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Report: Town fall to defeat in Charlton

22 January 2022

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Fleetwood Town made the long trip down south to face Charlton Athletic which ended in a disappointing 2-0 defeat at The Valley.

Mason Burstow opened the scoring shortly after the restart as he directed his header into the far corner of Town’s goal, while Albie Morgan took the game away from Fleetwood by doubling Charlton’s tally in injury time.

Fleetwood’s best chance of the game came in the second half where Paddy Lane came so close to equalising from close range but it went agonisingly wide.

After a lively start from Fleetwood, Danny Andrew was stood over a free-kick just outside the box only two minutes in, his effort was only inches over from giving the visitors an early lead.

The next chance of the game fell to Lane who was in acres of space down the right-wing - the youngster cut inside onto his left, but his shot was straight at Craig MacGillivray.

Town’s number 32 did also hit the woodwork a few moments earlier with a slightly overhit cross, but no one was there to collect the rebound.

Charlton fired straight back with a decent chance of their own as Diallang Jaiyesimi played Sean Clare through on goal which forced a fine save from Alex Cairns who blocked off his near post and turned it around for a corner.

A well-worked corner routine from Andrew set Tom Clarke up perfectly from around 10-yards out, but the centre half’s header just cleared the crossbar.

Both Town wingers were causing some real trouble for the Charlton defence, on this occasion, it was Lane’s fancy footwork that won his side a free kick in a dangerous position. Andrew was the man to take it and it was even closer than his first effort, but it still was too high to find the back of the net.

Ellis Harrison’s linkup play throughout the first half had been superb, constantly managing to get his teammates involved in the game, this time Cian Hayes was the recipient. He found himself latching onto Town’s number nine’s flick-on. Unfortunately for the young winger, he took too long on the ball and any chance of a shot was squandered.

With just over five minutes before half-time to go, Clarke and Cairns stepped up massively to keep the game on level terms. Clarke threw his body on the line to brilliantly block the first incoming effort while the rebound looked like it was going in, Cairns got down fast and with a strong hand managed to keep it out.

Charlton attempted a training ground routine of their own from a corner, and they came close as well. This time it was through Burstow, who was ready to collect the knockdown at the post, but his flick from a few yards out went miles over.

The home side took the lead five minutes into the second half. Burstow reached the end of Ryan Inniss’ head back across the goal and glanced it into the far corner to open the scoring.

Town struggled to get a foot in the game in the second half as the ball, with a stroke of luck, fell to Chuks Aneke inside the box, but once again, Clarke was there to block his left-footed shot.

The away side enjoyed a spell of possession which they won a corner from. The result was Dan Batty taking a long-range effort which didn’t particularly trouble Charlton’s goalkeeper.

A great passage of play from Fleetwood saw a fabulous-disguised pass from Jay Matete find Callum Camps inside the box, but unfortunately, his left-footed shot was blocked and turned behind for a corner.

Fleetwood should have returned to level terms after Shayden Morris beat his man from a standing start and whipped in a teasing ball across the six-yard box which was met by Lane at the far post – it came at him that quickly that he couldn’t sort his body out to get the contact he needed and it went just wide of the post for a goal-kick.

Charlton had two chances to put the game beyond Fleetwood’s reach, Morgan dragged the first one wide but made no mistake with the second as he smashed it past Cairns to make it 2-0 in injury time.

Charlton XI: Macgillivray, Dobson, Famewo, Jaiyesimi, Morgan, Lee (Gilbey 68’), Aneke, Blackett-Taylor (Purrington 86’), Inniss (C), Clare, Burstow (Washington 81’)

Subs: Henderson (GK), Pearce, Leko, Watson

Town XI: Cairns (GK), Andrew (C), Jules, Clarke, Harrison, Camps, Matete, Batty (Pilkington 75’), Lane, Johnston (Nsiala 81’), Hayes (Morris 61’)

Subs: Donaghy (GK), C.Johnson, Biggins, Boyle

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