REPORT | Charlton 0 Wigan Athletic 2

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Despite a spirited second half showing, Charlton were defeated 2-0 at The Valley by Wigan Athletic on Saturday afternoon.

Tendayi Darikwa nodded home Max Power’s cross two minutes from time, before James McClean notched a breakaway second in stoppage-time.

Nigel Adkins made two changes from the midweek defeat at Stadium MK as Charlie Kirk made his full Charlton debut, while Ben Watson replaced Sean Clare to act as the anchor in Adkins’ three-man midfield.

The visitors mustered the first opening of the afternoon on 11 minutes, Callum Lang standing up a cross for Jordan Jones to attack at the back post, though the winger’s header cannoned off Craig MacGillivray’s crossbar.

MacGillivray was called into action again moments later, this time denying Will Keane from point-blank range as the Latics man attempted to prod home, despite referee Craig Hicks later sounding his whistle for an infringement.

Kell Watts had a golden opportunity to break the deadlock on 19 minutes after meeting Jones’ inswinging free-kick, but MacGillivray was quickly down to his left to deny the central defender.

Jones was involved again shortly before the interval when he latched onto captain Darikwa’s clever reverse ball, only to blaze over at MacGillivray’s near post with his left-footed drive.

The Addicks withstood the Latics’ spell of pressure, though, and, following a sequence of corners, saw Ben Watson’s angled volley fly wide after the visitors had failed to clear Albie Morgan’s set piece.

Leam Richardson’s men enjoyed another chance moments before half-time, Tom Naylor meeting Jones’ pinpoint free-kick, but MacGillivray was again on hand to pull off a remarkable stop.

Adkins’ men started the second period sprightly, forcing an early chance through the quick feet of Kirk, though the wideman saw his left-footed effort deflected narrowly wide of Ben Amos’ left upright.

A neat passing move from the Addicks then saw George Dobson break forward from midfield to supply the onrushing Diallang Jaiyesimi, who fired marginally over after cutting in onto his left foot.

Superb hold up play from Jayden Stockley saw the skipper tee up Kirk just before the hour mark, though the former Crewe man could only glance narrowly wide.

Adkins handed Corey Blackett-Taylor his Addicks bow on 69 minutes, shortly followed by the introduction of Conor Washington as Charlton sought the opener.

MacGillivray was forced into yet another incredible stop on 76 minutes to claw away Charlie Wyke’s goal bound header after the Latics forward had latched onto a clipped cross from the right. 

Despite the Addicks’ second half pressure, it was the Latics who broke the deadlock with minutes of regulation time remaining as Darikwa met Power’s centre to head home at the far post.

And Richardson’s side doubled their advantage in injury-time as Charlton sought parity, McClean rounding MacGillivray to slot home.

Charlton: MacGillivray; Matthews, Inniss, Famewo, Gunter; Dobson (Washington 73), Watson, Morgan; Jaiyesimi (Blackett-Taylor 69), Stockley (c), Kirk (Davison 90+2)

Subs (not used): Harness, Elerewe, Pearce, Clayden

Booked: Jaiyesimi 57 (foul on Cousins), Watson 79 (foul on Keane), Inniss 83 (foul on McClean)

Wigan Athletic: Amos; Power, Whatmough, Watts, Darikwa (c); Cousins, Naylor; Lang (McClean 62), Keane (Humphrys 90+2), Jones (Massey 63); Wyke

Subs (not used): Jones, Pearce, Edwards, Aasgaard

Goals: Darikwa 88, McClean 90+5

Booked: Jones 32 (foul on Matthews)

Referee: Craig Hicks

Attendance: 13,839 (711 from Wigan)

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