MATCH REPORT | Charlton 2 Morecambe 3

Charlton fell to a 3-2 defeat at the hands of a Morecambe side scrapping for their League One survival on Good Friday at The Valley.

Despite a bright start on a sunny afternoon in SE7, the visitors grabbed two goals against the run of play before the break to give the Addicks plenty to think about ahead of the second half. And although Jayden Stockley struck back early after the restart, Charlton were pegged back once again by another Morecambe strike before the returning Chuks Aneke set up a tense finish for the visitors to reduce their lead to a solitary goal - but the Addicks could not break through again and it was the Shrimps who claimed the points.

Johnnie Jackson made one change from last weekend’s triumph at Rotherham United as Mason Burstow replaced Conor Washington in the Addicks’ starting line-up, with the latter seeing his minutes managed.

Charlton made an enterprising start in the SE7 sunshine and top scorer Stockley immediately threatened the visitors’ goal, though Rhys Bennett was on hand to block the forward’s effort at close quarters.

Moments later, Corey Blackett-Taylor breezed past Greg Leigh to reach the byline before delivering a tantalising centre across the face of goal, only for it to agonisingly evade the outstretched Alex Gilbey.

Stockley and Burstow combined well on 12 minutes as the Chelsea loanee latched onto his strike partner’s flick on from Craig MacGillivray’s lofted ball forward, but, again, Bennett was well-placed to block.

Morecambe’s first attack of note culminated with MacGillivray repelling Stockton’s low drive and the division’s top scorer enjoyed a flurry of openings thereafter.

Dylan Connolly provided a pinpoint cross from the right flank that Stockton headed over, before the forward forced MacGillivray into another smart stop with a deflected effort.

Stockton’s next sight of goal ultimately proved costly for the Addicks as the 28-year-old met Greg Leigh’s pull-back with aplomb, coolly finishing in off MacGillivray’s right upright.  

At the other end, Albie Morgan’s driven half-volley was saved by Trevor Carson, Burstow fired over on the turn and Adam Matthews’ dangerous cross was scrambled clear by the Shrimps.

However, the visitors doubled their advantage two minutes before the interval when the ball fell invitingly for Gnahoua, who drove inside and onto his right foot to find the bottom left-hand corner.

The Addicks would have halved the deficit on the stroke of half-time but for the heroics of Shrimps stopper Carson, who produced a stunning stop to deny Stockley and preserve his side’s advantage. 

Stockley made no mistake on 53 minutes, though, stretching to poke home Burstow’s header after a pinpoint centre from Blackett-Taylor.

The visitors and Gnahoua restored their two-goal advantage six minutes later, however, when the Frenchman rifled a venomous strike in off the underside of MacGillivray’s crossbar.

Washington replaced Alex Gilbey and Burstow made way for the returning Aneke as Jackson upped the ante and, by now, it was one-way traffic.

The Addicks were denied a clear-cut penalty on 75 minutes, though, as George Dobson drove into the Shrimps’ box before being felled by Bennett, only for the referee to remain unmoved.

Six minutes after his introduction, Aneke restored hopes of an Addicks comeback as the striker rose highest to nod home another pinpoint cross from Blackett-Taylor, who was a menace throughout.

Seeking parity, Charlton enjoyed another opening right at the very death through Dobson, who could only shoot over on the angle, leaving the Addicks to rue a number of missed opportunities while the visitors could celebrate a precious three point thanks to their clinical nature in front of goal.

Charlton: MacGillivray; Clare, Pearce (c), Famewo; Matthews, Gilbey (Washington 60), Dobson, Morgan (Forster-Caskey 69), Blackett-Taylor; Stockley, Burstow (Aneke 75)

Subs (not used): Harness, Purrington, Jaiyesimi, Leko

Goals: Stockley 53, Aneke 81

Booked: Pearce 75 (foul on Stockton)

Morecambe: Carson; Leigh, Bennett, Bedeau, Gibson (Cooney 77); Phillips, Fane; Connolly (O’Connor 87), Wildig (c) (McLoughlin 88), Gnahoua; Stockton

Subs (not used): Smith, Diagouraga, McCalmont, Ayunga

Goals: Stockton 26, Gnahoua 43, 59

Referee: Marc Edwards

Attendance: 10,700 (350 from Morecambe)

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