and Lee Bowyer had the opportunity to make five subs with Ashley Maynard-Brewer, Ben Purrington, Naby Sarr, Chris Solly and Lockyer all entering the fray, although it would not be long before the action was halted.
Just nine minutes after the restart, Taylor was bundled for what was a contentious penalty. Outraged by the decision, Medias players Valentin Cretu and Marius Constantin both laid their hands on the referee in disgraceful fashion, leading to extremely distasteful scenes in what was supposed to be a ‘friendly’ match.
The referee, Raul Mateo, had no hesitation in producing the red card to both players, which effectively ended the game, with furious Head Coach Edward Iordanescu making the call to withdraw his players and head home.
Charlton: Phillips (Maynard-Brewer 36), Sarpong-Wiredu, Dijksteel, Pratley, Pearce (Lockyer 36), Page (Purrington 36), Morgan, Lapslie, Doughty (Sarr 36), Taylor, Aneke (Solly 36).
Goal: Lapslie 13
Gaz Metan Medias: Plesca, Cretu, Larie, Constantin, Cikarski, Droppa, Olaru, Rosu, Dragichi, Sanoh, Bus.
Subs: Batista, Pleasca, Capra, Avram, R Popa, A Popa, Jica, Velisar, Trif, Fofana, Ciocan, Romeo, Ely, Fofana, Romeo, Ely, Chamed, Nicula, Costea.
Sent off: Cretu 47, Constantin 47
Referee: R Mateo
Charlton season tickets are back on sale and until July 8th the club are offering Championship football at League One pricing.