PRE-SEASON REPORT | Charlton 1 Brighton & Hove Albion 1

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A fantastic equaliser from Naby Sarr ensured that Charlton shared the spoils with Premier League Brighton & Hove Albion at The Valley on Tuesday evening.

The defender, who calmly slotted into the bottom corner having broken forward from the half-way line, cancelled out Pascal Gross’ 47th-minute opener.

The Addicks now face one more pre-season game, against Norwich City at the weekend, before they kick off the new League One campaign at Sunderland on Saturday, August 4th.

In terms of team news, Lee Bowyer started with Dillon Phillips in goal. Ahead of him, Mark Marshall, Elliott Ward, Sarr and Lewis Page made up the back four, with Albie Morgan, Darren Pratley, Jake Forster-Caskey and Simon Dawkins forming the midfield quartet.

Up front, Josh Magennis and Nicky Ajose led the line.

Albion forced the first chance of the game on six minutes. After a long spell of possession, former Addick Dale Stephens found Ritchie Towell on the right and he drilled a shot goalwards that Dillon Phillips saved well.

Charlton went close with nine minutes on the clock when trialist Dawkins had a shot deflected over the crossbar and, from the corner that followed, fellow trialist Ward headed into the arms of goalkeeper David Button.

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Glenn Murray wasted a great chance for the visitors after 20 minutes, having been found inside the box by Gross, and at the other end Ajose saw a low cross well cut out by ex-Addick Button.   

The Addicks had grown into the half – with new signing Darren Pratley looking particularly tenacious - and academy graduate Morgan sent a 25-yard drive whizzing over the bar on 27 minutes, which proved to be the final opportunity of the first period. 

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Charlton made five changes at the break and Brighton took the lead five minutes after the restart. Phillips made a fantastic save from a Murray header but Gross was perfectly placed to tuck home the rebound.

Five minutes later, Charlton almost levelled. Magennis broke clear one-on-one and after seeing his first shot saved by Button, the goalkeeper saved twice more from the Northern Irishman before the danger was cleared.

Ajose went close on 55 minutes. George Lapslie broke down the right and sent in a low cross that was brilliantly dummied by Magennis to Ajose. After he had controlled the ball, he was unable to get his shot away before he was tackled. 

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Albion substitute Arrun Connelly was denied by Phillips from a tight angle as the game hit the three-quarter mark and, at the other end, Magennis saw a 15-yard strike saved by Button.

A brilliant, defensive header from Lewis Dunk prevented Magennis from having a clear chance at goal 20 minutes from time and, moments later, a superb last-ditch tackle from Ben Barclay again denied Magennis.

Charlton had looked a threat in the second period and they notched a brilliant equaliser on 80 minutes. Sarr intercepted possession inside the Brighton half and having linked up with Dawkins, and then Ajose, he slotted the ball into the bottom corner.

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The Addicks quickly looked for a second and went close when Magennis tested Albion’s substitute goalkeeper Hugo Keto with a low drive. Connelly then headed straight at Charlton’s Phillips as the clock hit 90, which was the final chance as the friendly finished level.

Charlton: Phillips, Marshall (Yao 46), Ward, Sarr, Page (Mascoll 46), Forster-Caskey (Maloney 46), Pratley (Ince 46), Morgan (Lapslie 46), Dawkins, Magennis, Ajose.

Subs (not used): Maynard-Brewer, Blumberg, Doughty, Taylor.

Goal: Sarr 80

Brighton: Button (Keto 78), Bruno (Kerr 78), Dunk (Maguire-Drew 78), Stephens (Norman 78), Gross (Mandriou 78), Murray (Connelly 64), Bologun (Barclay 64), March, Towell (Tilley 37 (Gyokeres 57)), Proppper (Moore 78), Da Silva (Collar 78).

Subs (not used): Cochrane.

Goal: Gross 47

Attendance: 2,256 (458 from Brighton)

Referee: G Ward