REPORT | Rochdale 0 Charlton 2

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Chuks Aneke and Deji Oshilaja scored first-half goals as Charlton secured an important away win at Rochdale.

The Addicks dominated the first half and gave their opponents little in the second half in a convincing 2-0 victory that sees Lee Bowyer’s side move back into the play-off spots.

The Charlton Manager made four changes as the Addicks started in a 4-4-2 formation with Aneke and Jayden Stockley providing a physical threat up front. 

Bowyer's team started quickly and took a deserved seventh-minute lead after some good play down the left wing. Liam Millar eventually found Aneke in the box with his back to goal. The striker turned well and placed a ball low and into the bottom corner of the Rochdale net for his 11th goal of the season.

Charlton were especially dangerous down the left throughout the first half and Millar, cutting in from the wing, hit the top of the woodwork with a whipped shot six minutes after the Addicks’ opener.

Oshilaja doubled Charlton’s lead in the 27th minute from an Addicks’ corner. Stockley was first to get his head to it but Gavin Bazunu did excellently to get a hand to his powerful header. Jake Forster-Caskey picked up the rebound and fed to midfield partner Darren Pratley. His cross from the right was headed down by Jason Pearce expertly into the path of Oshilaja who just had to stab home from close range for his first ever Charlton goal.

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The Addicks’ dominance continued and they had two penalty appeals turned down. First Forster-Caskey went down under pressure in the box then Millar, running at a ‘Dale defender, appeared to be clipped from behind. Referee Thomas Bramall gave neither.

Aneke and Millar linked up well again and the striker saw his curled shot bounce off the bottom of the post as the Addicks looked to extend their lead.

Rochdale’s first sight at goal came in the 40th minute when Kwadwo Baah, so deadly at The Valley in January, cut inside from the left but blazed over the crossbar.

At the other end Andrew Shinnie’s shot from outside the area forced an excellent low save from Bazunu. 

The Addicks went in 2-0 up at the break and it could have been more but the home side settled at the start of the second half and chances became less regular.

Indeed, Ben Amos had his first save to make midway through the second half when he had to keep out a cheeky corner from Aaron Morley. Charlton responded and Aneke then saw another effort tipped around the post by Bazunu.

With Rochdale making all five substitutions Bowyer chose to use his bench too, bringing on Adam Matthews and handing a debut to Diallang Jaiyesimi who made an impressive cameo with one particularly good run and pass as the Addicks saw out the game to secure three points.

Rochdale: Bazunu, McLaughlin (Keohane 68), Osho (Vale 79), O’Connell, Roberts (Done 60), Dooley (Newby 60), Morley, Rathbone (Grant 68), Baah, Humphrys, Lund

Subs (not used): McNulty, Shaughnessy

Booked: O’Connell 72 (foul on Aneke)

Charlton: Amos; Gunter (Matthews 78) , Oshilaja, Pearce (C), Purrington; Shinnie (Jaiyesimi 78), Pratley, Forster-Caskey (Morgan 90 + 3), Millar; Aneke (Schwartz 86), Stockley

Subs (not used): Maynard-Brewer, Morgan, Smith, Watson

Goals: Aneke 7, Oshilaja 27

Booked: Gunter 60 (foul on Baah)

Referee: T Brammall

Attendance: 0 (Behind-closed-doors)

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