MATCH REPORT | Charlton 1 Bolton Wanderers 4

Despite taking the lead, Charlton were condemned to a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Bolton Wanderers in SE7.

It looked promising for the Addicks after Josh Davison broke the deadlock on 12 minutes with the hosts looking the more threatening for large portions of the match, but once the visitors took the lead on 73 minutes they assumed control, with a late rally adding gloss to the scoreline. 

Manager Nigel Adkins made five changes from last weekend’s draw against Portsmouth, restoring Akin Famewo, Ben Purrington, Sean Clare, Corey Blackett-Taylor and Davison to the starting XI.

An enterprising start saw the Addicks engineer early inroads down both flanks through Blackett-Taylor and Jonathan Leko, with the former seeing a pair of teasing deliveries cleared by the Trotters defence in the opening exchanges. 

And Charlton gained their just reward on 12 minutes, with Clare the catalyst. Having retrieved possession high up the pitch, the summer signing fed Leko, who, in turn, delivered a pinpoint centre for Davison to steer past a helpless Joel Dixon.

Moments later, the ever-threatening Blackett-Taylor fired into the side netting after the visitors had failed to clear an Addicks corner.

Blackett-Taylor was soon involved again, finding Leko down the right flank with a searching diagonal ball after Famewo had strode forward with purpose from defence. The Birmingham City loanee pulled back for Elliot Lee, who sent first-time effort whistling past Dixon’s right upright.

Lax concentration from Adam Matthews then saw the Welshman cede possession to visiting captain Antoni Sarcevic, who drove forward before finding Oladapo Afolayan. Quick feet from the wideman saw him administer a yard of space, though Craig MacGillivray was on hand to repel the 24-year-old’s powerful left-footed drive. 

Afolayan did restore parity two minutes before the interval, however, driving inside onto his right before curling a low effort past MacGillivray and into the far corner.

The visitors administered the first clear-cut opening of the second period on 64 minutes, Elias Kachunga nodding Gethin Jones’ narrowly wide of MacGillivray’s post, prompting a flurry of chances for the Addicks.

Davison’s curler appeared destined for the top corner, only for it to cannon off the outside of the far upright, before Blackett-Taylor’s inviting cross turned shot evaded the lurking Conor Washington.

It was the Trotters who took the lead, though, Lee meeting Jones’ centre to volley the ball past MacGillivray, aided by a deflection.

Washington then latched onto Matthews’ long ball forward in behind the visitors’ defence to lob the onrushing Dixon, though the substitute’s effort bounced agonisingly wide of the post.

Ian Evatt’s side extended their lead on 81 minutes in fortuitous circumstances as Afolayan’s drive fell invitingly for Lee via a pair of deflections, allowing the 33-year-old to stab home from close range.

And the visitors further settled the outcome in stoppage time, skipper Sarcevic beating the offside trap to round MacGillivray and fire home Bolton’s fourth. 

Charlton: MacGillivray; Matthews, Lavelle, Famewo, Purrington; Clare (Gilbey 78), Watson (c) (Stockley 86); Leko (Washington 67), Lee, Blackett-Taylor; Davison

Subs (not used): Henderson, Gunter, Pearce, Arter

Goal: Davison 12

Booked: Lavelle 20 (foul on Doyle), Davison 31 (foul on Afolayan)

Bolton Wanderers: Dixon; Jones, Santos, Baptiste (Johnston 78), John (Gordon 62); Williams; Kachunga, Sarcevic (c), Lee, Afolayan; Doyle (Delfouneso 85)

Subs (not used): Gilks, Thomason, Sheehan, Brockbank

Goals: Afolayan 43, Lee 73, 81, Sarcevic 90+2

Booked: Jones 90 (foul on Famewo), Santos 90+8 (foul on Lee)

Referee: Lee Swabey

Attendance: 12,707 (888 from Bolton)

Read Time: 3 mins