Fleetwood Town beat promotion chasing Charlton Athletic 1-0 in Sky Bet League One fixture on Saturday at Highbury Stadium.
Ched Evans’ 13th goal of the season was enough for the Cod Army to claim all three points against Lee Bowyer’s side, on a sunny but cold afternoon on the Fylde Coast.
Chances fell for both teams in the 90 minutes, and as the clocked ticked down, it was Joey Barton’s side to stood firm and saw out the game to return back to winning ways at home.
It was the visitors who got the first chance of the game. After a heavy challenge from James Wallace on Jonny Williams, it resulted in a free kick on the edge of the area. Ben Reeves stood over the resulting free kick, and he saw his shot blocked by new signing Harry Souttar.
Fleetwood created a great chance six minutes later in the 15th minute, after some brilliant link up play between Ashley Nadesan and Ched Evans. The latter was then able to cut the ball across the 18-yard-box to pick out Paddy Madden, but the Irishman miss timed his effort, which went out for a goal-kick.
Charlton came very close to scoring moment later after Josh Cullen’s cross was cleared off the line. Williams got to the rebound and forced Alex Cairns’ into making a great save low down to his left hand side.
Nadesan had the opportunity to put Town in front just before the 30-minute. Ross Wallace’s through ball put the forward in on goal but his effort was high after pressure from Naby Sarr.
A smooth counter attack from Town led to a corner for the Cod Army. The set-piece was cleared but only as far as R. Wallace, who whipped the ball in once again, with Madden’s header sailing over the bar.
It was all equal heading into the break with chances for both teams in a rather stop-start, end-to-end game. However, it was Fleetwood Town that started quicker in the second half after Evans forced Dillon Phillips into saving his free kick, after just three minutes of the restart.
Charlton – who did well in possession of the ball – created more chances and this time through Reeco Hackett-Fairchild. The forward couldn’t control his effort and it flew wide of the post. A chance they should have taken. The Cod Army had a similar chance just a minute later when Sarr misjudged a header allowing Nadesan through, but his shot was fired over the bar.
A mistake at the back by Cullen - on loan from West Ham - put Evans through on goal, but a fantastic save by Phillips denied the striker his 12th goal in the league.
Four minutes later, Evans got the scoring underway at Highbury. With some great play by substitute Ash Hunter, who was able to pick out Madden in space with a long ball, allowing the Irishman to square it to Ched for his 12th league goal of the season.
The Addicks came very close to equalising a few minutes later, but Charlton debutant Josh Parker’s effort was dragged just wide of the post.
Evans continued to be a nuisance for the visitors’ back line after chasing down a loose ball, which was awfully headed clear, into the path of Evans. Phillips who was miles out of his goal, allowed the Welshman an open goal from range, the striker couldn’t capitalise from 30 yards.
In the 87th minute, Patrick Bauer was shown a second yellow card after bringing down Evans to stop a Fleetwood attack. Town then showed great defensive work to see out seven minutes of added time.
A deserved victory for Joey Barton and Fleetwood Town after a brilliant performance, and another clean sheet, their third in 2019.
Fleetwood XI: Cairns (GK), Burns (Biggins 84’), Eastham, Souttar, Husband; R. Wallace, J. Wallace, Holt (Sowerby 60’); Madden, Evans, Nadesan (Hunter 60’).
Subs not used: Jones (GK), Taylor, Biggins, Sheron, Garner.
Charlton XI: Phillips (GK), Solly, Bauer, Sarr, Purrington; Cullen, Bielik, Lapslie (Parker 55’); Williams, Reeves (Fosu 73’); Hackett-Fairchild (Vetokele 73’).
Subs not used: Maxwell (GK), Dijksteel, Marshall, Pratley.