PRE-SEASON REPORT | Stevenage 1 Charlton 2

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Charlton made it four pre-season victories in a row by coming from behind to beat Stevenage at the Lamex Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

After falling behind to Fraser Franks’ opener, the Addicks – who dominated the entire first half – levelled through Karlan Ahearne-Grant’s close-range finish. 

Jake Forster-Caskey bundled Charlton in front early in the second period and that is the way the scoring stayed as Karl Robinson’s men extended their good run of results. 

The first shot of the game came in after just two minutes and it was an Addick that let fly. Forster-Caskey hooked the ball through to Tariqe Fosu and he drove forward before unleashing a low drive that home stopper Joe Fryer had to push to safety.

A minute later, Charlton came within a whisker of going in front. Jason Pearce met a Ricky Holmes free-kick with a powerful header but his effort bounced down into the ground and back up onto the crossbar. 

The Addicks continued to make the early running and Mark Marshall was next to have a go at goal when he fired off target on nine minutes. 

Then it was Lee Novak’s turn. He did really well to get a Holmes cross-shot under control but Fryer was on hand to make a good save from his strike at goal. 

Fosu stung the palms of Fryer again – the goalkeeper’s third save inside the opening 12 minutes – with another effort from the edge of the box and, at the other end, Franks glanced a corner wide in what was the hosts’ first sight of goal. 

Stevenage’s second attempt on goal arrived on 35 minutes and they would take the lead from it. Charlton headed a free-kick out of the danger area but the loose ball dropped for Franks and he directed the ball into the bottom corner. 

The goal had come completely against the run of play and it only took Charlton five minutes to equalise. Jay Dasilva whipped in a low cross that Novak met in the middle with a stabbed effort. Fryer kept that out with a superb, reflex save but Ahearne-Grant, who had come on to replace the injured Marshall, was perfectly placed to bury the rebound. 

Dillon Phillips made a great stop from Harry Beautyman to ensure that the scores were level at half-time and it was Charlton who created the first opening of the second period. 

A good spell of possession ended with Fosu crossing to Holmes at the far post but his volley flew high and wide. 

At the other end, Alex Samuel glanced a header wide for Stevenage from a free-kick. 

Charlton took the lead on 56 minutes. Pearce showed great determination to connect with a Holmes corner and Forster-Caskey was in the right place to bundle his flick-on home. 

Danny Newton fizzed a strike into the side netting as the hosts looked for a quick equaliser and both teams then utilised some of their options on the bench by making a number of substitutions. 

A fantastic move almost saw Charlton net a third on 70 minutes. A perfect piece of control allowed Chris Solly to bring down an Ahmed Kashi pass in an instant and he crossed to the far post where Ahearne-Grant headed over. 

Josh Magennis shot into the arms of Boro’s substitute goalkeeper Chris Day before Samuel shot off target for the hosts from a narrow angle. 

The Addicks came close to making it three five minutes from time. Magennis was threaded through by Ahearne-Grant but after his shot beat Day it bounced back out off the post. 

It didn’t matter, though, as the south-east Londoners had already done enough to secure the win.

Stevenage: Fryer (Day 76), Henry (Turgott 60), Wilkinson (Wilmot 60), Franks (Iontton 76), Martin (Ferry 76), Pett (Trialist 76), Gorman (Fraser 76), Beautyman (Trialist 76), Liburd (Samuel 46), Mckee (Conlon 60), Newton (Slater 60).

Goal: Franks 35

Charlton: Phillips, Solly, Konsa (Sarr 78), Pearce, Dasilva (Barnes 86), Kashi (Aribo 78), Forster-Caskey (Crofts 78), Marshall (Ahearne-Grant 28), Holmes (Stewart 65), Fosu (Clarke 65), Novak (Magennis 46).

Subs (not used): Beeney. 

Goals: Ahearne-Grant 40, Forster-Caskey 56 

Referee: D Deadman.