Charlton beat Brentford 1-0 at The Valley thanks to a first half goal from Conor Gallagher and some brilliant, brave second half defending to move into second place in the Sky Bet Championship.
Gallagher’s third goal of the campaign was Jonny Williams’ fourth assist as the Addicks extended their unbeaten run to start the season to five games.
The win was in no small part down to some courageous defending particularly by Tom Lockyer, Jason Pearce and Darren Pratley, with the trio constantly hounding the Brentford attackers and putting their bodies on the line to secure a well-earned clean sheet.
Bowyer made three changes from the line-up that was so impressive against Nottingham Forest on Wednesday. Pearce, Pratley and Williams returned to the side in a personnel swap with the Addicks sticking with a 4-diamond-2 formation
Charlton started slowly on a very hot summer’s day and were fortunate to not concede with Sergi Canos having half chances in the 11th and 12th minute that he maybe should have done better with.
Brentford continued to press and Tom Lockyer did very well to recover with a perfectly timed tackle on Emiliano Marcondes in the 21st minute after getting caught on the ball.
Charlton were forced to change things as Deji Oshilaja limped off just after the half hour mark with Bowyer moving to a 3-5-2 formation and Pratley moving in to centre-half. The change settled the Addicks and Brentford’s chances dried up.
Williams, by far the Addicks best player of the opening half, played a key role in putting Charlton in front in the 41st minute. The Charlton playmaker robbed Marcondes and played a defence-splitting ball to Gallagher bursting through from midfield. The Chelsea loanee still had plenty to do but was as composed as ever as he fired his shot into the roof of the net from 14 yards.
Bowyer made a change at half-time with Tomer Hemed coming on for his Charlton debut in a straight swap for Jonathan Leko.
The Addicks began the second half well and nearly doubled their lead when Lyle Taylor couldn’t quite get on the end of a fizzed Ben Purrington cross.
At the other end Dillon Phillips had to be on his toes to tip a powerful Ollie Watkins shot over the bar.
With six minutes to go Phillips did very well to get down low to a Mathias Jensen effort and the Addicks continued their brave defence with Tom Lockyer and Jason Pearce both making crucial interventions to keep the visitors out as the Bees ramped up the pressure.
In stoppage time the Addicks showed incredible bravery to hold onto the three points with a number of Charlton players diving in front of the ball to stop what looked like two certain goals, sending the Valley faithful home happy.
Charlton: Phillips; Oshilaja (Lapslie, 32), Lockyer, Pearce (C), Purrington; Pratley, Cullen, Gallagher, Williams (Field, 81); Taylor, Leko (Hemed h/t)
Subs (not used): Amos, Sarr, Oztumer, Bonne
Goal: Gallagher 41
Booked: Phillips (88, timewasting)
Brentford: Raya, Henry (Mbeumo 72), Pinnock, Norgaard (Mokotjo 60), Canos, Jense, Watkins, Marcondes, Jansson (C), Dalsgaard, Racic (Benrahma 60)
Subs (not used): Daniels, Dasilva, Clarke, Jeanvier
Booked: Henry (45+5, foul on Williams), Brentford coach (64, dissent), Dalsgaard (76, foul on Taylor), Canos (90 + 5)
Referee: T Robinson
Attendance: 16,771 (2,250 from Brentford)