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Match Report


Posted Tue 03 Mar 15 at 22:00 PM

Charlton 2 Nottingham Forest 1

Olly Groome reports from The Valley

Charlton made it four wins out of five with yet another impressive performance at The Valley, earning a 2-1 victory over Nottingham Forest on Tuesday evening. 

Forest, managed by former Crystal Palace favourite Dougie Freedman, came to SE7 in impressive form, but were promptly dished out their first defeat in seven games thanks to the Frederic Bulot’s first-half brace, including yet another picture-perfect free-kick to add to the Addicks' scrapbook. 

Indeed, it was a victory which was made all the more impressive due to the fact that the injury-hit south Londoners did so with a makeshift defence. 

Guy Luzon was forced into three changes from the side which beat Huddersfield Town so convincingly three days earlier. 

Lawrie Wilson slotted into right-back in place of the missing Chris Solly, while Alou Diarra took his place at the centre of defence alongside Joe Gomez with Roger Johnson suffering a slight injury. 

Elsewhere, Callum Harriott made a return to the starting XI as a replacement for Johann Berg Gudmundsson who was withdrawn early in the second half against the Terriers with a hip complaint. 

The Addicks made a positive start to proceedings, getting the first shot away after two minutes when Lawrie Wilson saw an excellent stinging shot saved by Forest stopper Karl Darlow. 

Saturday’s positive vibes were certainly extending into this encounter and there was the perfect opportunity to make it count on seven minutes when Tony Watt was chopped down 20 yards from goal. 

With Gudmundsson absent, it was left to Bulot to do the honours, and he did so with aplomb. 

The Standard Liège loanee curled an unstoppable free-kick into the top left-hand corner to put the hosts into a lead which their early forward play deserved. 

But despite enjoying much the better of the play, the Addicks needed to be remain aware of the threat which lay in the Forest attack and with 14 minutes gone, they were punished. 

There did not look to be anything on when Michael Antonio picked up possession on the left wing, but he burst forward, easily brushing past the attentions of both Harriott and Wilson before placing a low effort into the bottom right-hand corner from just outside the box. 

Although the game had come against the run of play, it provided some momentum for the visitors as the action evened out in the centre of the park. 

Just before the half-hour mark, Forest came close to snatching the lead when the ever-troublesome Antonio threatned down the left again, delivering a deep and dangerous cross which Gomez was forced to clear away across the face of goal, narrowly avoiding an own goal. 

From there, the East Midlanders embarked on a good spell of pressure as the Addicks were forced to weather somewhat of a storm. 

Antonio continued to play the antagonist down the left and very nearly bamboozled Stephen Henderson with a spinning shot from 20 yards while Jamaal Lascelles beat the keeper to the punch from a corner, but could only send his header inches wide of the post. 

Just as Forest were getting on top, however, Charlton went down the other end to regain their lead courtesy of the red-hot Bulot, who sealed his brace to put his side 2-1 up. 

Wilson was the provide, finding acres of space down the right before cutting the ball back to the Gabon international who made no mistake, firing confidently into the top right-hand corner from 10 yards. 

In truth, the goal had come against the run of play, but on the overall balance of the first-half action, the Addicks could be extremely happy with their lot as they retreated for the break. 

Luzon made a double switch at the break bringing on André Bikey-Amougou in place of Wilson, perhaps in an attempt to snuff out the threat of Antonio while Gomez moved to right-back. 

Meanwhile, Harriott was forced off with an injury, allowing Chris Eagles to emerge from the bench, taking up a position on the right-wing. 

Gomez very nearly made an instant impression in his new position, haring down the right before beating his man and stinging the palms of Darlow with an almighty angled drive. 

The action went back and forth for a while as the Addicks frustrated Forest’s efforts for an equaliser, but Matty Fryatt did come close when he saw a free header loop jus over the bar before the hour. 

Shortly after, Ben Osborn turned Yoni Buyens well to find space for a sumptuous curling effort which looked to have beaten Henderson, but bent safely around the left upright to ensure the hosts would maintain their lead. 

 Things were edgy as the game entered the final 20 minutes with the visitors enjoying plenty of possession and finding ways of getting the ball into the box, but with Henderson in confident form, the Irishman made short work of the bombardment. 

With 10 minutes remaining, Forest threw on giant forward Lars Veldwijk to add further aerial threat and very nearly scored with his first touch, flicking on a long throw at the near post which the Charlton defence did well to react to. 

Meanwhile, Eagles eyed up a long-range effort at the other end, but could only curl his shot over the bar while Buyens hit a similar effort straight into the hands of Darlow as the action began to stretch with the outstanding and tireless Jordan Cousins beginning to run the show in midfield. 

Slowly, but surely, the Addicks had regained full control and as Watt danced a merry dance down by the corner flag to quite frankly embarrass a host of Forest defenders, the points were in the bag as Charlton’s impressive run under Luzon continues. 

Charlton: Henderson; Wilson (Bikey-Amougou 46), Fox, Gomez, Diarra; Bulot, Buyens, Cousins, Harriott (Eagles 46), Vetokele (Lepoint 88), Watt.

Subs (not used): Dmitrović, Church, Lennon, Ahearne-Grant.

Goals: Bulot 7, 38

Nottingham Forest: Darlow, Lichaj, Lascelles, Collins, Fox, Burke, Gardner (Vaughan 66), Osborn, Lansbury (Veldwijk 79), Antonio, Fryatt (Blackstock 71).

Subs (not used): De Vries, Mancienne, Wilson, Paterson.

Booked: Lascelles 6 (foul on Watt), Lansbury 32 (foul on Diarra), Lichaj 90+2 (foul on Watt), Antonio 90+3 (foul on Watt)

Goal: Antonio 14

Referee: S Hooper

Att: 14,937 (1,559 from Forest)

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