Charlton 0 Doncaster Rovers 2
A young Charlton side were beaten 2-0 at The Valley by League One rivals Doncaster Rovers in the second round of the FA Cup.
The visitors benefited from a stroke of luck and a slightly more clinical edge to claim victory in what was a fairly even game.
After an opening hour which saw little challenge for either keeper, a fortuitous goal from Andrew Butler and a tap-in from John Marquis gave Rovers the win.
It was a much-changed side from Lee Bowyer, with only Naby Sarr and George Lapslie retaining their places from the Addicks win at Burton on Tuesday. Despite the changes Bowyer stuck with his favoured diamond formation with Ben Reeves returning to the team after a month on the sidelines and a place at the top of the diamond for Billy Clarke as he continues his return to action after nearly a year out.
Despite playing against a relatively full strength Rovers team the young Addicks held their own in the first half. Indeed it was maybe Charlton that were causing slightly more problems with Mark Marshall and Lapslie linking up well down the Charlton right.
The two combined for Reeco Hackett-Fairchild’s blocked flick in the seventh minute and shortly after that a deep Lapslie cross was deftly touched into the path of Clarke by Nicky Ajose. The former Bradford man took a touch but had his shot well blocked.
On the half hour mark it was Marshall in the midst of it again. He knocked the ball around his defender and beat him to it before finding Toby Stevenson with a deep cross. The youngster’s header came to Clarke who had his shot blocked behind for a corner.
At the other end Tommy Rowe headed over from a cross from the Doncaster right and Dillon Phillips gathered comfortably when Herbie Kane tested him from range.
The second half began with more pace to it but neither side gave the keepers much to do.
For the Addicks Clarke came closest with a dipping free kick that just cleared the Doncaster bar.
Rovers took the lead in unusual fashion when Marshall, standing near the goalline from a Rovers corner, got his head to a Butler effort at goal but in doing so only managed to put the ball wide of Phillips.
John Marquis doubled the away side’s lead, arriving at the back post to touch in a header across goal from a deep Doncaster free kick.
The Addicks weren’t giving up and Marshall had a nice interchange with substitute Brendan Sarpong-Wiredu and Hackett-Fairchild before crashing a left-footed effort just wide from inside the area.
Marshall was then denied by an incredible save from Ian Lawlor when he met an Albie Morgan corner with a firm header at goal.
At the other end Phillips had to be at his sharpest to deny substitute Mallik Wilks on a counter attack and then palmed a fierce Paul Taylor shot away.
Toby Stevenson then missed a header under duress from no more than three yards out after a lovely chipped Sarpong-Wiredu cross.
Despite the late drama the game stayed at 2-0 as Rovers advanced.
Charlton: Steer; Marshall, Dijksteel, Sarr, Stevenson; Maloney (Sarpong-Wiredu, 79), Lapslie, Reeves (Morgan, 67), Clarke (C); Ajose, Hackett-Fairchild.
Subs (not used): Steer, Kennedy, Blumberg.
Booked: Clarke (90, foul on Kane)
Doncaster Rovers: Lawlor, Mason, Andrew, Butler, Whiteman, Marquis (Taylor, 79), Rowe (C) (Crawford, 62), Anderson, Kane, Blair, May (Wilks, 62).
Subs (not used): Marosi, Beestin, Amos, Cummings.
Goal: Marshall (own goal, 67), Marquis (77)
Booked: Butler (60, foul on Hackett-Fairchild)
Referee: B Huxtable
Attendance: 3,249 (250 from Doncaster)