REPORT | Northampton Town 0 Charlton 4

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Same team, different formation and another three points for Lee Bowyer whose Charlton side made it two wins in as many games for their caretaker boss with a 4-0 destruction of Northampton Town at the Sixfields Stadium. 

Like Saturday's win against Plymouth it was a fantastic team performance with every Charlton player looking on top form but the two stars were undoubtedly the unplayable Tariqe Fosu and Ben Reeves. 

Those two were both on the scoresheet with Reeves rising brilliantly for the Addicks first 14 minutes in and Fosu scoring with some clinical finishing either side of half time. Reeves then added a fantastic assist for Charlton’s fourth when substitute Josh Magennis headed in his cross with 11 minutes to go. 

Bowyer named an unchanged starting XI from the team that beat Plymouth Argyle 2-0 last week but there was a subtle difference in the way the team lined up with Reeves and Fosu occupying wide positions in a traditional 4-4-2 as opposed to the diamond formation played last week, it is fair to say the changes worked. 

It was a frantic start with the home side playing with a real energy and it wasn’t until back-to-back eighth minute corners that the Addicks really had much play in the opposition half. Charlton pressed again and Michael Zyro got in behind the defence in the following minute but his cut-back from the byline was just behind Ben Reeves. 

Nicky Ajose then had the first shot at goal in the 12th minute on the half turn after the home side failed to clear a Jake Forster-Caskey free kick. 

The Addicks took a 14th minute lead when Fosu and Joe Aribo played some neat football down the left and eventually played in Page, whose first touch took him cleverly away from his defender, his second touch was a beautiful, whipped, left-footed cross into the danger area where Ben Reeves made a late run from the right wing to get in front of his defender and head home.

The Cobblers had their first real effort on goal in the 18th minute when Matt Grimes drove an effort just wide from outside the area. 

But it was 2-0 a minute later and while Fosu was the goalscorer, Ajose had a massive part to play in the goal. The striker received a pass from Patrick Bauer just in the opposition and, as he did in the build up to the second goal, dummied elegantly completely fooling his marker. The ball came to Fosu who advanced at pace to just inside the area before smashing an effort low and hard passed Richard O’Donnell in the Northampton goal. 

The Addicks were playing some lovely football and in the 23rd minute five different players touched the ball in the box in a lovely passing move that Fosu wasn’t quite able to finish. 

Ajose was next to have a go when Reeves, in scintillating form, and Fosu exchanged passes. The ball was played to Ajose whose effort, again on the half turn, was deflected behind for a corner. From the resulting corner Bauer headed over. 

Fosu was really firing too and stung O’Donnell’s palms in the 33rd minute before drawing a foul on Brendan Moloney that resulted in a yellow card for the right back. 

With the Addicks in full control Moloney, who had had a very difficult time with Fosu, was taken off before half-time and replaced by Gboly Ariyibi as Bowyer’s former Leeds teammate Jimmy Floyd-Hasselbaink switched formation.

Charlton started the second half as they finished the first and within a few minutes a Forster-Caskey curled effort from outside the area had forced O’Donnell into action. 

And moments later a piece of brilliance from Fosu gave the Addicks their third and the winger his second. The former Reading man collected a pass from Zyro with unreal touch, from there he nutmegged a Northampton defender and then placed home a low right-footed effort from what must have been 25 yards out.

Fosu nearly had his hat-trick in the 60th minute when he collected from Ajose, danced away from his defender and pulled a left footed shot just past O’Donnell’s post. 

Stephy Mavididi was brought on and immediately caused havoc. His chip to the back post was met by Zyro whose header was well blocked. Then Aribo danced superbly into the area between to Northampton defenders, he fed Reeves and got the ball back but his shot was blocked too.

Reeves and Fosu linked up again in the 76th minute when the former nutmegged a Northampton midfielder and fed Fosu whose powerful effort from outside the area went fizzing over O’Donnell’s crossbar. 

Substitute Josh Magennis made it 4-0 when he headed in at the back post from a wonderful, delicately chipped Reeves cross after Mavididi and Fosu had escaped, once again, their defenders attention. 

Mavididi nearly made it five on a counter attack from a Northampton corner but O’Donnell just got a hand to it as the Arsenal loanee tried to round him. 

After a breathtaking game that was to be it as referee Gavin Ward blew the whistle to take Bowyer’s tally to six points in two games. 

Charlton: Amos, Djiksteel, Bauer, Pearce (c), Page, Forster-Caskey, Aribo, Reeves, Fosu (Kaikai, 80), Zyro (Magennis, 66), Ajose (Mavididi, 64)

Subs (not used): Phillips, Sarr, Konsa, Marshall, Kaikai

Goals: Reeves (14), Fosu (19, 51), Magennis (79)

Booked: Pearce (71)

Northampton Town: O’Donnell, Moloney (Ariyibi, 41), Buchanan (c), Taylor, Van Veen (Mathis, 68), McWilliams, Long, Crooks, Facey, Grimes, Turnbull

Subs (not used): Cornell, Barnett, Hoskins, Bunney

Booked: Moloney (34, foul on Fosu), McWilliams (43, foul on Aribo), Pereira (89)

Referee: G Ward

Attendance: 6,416 (1,208 from Charlton)

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