REPORT | Stoke City 3 Charlton 1

A frustrated Charlton were beaten 3-1 at the bet365 Stadium by a clinical Stoke City.

The Potters had the better of the first half but the sides went in level at 1-1 and it was a goal just after the break that swung the game the way of the hosts.

James McClean opened the scoring before a brilliant Ben Purrington volley levelled the game on the stroke of half time. Tom Ince and Nick Powell struck in the second half to give Stoke an important three points as the two teams look to scramble away from the relegation zone. 

Lee Bowyer handed a debut to deadline-day signing David Davis as the Addicks made two changes from the team that beat Barnsley last weekend. Purrington also returned to the starting lineup as Charlton began in a 4-5-1 formation. 

The home side began the game at speed and controlled the tempo of much of the first half. In the first two minutes Tom Lockyer and Darren Pratley both made brave blocks as the Addicks kept the home side out.

Charlton could have taken the lead against the run of play in the 17th minute when Jason Pearce came inches away from getting on the end of a Josh Cullen corner, any touch from the centre-half, three yards out from goal, would have put his team 1-0 up.

Instead it was the Potters who took a deserved lead, Sam Clucas clipped a free kick into the box and Nick Powell was first two it heading across goal for James McClean to tap into an empty net just before the half hour mark. 

The home side continued to push forward but despite efforts from range were unable to really test Dillon Phillips throughout the rest of the first half.

As the half came to a close the, Addicks began to start playing some football and managed to get an equaliser in stoppage time before the break. Andre Green played a neat one-two with Josh Cullen to get in behind Bruno Martins Indi on the right wing. The 21-year-old curled in a dangerous cross on Purrington was on hand, arriving at the back post, to volley in from six yards out.

Stoke took the lead shortly after the restart in controversial fashion. Joe Allen played a neat ball in to Tom Ince who looked to be offside. The assistant referee’s flag stayed down and Ince made no mistake with a calm finish leaving the Charlton defence fuming. Replays showed that Ince was in fact onside.

The Addicks chased with purpose as the second half went on and Lyle Taylor saw a 57th minute header, from a Cullen free kick, go wide of the goal. 

Pearce then forced a saved from Jack Butland when he connected with a 63rd minute Cullen corner. 

The Potters extended their lead to 3-1 when Nick Powell got in at the front post to get on the end of a Tommy Smith cross which came from another controversial decision when the assistant referee gave what looked like a clear Charlton throw the other way.

The home side were able to hold on despite a few forays forward from the Addicks, making it a disappointing journey back home to London.

Stoke City: Butland, Allen (c), Batth, Ince, McClean, Chester, Smith, Martins Indi, Clucas, Powell (Thompson 77), Campbell (Vokes 80)

Subs (not used): Davies, Gregory, Verlinden, Cousins, Collins

Goals: McClean 17, Ince 47, Powell 66

Charlton: Phillips; Matthews, Lockyer, Pearce (c), Purrington (Doughty 73); Pratley, Cullen, Davis, Williams (Oztumer 73); Taylor, Green

Subs (not used): Amos, Sarr, Field, Smith, Hemed

Goal: Purrington 45+1

Booked: Davis 27 (foul on Allen), Lockyer 70 (foul on Powell), Taylor 75 (foul on Martins Indi), Matthews 79 (foul on Clucas), Cullen 81 (foul on Vokes)

Referee: J Gillett

Attendance: 23,508 (1,934 from Charlton)

Read Time: 4 mins