MATCH REPORT | Fleetwood Town 1 Charlton 2

Goals from Jonathan Leko and Jayden Stockley earned the Addicks a first away triumph of the 2021/22 league campaign at Fleetwood Town on Saturday afternoon.

The Birmingham City loanee broke the deadlock on 41 minutes, before Danny Andrew converted a sweetly struck free-kick to level proceedings early in the second period.

But substitute Jayden Stockley was on hand 21 minutes from time to rifle home with aplomb. The Addicks had their backs to the wall in the closing stages as the hosts sought parity, though saw the game out with a hearty defensive showing.

Manager Nigel Adkins made five changes from midweek, restoring Chris Gunter, Pape Souaré, Harry Arter, Alex Gilbey and Charlie Kirk to the starting XI as Charlton employed a fluid 4-2-3-1 formation.

The Addicks set about controlling possession in the opening exchanges at Highbury Stadium, asking immediate questions of Simon Grayson’s side as the Addicks enjoyed their first sight of goal inside five minutes.

It came following a smartly worked short corner between Arter and Leko, culminating with the Republic of Ireland international pulling back for Gilbey on the edge of the box. The latter, however, saw his effort smothered by the Fleetwood defence before goalkeeper Alex Cairns gathered Elliot Lee’s overhead kick.

Despite most of the early running being made by the Addicks, it was the hosts who administered the game’s first clear cut chance on 19 minutes, Callum Camps springing the offside trap to find himself one-on-one with Craig MacGillivray. 

The Scotsman was alert to the danger, though, darting off his line to narrow the angle and thwart the midfielder, prompting a flurry of chances for the Addicks.

Akin Famewo’s inch-perfect ball forward found Elliot Lee racing in behind the Fleetwood defence. The Luton Town loanee then pulled back for the returning Kirk, who could only sidefoot wide of Cairns’ left upright with the goal at his mercy.

The duo were involved again soon after, this time contriving with Souaré who squared for Lee, only for the 26-year-old to lose his footing at the vital moment, subsequently scooping his effort wide.

Then came another chance for the hosts, Paddy Lane receiving Ged Garner’s sprayed ball on the right flank before firing an angled left-footed drive narrowly past MacGillivray’s far post.

Shortly afterwards, Lee showcased dazzling feet to expertly hold up the ball in the box before feeding Josh Davison, though the academy graduate could only fire straight at Cairns after turning smartly.

By now, the Addicks were the established force and the opener duly arrived four minutes before the interval, Kirk teeing up Leko who, after shifting the ball onto his right foot, rifled a powerful low drive past Cairns.

Adkins’ men almost doubled their advantage in first-half stoppage time as Gilbey’s centre was nodded back into the danger area by Sam Lavelle for Leko, though the hosts scrambled to block the Birmingham City loanee’s effort and Lee’s follow-up strike.

Simon Grayson’s men returned from the interval with renewed purpose, restoring parity just six minutes into the second period through Andrew, who dispatched his free-kick past MacGillivray with aplomb from the edge of the 18-yard box.

Having survived Fleetwood’s initial onslaught, the Addicks threatened again as Cairns failed to smother Leko’s low drive from distance. Lee capitalised before fizzing an inviting ball across the six-yard box, only for it to evade the outstretched Davison.

Moments later the 22-year-old latched onto Lee’s ball to fashion a shooting opportunity, though his venomous angled drive cannoned off Cairns’ upright with the Fleetwood stopper beaten.

The visitors made their pressure tell on 69 minutes, however, substitute Stockley meeting Leko’s centre to lash past Cairns with a venomous drive.

A constant thorn in Grayson’s side, Leko was once again involved five minutes later following a lightning Addicks counter-attack, though the forward saw his effort deflected wide.

Superb hold up play from Stockley then allowed him to slip in Lee one-on-one, but he blazed over on the angle. 

MacGillivray made a routine stop on 87 minutes to foil substitute Joe Garner’s take effort, followed by a superb, point-blank stop deep into stoppage time as the Addicks weathered a Fleetwood storm to return to SE7 with maximum points.

Fleetwood Town: Cairns; Johnson, Hill, Clarke, Andrew; Matete (Batty 60), Rossiter (c); Lane, Biggins (Edmondson 80), Camps (J.Garner 71); G.Garner

Subs (not used): Crellin, Clark, Johnston, Conn-Clarke

Goal: Andrew 51

Booked: Andrew 15 (off-ball incident with Leko), Clarke 66 (pull-back on Stockley)

Charlton: MacGillivray; Gunter (c), Lavelle, Famewo, Souaré; Arter (Clare 83), Gilbey; Leko, Lee, Kirk (Blackett-Taylor 75); Davison (Stockley 62)

Subs (not used): Henderson, Pearce, Morgan, Washington

Goals: Leko 41, Stockley 69

Booked: Leko 15 (off-ball incident with Andrew), Gilbey 55 (foul on Rossiter)

Referee: Oliver Langford

Attendance: 3,197

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