Gary Haines reports
Charlton ended their home hoodoo with a superb comeback victory against nine-man Bolton on Saturday.
Just a second Valley success of 2013 and fifth home win of the campaign was sealed thanks to a stirring fight back from two goals down as Johnnie Jackson, Dorian Dervite and Yann Kermorgant netted on an incredible afternoon.
Boos echoed round SE7 after Medo Kamara cracked home a low drive via the left post in the 20th minute to double a lead handed to Bolton by Marvin Sordell’s fourth-minute strike.
But, led by their skipper, Charlton launched a memorable rally.
Jackson’s ninth goal of the season, a low drive into the bottom corner of the net, came in the 25th minute and offered hope as the hosts went into the break well on top.
And the game was turned on its head in the opening 18 minutes of the second half as Dervite followed up to score his second goal for the club after a Kermorgant free-kick came back off the post.
Bolton had been reduced to 10 men for the foul in the build-up after Sam Ricketts, booked for upending Callum Harriott before the break, stopped Ricardo Fuller in his tracks.
Fuller defied all kinds of discomfort with a shoulder problem to then win a penalty three minutes later, getting the wrong side of Darren Pratley before being tripped.
Kermorgant assumed spot-kick duties, with his first penalty since that much-mentioned play-off chip for former club Leicester City a couple of seasons ago.
And any such subtlety was chucked out the window as the Frenchman almost broke the back of the net with a thunderous shot from 12 yards.
Bolton probed for a way back into it late on but ended the game in disarray as substitute Craig Davies was banished by Trevor Kettle for two stoppage-time offences in quick succession, the first a shove on Michael Morrison and the second a sliding challenge on Rhoys Wiggins.
And the players surrounded the referee at the final whistle with their skipper Zat Knight also booked as most of the natives drew a sizable sigh of relief.
This being Charlton, there was little routine about this win.
Just like against Cardiff in one of the all-too few home successes this season, they did it the hard way in not just shipping one goal, but two in the opening quarter.
The Trotters’ movement and pace caused them no end of problems in that opening stanza and the fact that Sordell’s goal came from their third clear-cut chance highlights the way the game had started.
Against Cardiff the natives got behind their side in rousing fashion and although boos did ring out as Kamara notched the second, there was little time for the negativity to set in as Jackson hauled his side back into the game.
It was he of course who netted twice against Cardiff to level things up on that dramatic November night, and, foundations in place, Charlton had something to build on.
And build they did, as they continued to hold the ascendancy, rendering Bolton’s early dominance a thing of the past by keeping a vice-like grip of the initiative.
Of course there was the expected late jitter, it wouldn’t be Charlton if there wasn’t I suppose, but on this afternoon they held their heads as Bolton lost theirs.
On a day in which teams in the lower reaches again fared well, this win was all the more vital and moved the Addicks onto a half century of points, arguably one more win away from safety, the primary objective of the season.
And for those loyal patrons in these parts, that Saturday night pint will taste that bit better after just a second weekend success at home in this craziest of campaigns.
Wanderers flew out of the blocks and carved out three opportunities in the opening four minutes, grabbing the lead with the latter.
First Chung-Yong Lee seized a loose ball at a corner and drove just off target while moments later Sordell spun sharply and sent Ngog clear on goal only for Ben Hamer to keep out the Frenchman’s low drive.
Charlton did not heed their warning, however, carelessly surrendering possession in their own territory and watching Sordell twist into space and fire a low shot home via the faintest of touched from Hamer.
It was a nightmare start for the home side although they responded gamely with Bradley Pritchard denied from close-range by Andrew Lonergan and a couple more efforts that were deflected behind.
But Bolton’s lead was doubled on 20 minutes as Sierra Leone international Kamara shot home via the left post leaving the hosts up against it.
As on several occasions this term, their skipper hauled them back into the game, with a vital deficit-halver.
After a neat lay-off from Harriott, he cruised across the box and cracked a low shot into the bottom corner to bring his side some kind of salvation.
Jackson went close from range and Solly had a deflected dipper too as the half ended with plenty of promise.
It started encouragingly too after the break as Harriott’s deflected drive was beaten away by Lonergan and things got even better as the Addicks netted twice in three minutes to turn things round.
And it was double jeopardy for Wanderers shortly before the hour as Ricketts caught Ricardo Fuller and picked up a second yellow, after which Kermorgant’s free-kick clattered off the post and Dervite fired home the loose ball.
Parity achieved, the hosts turned the screw against the 10 men with their French talisman stepping up to bullet home a penalty soon afterwards after Fuller was upended in the box by Darren Pratley.
Powell handed a debut to Mark Gower in the closing quarter of the game and despite being a man down, it was Bolton who probed in searching for a leveller.
They found Hamer assured in the home goal, and their cause was not helped by substitute Craig Davies who collected two yellow cards in quick succession in stoppage time to reduce them to nine men.
Those antics ate up valuable time after a monstrous seven minutes were added beyond the 90, but the hosts dug in, by hook or by crook to toast a memorable victory.
The most significant team news saw a return to midfield for Andy Hughes
as Chris Powell made four changes from the derby defeat against Millwall a fortnight ago.
Dervite was also back in the rearguard, ahead of recalled keeper Hamer and Fuller started up front as Matt Taylor, Lawrie Wilson and Danny Haynes dropped out of the starting X. There was a place on the bench for the first time for new loan signing Mark Gower.
For Hughes, who joined Jackson in the engine-room for a first senior outing since January 7th, 2012 – and first start since November 19th the previous year - with Powell sticking to a 4-4-2 formation.
Taylor was replaced by Dervite in the heart of the defence while Jamaican striker Fuller was preferred to Haynes in the frontline and Hamer got the nod ahead of Button between the sticks after a four-match stint on the bench.
Swansea loanee Gower was also in reserve where there was a first bench outing for Irish defender Kevin Feely.
Hamer returned between the posts for the hosts with Dervite partnering Morrison at the back and Chris Solly and Wiggins occupying the full-back berths.
Harriott and Pritchard were the wide outlets in midfield either side of Jackson and Hughes, fully recovered after a nagging Achilles injury. Kermorgant and Fuller were the frontline pair.
Button provided the goalkeeping back-up on the bench and was joined there by Wilson, Danny Green, Swansea City loanee Gower, Haynes, Jon Obika and Feely, a January signing from Irish side Bohemian.
Ngog, who netted twice against the Addicks in a 2-0 Bolton win at the Reebok Stadium in December, was up front for the visitors alongside Sordell.
Former Addicks loanee, Danny Butterfield, snapped up by the Trotters on the eve of the game, was on the bench where he was joined by two striking Davies’ Kevin and Craig.
The Trotters forced an early corner with just over a minute on the watch and when Spearing’s flag-kick was headed back, Chung-Yong Lee fastened onto the ball on the edge of the box and fired narrowly over.
Sordell then held off a touch-tight Dervite as the clock crept past three minutes and sent Ngog clear on goal. The Frenchman, pursued by a covering Wiggins, did not connect how he would have wanted to and his low effort was saved by Hamer.
It was a bright start by Bolton, nonetheless, and they were in front a minute later.
After possession was spurned by the hosts in their own half, Sordell snapped up possession and wriggled into space before arrowing in a shot that Hamer got a hand to put could not keep out.
Even as early as the fourth minute, it was hard not to deny Wanderers their lead, but Charlton’s response was spirited.
Only a wonderful close-range stop from Andrew Lonergan denied Pritchard from close range as the ball squirted dangerously across the box in the eight minute. Penalty claims from a cluster of players in the aftermath fell on deaf ears.
Two corners followed in quick succession as Harriott and then Pritchard saw efforts deflected behind and attack was proving the best form of defence for the home side amid their rally.
But their task became even trickier in the 20th minute as Bolton bagged a second.
Kamara was on target this time, picking up the ball in space and drilling home a low shot via the inside of the left post.
As voices of discontent started to ring out around SE7 there was a smoky celebration in the Jimmy Seed Stand courtesy of a flare.
Jackson’s low shot was deflected wide as the hosts strived for a response, and it was the skipper who did pull a goal back on 25 minutes.
The Addicks kept the ball alive for a period of play and Pritchard’s eventual cross was laid off neatly by Harriott for Jackson who shifted across the box and buried a low shit inside the far post. Game on.
Wiggins got back well to deny Ngog while Kamara’s desperate challenge earned him a ticking off after a flying Solly was grounded.
Shortly afterwards, Fuller got the better of Zat Knight and weaved into the box on the left but sadly no red shirts were able to convert as he flashed the ball across the face of goal.
Jackson’s venomous drive fizzed narrowly over as a watchable half continued and Hughes, having engineered an opening with a neat piece of trickery, dragged his shot well wide from range.
Ricketts was booked after catching Harriott in full flow three minutes before the break and after the free-kick was headed out to Solly, his drive was deflected behind.
The neat-and-tidy Hughes was booked in stoppage time after a high challenge on Kamara, with the visitor far from happy at the challenge as he immediately made a beeline for the offender before the referee intervened.
That was the last action of the half as Charlton went in with a smidgeon of hope, and less than a minute after the restart Harriott combined with Jackson and cracked in a shot that took a sizable deflection before Lonergan parried away.
Fuller’s sighter was claimed by the Trotters keeper soon afterwards with Harriott screaming for the ball out wide.
Kamara’s focus was slightly out as he was off target from range before the game’s first change saw assistant referee Sannerude replaced by the fourth official on the near side.
Harriott was wildly wide after the resumption but Charlton’s cause improved on 57 minutes as Ricketts saw red.
Fuller wrestled for possession and was caught by the Wales international, and Kettle immediately dished out a second yellow card – and then a red.
Sordell was immediately replaced by Butterfield but Charlton would cash in when the free-kick was eventually taken on the hour.
Kermorgant, having shot inches wide from a similar position against Millwall, curled in a sumptuous shot that beat Lonergan and cracked against the left post.
Mayhem ensued as the ball rattled free in the box and it was Dervite that assumed control, threading home a low shot to level matters at two-apiece.
Much credit in the goal should go to Fuller having won the free-kick and injuring his shoulder in the process.
He was off the field as the free-kick yielded the leveller, and then was felled for an even more important set-piece three minutes later.
After a clever drop of the shoulder he sauntered into the box from the left and was brought down by Pratley with Kettle pointing to the spot instantly.
After a lengthy delay as Fuller received more treatment, it was Kermorgant who planted the ball – and he positively thumped a superb shot into the bottom left corner of the net.
It was some strike for a man remembered for a penalty of a different variety many moons ago, and from two goals down, the hosts were now ahead.
Despite Haynes being readied on the sidelines, the lion-hearted Fuller was able to continue and the pendulum had truly swung in the Addicks’ favour.
Craig Davies came on for the shellshocked visitors before Craig Dawson denied Charlton a fourth with a crucial block to foil Pritchard.
Harriott was then a bootlace away from connecting at the far post after a fine cross from Kermorgant.
There was a debut for midfielder Gower as the efficient Hughes took the fans’ acclaim on 72 minutes and in a rare Bolton raid a Marcos Alonso shot hit an unwitting Pratley but Hamer had the effort covered.
Olduwasanmi Odelusi replaced Pratley before Solly did brilliantly on the right before being hauled down WWE-style by Dawson, an act that earned the defender a yellow card.
There was a mini-scramble after a Spearing free-kick was fumbled by Hamer under pressure before the keeper was fouled and Harriott and Fuller made way for Wilson and Haynes before the restart.
Hamer gathered a driven cross from Davies in fine fashion and Kermorgant had a header brilliantly tipped over by Lonergan in stoppage time.
The Frenchman was booked for a challenge moments earlier, as Kettle played a good advantage, and the corner, after all that, came to nothing.
Amid all this the board went up for a whopping seven added minutes and there was a booking for Davies for shoving Morrison before Hamer held a low effort from Kamara.
Davies then saw a second yellow in the last added minute after sliding into Wiggins as the Trotters were reduced to nine men.
Spearing was also booked for dissent and after the final whistle Knight was also cautioned by the referee who famously sent off two Addicks – and one Oldham man – in the first week of April a year ago.
The crucial act for the Addicks was the middle action as they were finally able to taste victory on home turf on a Saturday.
Charlton: Hamer; Solly, Wiggins, Dervite, Morrison; Pritchard, Hughes (Gower 72), Jackson, Harriott (Wilson 86); Fuller (Haynes 86), Kermorgant.
Subs (not used): Button, Feely, Green, Obika.
Goals: Jackson 25, Dervite 60, Kermorgant pen 63
Booked: Hughes 45 (foul on Kamara), Solly 88 (foul on Ngog), Kermorgant 90 (foul on Spearing)
Bolton: Lonergan; Ricketts, Alonso, Knight, Dawson; Pratley (Odelusi 82), Spearing, Kamara, Lee; Sordell (Butterfield 59), Ngog.
Subs (not used): Bogdan, Wheater, Eagles, K Davies.
Goals: Sordell 4, Kamara 20
Booked: Ricketts 42 (foul on Harriott), Dawson 84 (foul on Solly), C Davies 90 (foul on Morrison), Spearing 90 (dissent), Knight 90 (dissent).
Sent off: Ricketts 57 (foul on Fuller/second yellow card), C Davies 90 (foul on Wiggins/second yellow card)
Referee: T Kettle
Att: 17,322 (1,221 Bolton)