Walsall 0-2 Charlton Athletic
Walsall 0-2 Charlton Athletic

Goals from Lyle Taylor (penalty) and Krystian Bielik were enough to give the Addicks a 2-0 victory over Walsall on Tuesday evening.

The win took Lee Bowyer’s team back into the play-off places, but it came at a heavy price.

Both Igor Vetokele and Josh Cullen sustained dislocated shoulders, and will be sidelined for several weeks.

Anfernee Dijksteel and Ben Reeves missed the match through the hamstring injuries they picked up against Doncaster. Naby Sarr and Darren Pratley took their places.

Vetokele came in for Karlan Grant, and Tariqe Fosu replaced Jamie Ward. Both Grant and Ward were amongst the subs.

Lyle Taylor’s inclusion would have surprised some, but the striker made an immediate impact, when he converted a sixth minute penalty after Fosu was brought down in the box.

It was a match Charlton dominated for large periods, but there were more injury problems for Bowyer. Grant replaced Vetokele after only 34 minutes.

The Angolan front man received lengthy treatment before being stretcherd off to hospital with a dislocated shoulder.

The Addicks sealed the win six minutes after the restart. Taylor forced a corner on the right. The flag-kick fell nicely for Bielik, who had the simple task of stroking the ball home from close range.

Charlton continued to dominate, though the Saddlers did have a bright spell, and Jed Steer was forced to make an outstanding save to foil Morgan Ferrier.

Cullen became the second player to dislocate his shoulder with ten minutes remaining.

Taylor picked up his fifth yellow card of the evening, and‎ will be suspended from the game with Bristol Rovers at The Valley on 24 November.

‎After the match, Bowyer explained the reason why Taylor was able to play, and commented on his team’s performance:

‎”Yesterday Lyle said ‘Look, I feel a lot better, I want to play’. When your striker, who has scored eight already says he wants to play and fight for the team because it’s a big game, you have go with that.

“He gives me everything you know and he’s a great lad. I was as surprised as everyone would have been today.

“Even then you think ‘Do I take the chance?’ Because I know how much he was struggling on Saturday after the game. I have to, we have to win games. He came here put his body on the line again and thankfully he scored and we got the three points.

“It was very good, another professional performance from us. It gets us back to where we have been in the past.

“It’s a tough league and you come here and they don’t drop many points at home, especially when they’ve lost, they don’t often lose the next one.

“I’m really proud of the lads, I’ve just told them that’s what our standards are on a Tuesday night in tough conditions and the way we fought and battled and, especially in the first half, the way we played going forward, we could have had three or four at half time.

“We made four changes and they all stepped in. (Darren) Pratley in the middle of the park – outstanding. Naby (Sarr) left-back, obviously we know he’s uncomfortable out there, but brilliant.

“We had Tariqe (Fosu) outstanding, I think that’s the best game he’s played this season. Igor (Vetokele), it’s unlucky you know. He looked good as well up until he got injured.

“He’s (Vetokele) dislocated his shoulder, he’s gone to hospital. Josh Cullen dislocated his shoulder, it’s just unreal. Saturday we got two hamstrings (Ben Reeves and Anfernee Dijksteel), today we get two dislocated shoulders, it’s just not normal.

“Our back four and Jed (Steer) I thought were outstanding. When Jed needed to be called upon he was called upon.

“Our back four defended the box. Our two centre-halves won every header. Our midfield dominated the game and our front two do what they do.

“They work hard out of possession and cause problems going the other way. The perfect team performance I thought.”

 

Charlton: Steer; Solly, Bielik, Pearce, Sarr; Cullen (Lapslie, 80), Pratley, Aribo, Fosu (Marshall, 82); Taylor, Vetokele (Grant 34).

Subs (not used): Phillips, Stevenson, Ward, Ajose.‎

Goals: Taylor 6 (pen), Bielik 51.‎

Booked:‎ Cullen 24 (foul), Pearce 49 (foul), Bowyer 64 (dissent), Taylor 73 (foul).‎

Walsall: Roberts; Devlin, Martin, Guthrie, Leahy; Dobson, Ferrier, ‎Osbourne (Kinsella 46), Ginnelly (Ronan 85); Cook, Gordon (Ismail 75).

Subs (not used): Dunn, Morris, Johnson, Wilson‎

Booked: ‎Leahy 42 (dissent).

Referee:‎ Tom Nield‎ (West Yorkshire).

Attn: 3,719 (328 Charlton).


 
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