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Match Report


Posted Sat 14 Mar 15 at 23:45 PM

Charlton 1 Blackburn Rovers 3

Olly Groome reports from The Valley

Charlton suffered only their second defeat in seven games as they lost out 3-1 to Blackburn Rovers at The Valley on Saturday. 

It was, unfortunately, a story of three defensive lapses with Jordan Rhodes the chief beneficiary, scoring a goal in each half to bookend Craig Conway’s strike. 

Having found themselves two goals down at the break, the Addicks looked lively early in the second half and found a way back into the game through Yoni Buyens’ penalty, but all hope was ended when Rhodes nodded in his second 12 minutes from the end to leave the hosts disappointed. 

There were two changes to the side which gained victory at Cardiff City last time out with Igor Vetokele and and the fully fit Tal Ben Haim making their return in place of Joe Gomez, who dropped to the bench and Christophe Lepoint who missed out altogether.

Meanwhile, Stephen Henderson was declared fit after twisting his ankle against the Bluebirds seven days ago. 

The visitors were the first to get a shot away when Alex Baptiste sent a stinging effort goalbound from 30 yards which forced Henderson into a good, sprawling save to put the ball round for a corner. 

It was a generally quite opening period with both sides feeling each other out before a quick throw-in presented the deadly Rhodes with an opportunity which he took to give Blackburn the lead on 15 minutes. 

The Scotland international was played into the box and he brushed off the attentions of Ben Haim and Roger Johnson to send his effort past Henderson and in off the post. 

And just three minutes later, Rovers inflicted more punishment on the Addicks as a defensive lapse by Johnson saw Yoni Buyens’ pass fall straight into the path of Conway. 

The chance had been presented to the midfielder on a silver platter and he gladly accepted, drilling his effort low into the bottom corner for 2-0. 

Charlton had given themselves an almighty hill to climb early on but all the while looked a threat going forward. 

On 20 minutes, the dangerous Tony Watt played Vetokele in behind the defence and the striker struck a powerful effort which just clipped off the top of the crossbar. 

Indeed, Luzon’s men reacted well to the early deficit, seeing plenty of the ball as they showed some flair in making their way into the final third, but just could not find the crucial killer pass to reduce the arrears before half-time, with Watt coming closest in the dying seconds. 

The Scot pounced on some sloppy play at the back to beat Jason Steele to the ball, but the keeper was quick in getting out to smother the effort while a sliding tackle cleared up the scramble which ensued as the visitors cleared their lines. 

The Addicks emerged for the second half with a sense of purpose and were well deserving when they were given the opportunity to pull a goal back from the spot after 57 minutes. 

When Vetokele ran on to a clipped ball over the top he beat Steele to the punch but was completely taken out by the stopper, leaving referee Charles Brakspear no choice but to point to the spot. 

Buyens stepped up for the second time in seven days and this time stroked his penalty to the right of the keeper and into the bottom corner for his sixth converted spot-kick of the season. 

That seemingly lit a fire in the hosts’ belly as they streamed forward in search of an equaliser. 

And moments later they came inches away from doing just that when Vetokele leaped to send Frederic Bulot’s cross bouncing back off the crossbar, while Watt raced through one-on-one, only to slide his effort agonisingly wide of the left upright. 

At the other end Blackburn came close to a third when Tom Cairney’s shot from inside the box took a wicked deflection off Johnson before going wide while the wide man saw another effort, this time from distance, force Henderson into an impressive diving save as the visitors began to regain their footing in the game. 

Indeed, Rovers took full advantage of some more slack defending to grab a third 12 minutes from time. 

After Chris Taylor’s shot was deflected up and into the air, Rhodes nipped in behind the static back four to nod home into the bottom left-hand corner to kill off Charlton’s momentum. 

The Addicks ended the game strongly and had the ball in the net late on when Simon Church returned Watt’s shot which had been well saved by Steele, but Mr Breakspear blew up for an innocuous foul, seemingly making amends for when he had inadvertently got in the way of Rovers’ forward motion in the build-up. 

After the hugely impressive run Luzon’s men had been on it inevitably had to come to an end somewhere and bar the three lapses of concentration at the back, Charlton certainly did not disgrace themselves and will be more than eager to get back to winning ways when they travel to struggling Blackpool on Tuesday night.  

Charlton: Henderson, Solly, Fox, Johnson, Ben Haim, Gudmundsson, Buyens (Church 83), Cousins, Bulot (Eagles 73), Watt, Vetokele.

Subs (not used): Dmitrovic, Wilson, Gomez, Bikey-Amougou, Diarra.

Goal: Buyens 57 (pen)

Booked: Fox 84 (foul on Cairney)

Blackburn: Steele, Henley, Henry (Spearing 70), Baptiste, Spurr, Conway (Taylor 21), Williamson (Evans 63), Cairney, Marshall, Brown, Rhodes.

Subs (not used): Eastwood, Songo'o, Lenihan, Gestede.

Goals: Rhodes 15, 78, Conway 18

Booked: Steele 56 (foul on Vetokele), Brown 77 (kicking the ball away)

Referee: C Breakspear

Att: 14,888 (703 from Blackburn)

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