MATCH REPORT | Charlton 0 Sunderland 0

A spirited showing saw Charlton earn a hard-fought point against Sunderland at The Valley on Saturday afternoon.

Johnnie Jackson made four changes to his starting XI as January recruit Scott Fraser earned his full debut, while Jason Pearce, Diallang Jaiyesimi and Jayden Stockley also enjoyed starting berths.

Sunderland started sprightly in the capital and it took just six minutes for Ross Stewart, the division’s top scorer, to issue Charlton a warning.

The Scot rose highest to meet Alex Prichard’s corner, only to head tamely at Craig MacGillivray from 10 yards.

A smart stop from MacGillivray was required to prevent the Black Cats taking an early lead as Lynden Gooch’s deep delivery found Dennis Cirkin, before Stewart nodded Pritchard’s resulting corner wide. 

The same duo combined again in almost identical fashion on the half-hour mark, as Stewart nodded wide once more before MacGillivray tipped over Pritchard’s free-kick.

At the other end, Lee’s pinpoint free-kick found Stockley, who glanced a header wide of Anthony Patterson’s right upright under pressure from Bailey Wright.

The Addicks were inches away from an opener as the opening period neared its conclusion, as Stockley flashed a header wide with Patterson rooted to the spot.

Only the heroics of Chris Gunter prevented the visitors from breaking the deadlock on 51 minutes, as the Welshman hooked Cirkin’s effort off the line with MacGillivray beaten.

Charlton created another opening of their own on 62 minutes when Lee’s free-kick found Lavelle, who could only nod against Patterson’s side-netting.

The Addicks continued to threaten as the game wore on as Stockley found Mason Burstow racing in behind Arbenit Xhemajli with a sublime first-time flick, but the 18-year-old dragged his effort harmlessly wide.

MacGillivray was required to make a late string of save as the Black Cats rallied, first repelling Stewart’s angled drive before foiling Embleton’s drilled effort.

Jackson’s men had a flurry of chances themselves in stoppage-time, both of which fell to Lavelle from well worked set-pieces.

Lee’s free-kick was nodded over by the defender before Stockley peeled off at the far post to meet the Luton Town loanee’s deep delivery, though it agonisingly evaded the outstretched Lavelle.

Charlton: MacGillivray; Lavelle, Pearce (c), Gunter; Jaiyesimi, Fraser (Gilbey 66), Dobson, Lee, Purrington; Burstow (Leko 73), Stockley

Subs (not used): Harness, Famewo, Matthews, Morgan, John

Booked: Lavelle 18 (foul on Pritchard), Lee 40 (foul on Gooch), Dobson 73 (foul on Clarke), Purrington 78 (foul on Wright)

Sunderland: Patterson; Winchester, Wright, Xhemajli, Cirkin; Matete, Evans (c); Gooch (Roberts 81), Pritchard (Embleton 75), Broadhead (Clarke 70); Stewart

Subs (not used): Hoffmann, Doyle, Hume, Neil

Booked: Clarke 79 (foul on Jaiyesimi), Cirkin 84 (foul on Jaiyesimi), Wright 90+5 (foul on Stockley)

Referee: Anthony Backhouse

Attendance: 13,716 (2,702 from Sunderland)

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