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Match Report


Posted Sat 14 Feb 15 at 16:44 PM

Charlton 3 Brentford 0

Olly Groome reports from The Valley

Charlton finally ended their wretched run without a win by securing all three points against Brentford in impressive fashion at The Valley on Saturday. 

The Addicks looked a class act, putting three past the high-flying Bees to earn a first victory in 14 attempts thanks to the goals of Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Igor Vetokele and Frederic Bulot. 

And they did it despite losing both Rhoys Wiggins and Johnnie Jackson to injury in the first 45, with all 14 Addicks on the day putting in a shift the likes of which have not be seen since the heady days of the early season form. 

Roger Johnson made his first start for Charlton against the Bees, while Stephen Henderson made a long-awaited return to the side following a spell on the sidelines with a shoulder injury.

Tony Watt and Igor Vetokele started up front together for the first time, while Frédéric Bulot operated on the left of midfield. 

With the action under way, the Valley faithful played their part, getting fully behind the Addicks who made a strong start to the contest. 

Watt picked up where he left off against Norwich City, constantly hounding the back four while bamboozling with his strength and close control. 

The Scot’s powerful run created the first opportunity after six minutes, beating one man then another before the Bees finally wrestled back possession. 

But with Gudmundsson retrieving the ball, the Iceland international sent a cute effort towards goal from the edge of the box which looked to be heading into the bottom left-hand corner before the unsighted David Button got down well to keep it out. 

And five minutes later, Watt was involved again, this time forcing the ex-Addicks keeper into an even better save. 

Bulot cut the ball back to the unmarked striker stood 12 yards out, but he had to take a touch to get it under control before firing his effort goalbound. 

A slight deflection looked to be enough to take the ball into the bottom corner, but Button just about got his fingertips on the end to put it round for a corner. 

It was certainly the response Guy Luzon had called for – summoning up the spirit of the second-half comeback against the Canaries – and Charlton were doing just that. 

Indeed, the Addicks’ early showing was not that of a side who had gone 13 games previously without victory. 

They would, however, suffer an early blow when Rhoys Wiggins was forced to leave the field in the 23rd minute with what looked to be a calf injury, as Morgan Fox entered the fray in his place. 

But rather than visibly hinder Charlton’s charge, just four minutes later they took a fully-deserved lead. 

With the ball launched up top, Bulot ran on and kept the ball up with a header which fell to the tenacious Vetokele who battled his way away from Harlee Dean before laying the ball off to Gudmundsson. 

And the Iceland international took a touch on the edge of the box before measuring up a sumptuous strike which bent sweetly into the top left-hand corner to put the Addicks in front. 

The hosts had to be on their toes moments later when pinball ensued in the penalty area and Henderson was called into action for the first time to get in the way of an initial shot which cannoned back off Jordan Cousins towards goal. 
But at the other end, Charlton continued their superiority with Vetokele testing Button once again with a well-hit effort at the first time of asking.

As well as the Addicks had played during the first 45, it seemed as if the footballing gods were determined to make life difficult, with the hosts suffering a second blow when the skipper limped off injured just before half-time. 

Yoni Buyens replaced Johnnie Jackson, leaving Luzon with just one substitute to left for the second period. 

Charlton had to weather somewhat of an early storm after the break with the spirited visitors enjoying the lion’s share of possession early on. 

But 10 minutes into the half, it was the hosts who struck, doubling their lead thanks to Vetokele’s second goal in as many games. 

It all started thanks to the hard work of Fox at the back, wrestling hold of the ball before playing it to Bulot down the left. 

The Gabon international spotted Vetokele in space and provided a delightful ball round the back of the defence before the striker put Watt through on goal. 

With Button racing out, the former Celtic man took the extremely unselfish decision to square it his strike partner who slotted confidently home to put daylight between the two sides. 

It was exactly the tonic required to dampen the Bees’ confidence and hope of finding a way back into the game. 

Watt had an opportunity to score himself when he used his raw power, yet again, to break into the left-hand side of the box, but Button was equal to it, getting down to make another good save for his side. 

At the other end, Henderson was forced low to make a pair of saves from Jonathan Douglas and Alex Pritchard’s shots from range, but in truth, speculative efforts were all the Bees were limited to as the Addicks held firm in all areas of the pitch. 

With nine minutes left, Brentford enjoyed their best opportunity when Pritchard stood over a free-kick at the edge of the D. 

The Tottenham Hotspure loanee powered in a good-looking effort which drew a reactionary save from Henderson who prevented the ball from dipping under the crossbar as the Addicks were forced to soak up some  late pressure. 

But despite the odd scare, it became clear that Charlton would hold on for those three vital points, and the cherry was put on top of the victory cake in injury time when Henderson’s big boot played in Bulot who approached goal to easily slot past Button to make it 3-0 and confirm the contest over.   

Charlton: Henderson; Solly, Wiggins (Fox 23), Ben Haim, Johnson; Gudmundsson, Jackson (Buyens 43), Cousins, Bulot; Vetokele (Wilson83), Watt.

Subs (not used): Dmitrović, Bikey-Amougou, Harriott, Lepoint.

Goals: Gudmundsson 27, Vetokele 55, Bulot 90+1

Brentford: Button; Craig, Dean, Douglas, Odubajo, Dallas (Long 59), Gray, Diagouraga Smith, Pritchard, Jota (Toral 58), Yennaris. 

Subs (not used): Bonham, Saunders, McCormack, Udumaga. 

Booked: Diagouraga 48 (foul on Watt)

Referee: G Scott

Att: 14,875 (2,172 from Brentford)

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