REPORT | Ebbsfleet United 2 Charlton 1

Late pressure from Charlton wasn't enough to prevent a 2-1 pre-season loss at Ebbsfleet United.

Goals either side of half time for the home side gave the National League team a lead but a second goal in as many games from Brandon Wiredu gave the Addicks late hope.

Charlton boss Lee Bowyer set his side out in the 3-2-diamond-1 formation that he deployed in the club’s 4-0 win at Gillingham at the end of last season with the returning Ben Amos starting in goal and Lyle Taylor leading the line.

It was the home side that had the first sight at goal with James Ball hitting a snapshot wide in the fourth minute.

The Addicks settled into the game and looked certain to take the lead when Taylor beat Ebbsfleet keeper Nathan Ashmore to a delicious Jake Forster-Caskey through ball. The striker deceived Ashmore with a shot fake but had his effort bravely blocked by defender Jack King.

Forster-Caskey and Taylor both came close with free kicks but it was Albie Morgan that came closet in the first half with a driven effort from 22 yards bouncing off the post and behind for a goal kick. 

With the Addicks slightly on top of a relatively even game, it was Ebbsfleet that took the lead. Trialist A, one of two trialists in the matchday squad, latched on to a loose Charlton pass in the penalty area. Ben Purrington made the covering tackle but was adjudged to have fouled the trialist by referee Michael Ryan who pointed to the spot. Ayo Obileye stepped up to take the penalty and hit the bottom corner with a powerful penalty that sent Amos the wrong was on the stroke of half time. 

Taylor was again denied before the half time whistle when he got on the end of a clever Chuks Aneke pull back but had his shot blocked behind for a corner. 

Taylor continued to pose a threat in the second half and saw his early left footed drive from outside the area go just wide.

The Fleet went two up when the dangerous Sean Shields crossed from the right to the far post where Trialist A was on hand sliding in to hit past Amos. 

The 60th minute came and as promised Bowyer made 11 changes.

The impressive Abraham Odoh nearly pulled one back for the Addicks, collecting a Lewis Page pass and seeing his shot on the turn blocked behind for a corner.

Minutes later Callum Harriott, who is training with the Addicks, curled an effort just over after some neat Charlton build-up.

A fantastic late cross from Page, after he'd beaten his defender went agonizingly past Harriott and Macauley Bonne in the box as Charlton piled on the pressure.

The Addicks did pull a goal back as full time approached with the move of the game. Junior Quitirna flicked neatly to Odoh who fed a Brendan Wiredu. The wing back placed past Ashmore into the bottom corner giving the Fleet a nervy few minutes before the full time whistle.

Ebbsfleet United: Ashmore, King (C), Thomas (Weston, 55), Lawless, Obileye (Trialist B, 58), Grimes, Ball (Dankieh, 58), Wilson (Anderson, 75), Goddard, Shields, Trialist A (Ugwu, 63)

Goals: Obileye 43 (pen), Trialist 56

Charlton: Amos (Phillips 60); Dijksteel (Lockyer 60), Pratley (Pearce 60), Purrington (Sarr 60); Solly (Wiredu 60), Doughty (Page 60); Forster-Caskey (Maloney, 60), Morgan (Odoh 60), Lapslie (Quitirna 60), Aneke (Harriott 60); Taylor (Bonne 60)

Subs (not used): Harness, Powell, Dempsey, Yao

Goal: Wiredu 89

Referee: Michael Ryan

(Photos: Paul Edwards)

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