Charlton claimed their second consecutive 1-0 victory since the return of the Championship as Darren Pratley scored the winner in the 12th minute of a hard-fought clash at The Valley.
Lee Bowyer named an unchanged starting XI from last weekend’s 1-0 win at Hull, Deji Oshilaja retaining his place at left-back across from Adam Mathews with Tom Lockyer and Jason Pearce in the centre of defence.
Josh Cullen, Darren Pratley, Albie Morgan, and Aiden McGeady began in midfield with Macauley Bonne and Tomer Hemed up front. Andre Green returned from injury to make the bench at Erhun Oztumer’s expense.
QPR had the first shot of the game after an even opening period as Eberechi Eze fired wide from just outside the box. Moments later Charlton took a 1-0 lead courtesy of Pratley, the midfielder rising highest above three QPR defenders to head home from Cullen’s corner.
Playing some terrific one-touch attacking football, Charlton had a chance to double their lead after a quarter of an hour, but Hemed’s effort was blocked following a neat one-two with Bonne.
The Addicks remained in control despite relinquishing possession and playing on the break as Bonne had the host’s next opportunity. A sweeping counter-attack saw Morgan play through to the striker, but Bonne’s shot was saved from a tight angle.
QPR enjoyed significant spells of possession in the final ten minutes of the first half, but couldn’t muster anything more than an Eze shot hit comfortably over the bar as Charlton went into the break 1-0 ahead.
The visitors began the second period on top and nearly equalised instantly. Dillon Phillips, who didn’t have a single save to make in the first half was called into action within 30 seconds of the restart denying Jordan Hugill at point-blank.
After soaking up the early QPR pressure Charlton embarked on a dangerous counter-attack led by individual brilliance from Matthews. The right-back intercepted the ball in his own box before running the length of the pitch and floating a cross just over the head of Bonne.
Charlton put the ball in the net in the 58th minute but Bonne’s header was deemed to have been from an offside position.
The hosts had a flurry of chances to settle the match heading into the final 20 minutes, but couldn’t quite convert. Lockyer headed straight into Kelly’s hands from a corner before Alfie Doughty’s low cross was cleared over the bar with Bonne lurking dangerously at the back post. From the ensuing corner Pratley fired at Kelly.
Doughty, on as a second half sub, nearly made it 2-0 with three minutes of normal time remaining, the winger breaking into the box past two QPR players before seeing his shot pushed behind.
Expecting a nervy additional five minutes, Charlton did well to deny QPR any clear-cut chances as Bowyer’s side held out for a thoroughly deserved 1-0 victory.
The win sees Charlton up to 17th in the Championship table after taking maximum points in the two games since the restart.
Charlton: Phillips; Mathews, Lockyer, Pearce (C), Oshilaja (Purrington 76); Cullen, Pratley, Morgan (Field 84), McGeady (Doughty 60); Bonne (Green 84), Hemed (Aneke 60)
Subs (not used): Amos, Sarr, Williams, Davison
Goal: Pratley 12
Booked: Pratley (76’ foul on Shodipo)
QPR: Kelly; Manning, Barbet, Masterson, Rangel (Kane 71); Cameron (L Amos 71), Ball (Bettache 76), Eze, Chair (Shodipo 60), Osayi-Samuel (Oteh 71); Hugill
Subs (not used): Lumley, L Amos, Kakay, Gubbins, Clarke
Referee: Tim Robinson
Attendance: 0 (Behind closed doors)
Report by Benjy Nurick