Charlton Athletic 1-0 QPR
Charlton Athletic 1-0 QPR

Charlton maintained their 100% record since the resumption with a 1-0 win over London rivals Queens Park Rangers at The Valley on Saturday.

Darren Pratley’s early header was the only goal of the game.

Team wise, Lee Bowyer fielded an unchanged starting eleven, but Andre Green replaced Erhun Oztumer on the bench.

The only goal of the game came after twelve minutes. Josh Cullen – who had another fine game – swung in a corner from the right.

Pratley’s powerful header went to Liam Kelly’s left, and though the keeper got a hand on the ball, he could only push it onto the post and into the net.

QPR had plenty of possession but Dillon Phillips was only seriously troubled once, but he produced a brilliant save to foil Jordan Hugill.

‎The Addicks had their chances too. Macauley Bonne headed home

McGeady’s cross just before the hour mark but was ruled offside.

Bonne was nearly in again a few minutes later, but the keeper got to Chuks Aneke’s through ball a fraction before him.

The manager had this to say after the final whistle:

 “It was similar to last weekend. I thought it was a very solid performance. We limited them to chances.

“I thought they had one good chance, one clear-cut chance in the 90 minutes and Dillon made a good save. But apart from that I thought it was a good solid performance.

“Again, overall, on chances created, I would say that we created the better chances and deserved to win the game.

“Yeah, they had more possession than us. Again If I am going to be critical, in possession we weren’t as good as we normally are, we turned over the ball a bit too easily and we didn’t take our chances again,” said Bowyer.

With tougher tests to come, more clinical finishing is needed. The strikers need to be a bit sharper in front of goal.

It has been a great start, but there is still plenty of work to be done. Bowyer continued:

“With seven games to go there is still a lot of time left, we’re not out of it now. We still have to focus and keep fighting for every point because this league can hurt you.

“We’ve had a good start, we’re in a good position but we have to keep fighting to the end because the most important thing for me is that we stay in the division. 

“The team spirit has always been high, obviously last week’s result helped. This one will give them another lift and it is my job to keep their feet on the ground and let them know we aren’t safe and we have to keep pushing and fighting for every point.”

For the second week in a row, the goal came from a corner‎, and Bowyer was quick to give the credit to his assistant, Johnnie Jackson:

“Jacko works hard on set-pieces. We look at other teams and how they set up. I had a conversation with Jacko the other evening and said ‘look there is something you can work on here and work on there’.

“I said ‘these are three things that can hurt you, you fiddle around with it and go with what you think is best’ and Jacko worked on them hard yesterday and it has paid off again. 

“Set-pieces are very big in the game. We work hard at them, Jacko more so. I don’t care how we get the three points as long as we get them.”

Next up for Bowyer’s team is the tough trip to promotion chasing Cardiff on Tuesday.

Charlton: Phillips; Mathews, Lockyer, Pearce, Oshilaja (Purrington 76); McGeady (Doughty 60), Cullen, Pratley, Morgan (Field 84); Bonne (Green 84), Hemed (Aneke 60)‎.

Subs (not used): Amos, Sarr, Williams, Davison.‎

Goal: Pratley 12‎.

Booked: Pratley (76’ foul).‎

QPR: Kelly; Manning, Barbet, Masterson, Rangel (Kane 71); Cameron (L Amos 71), Ball (Bettache 76), Eze, Chair (Shodipo 60), Osayi-Samuel (Oteh 71); Hugill.‎

Subs (not used): Lumley, Kakay, Gubbins, Clarke.‎

Referee: Tim Robinson.

Attn: N/A.