REPORT | Charlton 2 Shrewsbury Town 1

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Karlan Grant scored a stoppage-time winner to give the Addicks a 2-1 victory over last season’s play-off rivals Shrewsbury Town at The Valley.

The 20-year-old striker was a constant threat for the home side and netted with a late header after getting on the end of a cross from the equally impressive Darren Pratley.

Charlton had gone ahead with summer signing Lyle Taylor scoring his second in as many games but substitute Lenell John-Lewis cancelled out the 63rd minute goal with an 84th minute header of his own.

It had been a drab first half and Lee Bowyer acted swiftly moving from 4-4-2 to 3-5-2 at half-time which opened the game up and ultimately allowed his two strikers the room they needed to do what they do best.

As well as Pratley and the two goalscorers, Chris Solly, wearing the captain’s armband, was at his best and made a crucial second half clearance off the line with the score at 0-0. 

The Addicks made one change to the side that opened the season at Sunderland last week with Naby Sarr coming in for the injured Jason Pearce but the formation employed was different from last Saturday’s 3-5-2. Dillon Phillips kept his place in goal with a four man defence of Solly, Patrick Bauer, Sarr and Lewis Page in front of him. George Lapslie, Pratley, Joe Aribo and Mark Marshall started in midfield with Grant and Taylor up front. 

Taylor went close on the counter early when Marshall fed him the ball and the summer signing strode forward but his right-footed effort from outside the area did not trouble Shrews’ stopper Joel Coleman. 

Shrews first effort on target was a tame header from Alex Gillead which gave Phillips no problem just after the five minute mark. 

A scrappy first half followed with the away side carving out chances, Greg Docherty dragged wide inside the area and Omar Beckles headed wide from a Shaun Whalley corner.

For the Addicks Grant produced the most regular threat, skinning his defender from a clever Phillips clearance in the 15th minute but he was unable to find a teammate with a cross/shot. Just before half-time Taylor played in his rapid strike partner with a well weighted ball from inside the Charlton half. Grant accelerated away but Shrews left back Ryan Haynes made a crucial tackle in the penalty area to prevent a one-on-one opportunity.

The Addicks reverted to 3-5-2 at half-time with Academy graduate Albie Morgan making his Charlton debut in place of Mark Marshall with Lapslie and Page filling the wing back roles. 

Phillips was immediately called into action getting down well to save Aaron Amadi-Holloway’s header.

After some Charlton pressure Shrews attacked again and Solly did brilliantly to hook a Docherty effort off the line.

Despite the chances The Addicks were still seeing more of the ball and took the lead in the 62nd minute. Aribo and Lapslie combined to create room for the latter to cross. His chipped ball went over two Charlton heads but Taylor was there just in front of the back post to head home from five yards out under pressure. 

Charlton controlled much of the latter stages with neither goal really under threat, although another Grant run and shot had to be blocked behind before a corner.

It looked like the Shrews had grabbed a point when they equalised in the 84th minute after Gillead’s whipped ball from the left was guided home by John-Lewis. 

Charlton and Grant had other ideas. Morgan’s chipped pass into the corner held up perfectly for Pratley who somehow turned his defender and crossed to the front post where Grant got in front of his man and made no mistake to give Charlton a winner in just into five minutes of stoppage-time. 

Charlton: Phillips, Solly (C), Bauer, Sarr, Page, Lapslie (Dijksteel, 89), Pratley, Aribo, Marshall (Morgan, h/t), Grant, Taylor (Hackett-Fairchild, 90+4)

Subs (not used): Maynard-Brewer, Maloney, Hackett-Fairchild, Ajose

Goals: Taylor (63), Grant (90+1)

Booked: Lapslie 88 (foul on Gillead)

Shrewsbury Town: Coleman, Haynes, Beckles, Whalley, Docherty, Bolton, Gillead, Amadi-Holloway (John-Lewis, 52), Waterfall (C), Laurent (Okenabihrie, 75), Norburn (Grant, 63)

Subs (not used): Arnold, Sadler, Colkett, Barnett

Goal: John-Lewis (84)

Booked: Beckles (82, foul on Taylor)

Attendance: 9,429 (435 from Shrewsbury)

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