MATCH REPORT | Charlton 2 Portsmouth 2

Charlton twice came from behind to earn a hard-fought point against Portsmouth at The Valley on Saturday afternoon.

Ronan Curtis broke the deadlock in style in the early stages, before substitute Sean Clare gained parity with his maiden Addicks goal just two minutes after his introduction at the interval.

Marcus Harness restored the visitors’ lead 18 minutes from time, but a spirited Charlton again fought back with a pair of late substitutes contriving; Corey Blackett-Taylor's perfectly-weighted ball finding Josh Davison, who stole in at the back post to tap home.

Manager Nigel Adkins made five changes from the midweek draw at Gillingham, continuing in the fluid 4-3-3 formation as Alex Gilbey enjoyed his first start of the season.

The visitors opened on the front foot, striking after just six minutes through Curtis, the Irishman cutting in from the left flank before unleashing a sumptuous strike from range.

Undeterred, the Addicks almost hit back instantly through Elliot Lee after a neat exchange between the 26-year-old and Jonathan Leko, though the Luton Town loanee’s cross turned shot was somehow kept out by a scrambling Pompey defence.

Minutes later Adam Matthews was on hand with a superb last-ditch tackle to deny John Marquis as the frontman bore down on goal.

A twisting and turning Marquis then spurned a gilt-edged opportunity for the visitors, firing marginally wide of Craig MacGillivray’s left post with the goal at his mercy after being picked out by Marcus Harness.

Leko’s surging run down the right flank culminated with the Birmingham City loanee delivering a threatening ball to the far post which was nodded back into the danger area by Gilbey, only for the visitors to hack it away with an opportunistic Jayden Stockley lurking.

Lee Brown’s driving run forward from left wing-back saw the Pompey skipper deliver for Marcus Harness, who poked narrowly wide of MacGillivray’s right upright from just six yards.

A bright conclusion to the opening period saw the Addicks enjoy a flurry of chances, with Gavin Bazunu twice forced into action.

Leko’s swerving drive from distance was just about palmed away by the visiting stopper, followed by an almost devastating counter-attack from Adkins’ men, spearheaded by Gilbey. 

The midfielder led the charge forward before contriving with Leko to administer a shooting opportunity, but Bazunu foiled Charlton’s number 11 with an outstretched boot.

A half-time alteration saw Clare enter the fray as Harry Arter made way, with Adkins’ decision paying dividends just two minutes into the second period as the substitute latched onto Lee’s smartly taken free-kick to rifle past Bazunu and level proceedings.

Lee’s smartly taken free-kick on the byline found the substitute on the edge of the Pompey box, with the summer signing rifling past Bazunu.

The goalscorer almost turned provider just before the hour mark, driving his side forward before finding Lee, who saw his angled drive rebuffed by the Pompey stopper at his near post.

Then came Leko’s ferocious drive from some 20 yards, though, again, the Addicks found Bazunu in inspired form.

It was the visitors who regained the lead, however, Harness firing into the bottom left-hand corner after Marquis had flicked on Ryan Tunnicliffe’s pass.

Facing his former club, MacGillivray was alert to foil Harness at his near post, before the Scotsman gratefully grasped Marquis’ tame effort.

Davison and Blackett-Taylor were introduced on 82 minutes as Adkins upped the ante with parity in mind and the substitutes combined to lethal effect just five minutes later.

Ben Watson fed the darting Blackett-Taylor, who bursted into the box before delivering an inch-perfect low cross for Davison to convert at the far post.

The Addicks continued to push thereafter, pinning back the Pompey defence who held firm to ensure the spoils were shared.

Charlton: MacGillivray; Matthews, Lavelle, Pearce (c), Souaré; Gilbey, Watson, Arter (Clare 46); Leko, Stockley (Davison 82), Lee (Blackett-Taylor 82)

Goals: Clare 47, Davison 87

Booked: Souaré 68, Clare 75

Subs (not used): Henderson, Famewo, Dobson, Kirk

Portsmouth: Bazunu; Freeman, Raggett, Williams; Romeo, Morrell, Tunnicliffe, Brown (c); Harness (Hackett-Fairchild 78); Curtis, Marquis (Hirst 82)

Goals: Curtis 6, Harness 72

Booked: Brown 58, Raggett 70

Subs (not used): Bass, Downing, Thompson, Azeez, Harrison

Referee: Anthony Coggins

Attendance: 16,278 (2,995 from Portsmouth)

Read Time: 4 mins