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Match Report


Posted Sat 19 Dec 15 at 17:42 PM

Burnley 4 Charlton 0

Olly Groome reports from Turf Moor

There was no Christmas cheer for Charlton at Burnley as they slipped to their eighth away league defeat of the season at Turf Moor.

After an extremely promising first half in which the Addicks were, by far, the better side, Scott Arfield’s goal on the stroke of half-time knocked the stuffing out of the visitors before two early goals, a second for Arfield and one through Andre Gray, in the space of two second-half minutes, left them with a 4-0 loss and heading into Christmas second from bottom in the Championship table.

Karel Fraeye was forced into changes with both Ademola Lookman and Johann Berg Gudmundsson missing after picking up knocks in the 2-2 draw with Bolton Wanderers at The Valley on Tuesday.

That meant Simon Makienok made a return to the starting XI, while Alou Diarra moved back into midfield with Patrick Bauer having served his two-match ban.

The third and final switch saw Morgan Fox come in from the start in place of Tareiq Holmes-Dennis, who dropped to the bench.

Elsewhere, there was a first appearance amongst the substitutes for 17-year-old defender Ezri Konsa, who recently signed a new long-term deal with the club.

Burnley got the action under way with a half-chance on the two-minute mark when Sam Vokes met Gray’s cross with a glancing header which sailed wide, before Ben Mee fired well off target a minute later.

The Addicks’ first effort came with eight minutes gone with Ricardo Vaz Te trying his luck from 20 yards, but the former Bolton man could only send it past the tight-hand upright.

Charlton began knocking the ball around nicely in the early exchanges and were only denied an almost-certain goal by Joey Barton’s brilliantly-timed tackle in the box after Reza Ghoochannejhad had been teed up by Makienok, 12 yards from goal.

But the former Manchester City skipper slid in to deny the Iranian just as he was set to pull the trigger.

With 20 minutes gone, the visitors were in again. Makienok’s flick-on to Vaz Te sent the Portuguese into the box from the right, but his powerful effort hit the side-netting via a slight nick off a Burnley boot.

That would, however, be one of the striker’s final contributions as, just before the half-hour mark, he limped off with an injury, replaced by Karlan Ahearne-Grant.

Undeterred, the Addicks still looked a threat going forward and another impressive passing move, once again, nearly set up Ghoochannejhad.

Ahearne-Grant was sent clear on the lef-hand side and he crossed low for the advancing forward who went to meet it with his weaker right-foot, only to miss his cue as he scuffed the ball wide.

Meanwhile, the hosts’ forward play was frustrating the Turf Moor crowd, although Gray came close to opening the scoring just before the break when he smashed a shot over the bar from close range.

The nippy striker should have hit the target, while replays showed he was a good number of yards offside, regardless.

At the other end, Johnnie Jackson’s piledriver brought a good save from keeper Tom Heaton, but the resulting corner would lead directly to Burnley stealing the opening goal, against the run of play, on the stroke of half time.

The home side countered down the right with Matthew Lowton crossing low, and with the ball finding its way to Arfield, he slotted home to leave Charlton going into the break, very harshly, a goal down.

With the second-half under way, Vokes missed a glorious chance early on when he fired wide in a crowded box, while Ahearne-Grant stung the palms of Heaton with an angled drive for the Addicks shorlty after.

But it wouldn’t be long before the Lancashire side were out of sight, scoring twice in a minute to completely destroy what remained of the Londoners' confidence.

First, a short-corner routine saw Arfield stroke past Stephen Henderson from just inside the box on 55 minutes for his brace, before the Addicks were undone by another swift counter less than 60 seconds later as George Boyd played in Gray, who finished into the bottom right-hand corner.

Charlton looked to make an immediate response and Ghoochannejhad drew a fantastic diving stop from Heaton with his half-volley, while Jackson fired straight at the stopper shortly after, but in truth, the visitors were demoralised and the result, a foregone conclusion.

Yet another cruel injury blow struck when Patrick Bauer had to be replaced by Naby Sarr and Burnley were left to toy with their opponents as they went in search of a fourth.

Vokes came inches away when he sent another glancing header narrowly wide with 14 minutes remaining, but the inevitable was only delayed by a matter of minutes as the ex-AFC Bournemouth man squeezed a flicked shot just inside the past to make it 4-0 and well and truly finish Charlton off.

The defeat sees Fraeye’s men in 23rd position going into the hectic Christmas period, with the Boxing Day trip to Bristol City shaping up to be a real six-pointer as the Addicks desperately look to turn their season around.

Charlton: Henderson; Solly, Bauer (Sarr 66), Lennon, Fox; Diarra (Bergdich 62), Cousins, Jackson, Ghoochannejhad, Vaz Te (Ahearne-Grant 29), Makienok.

Subs (not used): Pope, Konsa, Holmes-Dennis, Charles-Cook.

Burnley: Heaton, Lowton, Duff, Keane, Mee, Boyd (Taylor 82), Barton, Marney, Arfield (Kightly 82), Vokes, Gray (Hennings 80).

Subs (not used): Gilks, Ward, Jones, Darikwa.

Goal: Arfield 44, 53, Gray 55, Vokes 78

Referee: P Tierney

Att: 15,697 (234 from Charlton)

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