Doncaster Rovers 1-2 Charlton Athletic
Doncaster Rovers 1-2 Charlton Athletic

Charlton will take a slender one goal lead into Friday’s second-leg play-off game with Doncaster.‎ The Addicks established a two goal first-half lead, before Matty Blair’s late strike halved the deficit.

Nearly 4,000 travelling fans packed into the away end made the Keepmoat a cauldron of noise from before kick-off until after the final whistle.

Lee Bowyer fielded an unchanged team, but Krystian Bielik dropped backed into central defence, with Anfernee Dijksteel and Ben Purrington pushed further forward, as Bowyer switched to a 5-3-2 formation.

The two decisive ‎strikes came in quick succession just past the half-hour mark. First, Lyle Taylor headed home from close range, then Joe Aribo touched home the second.

Taylor was a whisker away from nodding home Aribo’s chipped cross for a third, shortly ‎before Blair converted a deflected cross.

After the game, Bowyer explained the reason for the team’s change of shape:

“When we played them here they kept hitting us on the break, we were our worst enemy really.

“When we were in possession they just hit us on the break so we had to nullify that. We have to respect whoever we play against.

“Every team has got strengths and weaknesses, so we had to change it and play three at the back and for me it worked.”

Man of the match, Taylor, added his thoughts about his goal:

The ball came in, it flicked off of Butler and I just saw Josh Cullen stood on the line and I thought ‘What’s he doing there?’.

“It’s gone straight to him. It popped back in the box and I thought ‘I’m going to get my head taken off here but I need to score, I have to score, I’m going to have to head this’ so I just threw myself at it and thankfully didn’t get volleyed in the head.”

As well as scoring the opener, Taylor teed-up Aribo for the second:

“It came back to me from Albie (Morgan) on the edge of the box and Aribo was round me and called for it.

“He wanted it first time, but I’ve taken my touch and just waited and waited and waited for the defender to commit, and then rolled it and he cross-scored. It was definitely a shot, 100 per cent a shot, so I’ll take the assist on that.”

There were plenty of positives for Bowyer to take from the game. His team dominated proceedings in the first-half, and but for an unfortunate blip near the end, managed the game well after the break.

Josh Parker had his best game in a Charlton shirt and won the fans over with his tireless running.

There is still work to be done, but Bowyer will be confident about Friday’s outcome.

 

Charlton: Phillips; Dijksteel, Bielik, Bauer, Sarr, Purrington; Cullen, Morgan (Pratley 61), Aribo; Taulor, Parker (Pearce 66).‎

Subs (not used): Maxwell, Page, Forster-Caskey, Williams, Lapslie.‎

Goals: Taylor 32, Aribo 34‎

Booked: Bauer 27 (move on Marquis)

 

Doncaster: Marosi; Blair, Downing, Butler, Andrew; Coppinger (Rowe 46), Whiteman, Kane Wilks, Sadlier (May 84); ‎Marquis.

‎Subs (not used): Jones, Crawford, Anderson, Smith, Lewis.

Goal: Blair 87‎.

 

Referee: Oliver Langford (West Midlands).

Attn: 11,140 (3,688 Charlton).‎


 
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