Charlton fell to defeat at the hands of Burton Albion at The Valley on Tuesday evening, with Jayden Stockley’s opener being cancelled out by Michael Fondop in the first half before a deflected second-half Danny Rowe strike sealed all three points for the Brewers.
The Addicks lined up with a back three early on, with Darren Pratley acting as a right centre half, with Jason Pearce in the middle and Deji Oshilaja on the left-hand side of a three, acting as an overlapping centre back. Ahead of the defence, Adam Matthews lined up on the right-hand side with Andrew Shinnie and Ben Watson in the centre of the park and Ben Purrington on the left. A front three of Liam Millar, Jayden and Diallang Jaiyesimi were looking to cause trouble for the Burton Albion defence.
Charlton were so nearly ahead early one as just three minutes in Oshilaja played a one-two with wing back Purrington on the left-hand side before delivering a powerful cross onto the head of Stockley deep in the opposition box. The striker made great contact with the ball but was denied by Ben Garratt in the Brewers goal, who palmed the powerful header onto the bar.
The Addicks found themselves ahead before the 10-minute mark and Stockley made it three headed goals in his last three appearances and his fourth in total, with all four assists coming from Shinnie. An out-swinging corner was whipped in by Charlton’s number 12 and met by Stockley to powerfully head home on the edge of the six-yard box.
Shinnie nearly doubled the lead 19 minutes in, the midfielder’s central free-kick from 26-yards out beating Garratt but only striking the bar on it’s way over.
A set-piece routine nearly saw the visitors level just moments later. A low driven corner from Ryan Edwards found the onrushing Sean Clare in the Charlton box, but the midfielder could only put his shot into the side netting.
Burton didn’t miss their next chance to capitalise as they were level on the 25th minute. A move down Charlton’s right-hand side saw a throw in taken to Jonny Smith, who made up ground on the left before floating a cross towards Fondop at the back post. The forward climbed over his man to head past Ben Amos.
From this point on there were few first-half chances before Oshilaja had the ball in the back of the net, however this was ruled out for offside. A free-kick found Stockley free in the opposition area, and the striker’s header rebounded off the bar before falling to the defender to head home. However, Charlton’s number nine had already been flagged for offside, although the replay showed that it was extremely tight.
The second half saw Burton take the lead early on through substitute Rowe, although the goal has, perhaps harshly, been officially credited as an own goal. Picking up the ball in midfield, Rowe took a touch towards goal before unleashing a left-footed strike which looped over Amos and into the top corner, courtesy of a deflection off the arm of Watson.
Garratt was forced into action just after the hour mark after a Stockley flick-on found Purrington on the left-hand side of the box. The wing-back’s right-footed shot was palmed over by the Brewers' goalkeeper, a fantastic reaction save.
The visitors had a chance to pull two goals ahead with a quarter of an hour to go, with the ball falling to Hayden Carter inside the box, but Amos stood tall to deny the midfielder.
There were few chances for the Addicks despite several attacking substitutions as Lee Bowyer’s side reverted to a back four. However, they could not find an equaliser, resulting in the hosts falling to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Jimmy Floyd-Hasselbaink’s men.
Charlton: Amos; Pratley, Pearce (Schwartz 72), Oshilaja; Matthews, Shinnie, Watson (Smith 84), Purrington (Maatsen 72); Jaiyesimi (Aneke 56), Stockley, Millar.
Subs (not used): Harness, Famewo, Washington.
Goals: Stockley 9
Burton Albion: Garratt; Hamer, Carter, Bostwick, Gallacher (Brayford 68); Smith, Edwards, Wallace (Rowe 38), Clare, Akins; Fondo (Mancienne 75)
Subs (not used): O’Hara, Powell, Varney, Broom.
Goals: Fondop 25, Watson (og) 54
(Report by Nick Emms)