REPORT | Wycombe Wanderers 2 Charlton 1

A Garath McCleary brace condemned the Addicks to a 2-1 defeat at Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday afternoon.

Sam Lavelle nodded home his maiden Charlton goal deep into stoppage time, though the Addicks' late surge ultimately went unrewarded.

Having made six changes, manager Nigel Adkins reverted to a 3-4-3 shape as Jason Pearce, Pape Souaré, George Dobson, Harry Arter, Jonathan Leko and Conor Washington all came into the XI.

The Addicks were first to threaten as Washington fed the surging Leko, though the Birmingham City loanee saw his effort snuffed out by Chairboys captain Joe Jacobson, allowing stopper David Stockdale to gather comfortably.

Leko was involved again on 17 minutes, this time contriving with Arter to fire a low-drilled effort into the side netting following a deflection. 

Despite most of the early running being made by Adkins’ men, it was the hosts who fashioned the game’s first clear-cut opening as McCleary found Daryl Horgan who, in turn, squared for Curtis Thompson, only for the midfielder to see his strike cannon off Craig MacGillivray’s right upright.

A neat exchange between Horgan, Jordan Obita and McCleary then culminated with the latter cutting in from the left flank to send an effort zipping past the far post.

The miss was not to be a costly one, however, as the Jamaican broke the deadlock with his side’s next attack.

In almost identical fashion, McCleary picked up the ball on the left before jinking onto his favoured right foot to bend a curler into the bottom right corner from the edge of the 18-yard box.

The goalscorer remained heavily involved and almost turned provider in first-half stoppage time when he delivered an inch-perfect centre for the onrushing Jack Grimmer, but the defender headed narrowly wide at the back post.

MacGillivray had to be alert soon after the interval to repel an angled drive from McCleary at his near post.

A constant thorn in Adkins’ side, McCleary doubled his side’s advantage on 71 minutes, latching onto a deep cross to head home at the far post.

Enterprising wing play from Corey Blackett-Taylor then saw the substitute make inroads down the Charlton left, though Jacobson was on hand with a vital intervention to thwart the 23-year-old’s tantalising cross inside the six-yard box.

A dramatic conclusion to proceedings saw Lavelle rise highest to head home Elliot Lee's delivery and halve the arrears, prompting a grandstand finish in Buckinghamshire as the Addicks fashioned a flurry of chances deep into injury time, both of which fell to Josh Davison.

The substitute very nearly saw his shot deflect in via an outstretched Wycombe foot, before the Chairboys defence somehow hacked the forward's shot off the line at the very death.

Wycombe Wanderers: Stockdale; Stewart, Tafazolli, Jacobson (c); Grimmer, Scowen, Thompson, Obita; Horgan (Hanlan 84); McCleary (Kaikai 81), Vokes (Akinfenwa 76)

Subs (not used): Przybek, McCarthy, Gape, Wheeler

Goals: McCleary 43, 71

Charlton: MacGillivray; Lavelle, Pearce (c), Famewo; Gunter, Dobson, Arter, Souaré (Blackett-Taylor 68); Leko (Lee 58), Stockley (Davison 84), Washington

Subs (not used): Harness, Elerewe, Clare, Morgan

Goal: Lavelle 90+2

Booked: Gunter 56, Souaré 61, Lee 66, Pearce 80, Famewo 90+4

Referee: Peter Wright

Attendance: 5,832 (1,322 from Charlton)

Read Time: 3 mins