Goals from Diallang Jaiyesimi and Jayden Stockley earned Charlton their first win of the 2021/22 Sky Bet League One campaign in what was a hugely impressive performance at The Valley against Crewe Alexandra on Saturday afternoon.
Nigel Adkins made one change from last weekend’s defeat against Wigan Athletic in SE7, with Conor Washington replacing George Dobson as the Addicks shifted to a 4-4-2 formation.
The first chance took just two minutes to arrive as Stockley’s centre found Ryan Inniss at the back post, though the towering defender was thwarted at close quarters by Will Jaaskelainen.
The second opening fell to the Charlton captain himself after a dangerous Albie Morgan corner saw Inniss nod the ball across to Stockley, but the striker saw his headed effort blocked.
Crewe mustered their first chance of the afternoon on 25 minutes as Callum Ainley found space to cross for his namesake, Callum McFadzean, who nodded tamely at Craig MacGillivray.
By now the Addicks were certainly the established force, and Adkins’ men gained their just reward for an enterprising start on 36 minutes, Chris Gunter advancing forward from left-back to deliver a tantalising cross for Jaiyesimi, who ghosted in from the right wing to nod the Addicks in front.
The Railwaymen sought an immediate response through Ainley, but MacGillivray was on hand to thwart the midfielder’s powerful, angled drive.
Charlton continued to cause the visitors problems, though, and a second duly arrived minutes later following a lightning Addicks counter-attack, with Jaiyesimi the catalyst. The winger’s diagonal ball forward found the onrushing Washington who, in turn, fed Stockley with a perfectly-weighted pass, allowing the skipper to round Jaaskelainen before firing home.
Adkins’ side continued as they left off after the interval with Gunter again making inroads down the left flank to feed Stockley, though the frontman headed over under pressure from the Crewe defence.
Gunter was once again involved minutes later, this time sending a sweetly struck volley whistling past Jaaskelainen’s right upright after the ball had squirmed it’s way out to the Welshman from an Addicks corner.
Adkins handed Deji Elerewe his home league debut on 63 minutes, with the 17-year-old replacing Inniss at the heart of the Charlton defence.
Crewe substitute Kayne Ramsay then called MacGillivray into action at his near post, before another swift Addicks counter-attack, this time through Washington. However, Jaaskelainen was out promptly to narrow the angle and deny the Northern Irishman.
It was almost a perfect afternoon for Charlie Kirk as the former Crewe man latched onto Adam Matthews’ centre, only to be foiled by Jaaskelainen, before a sensational stop from MacGillivray saw the Scotsman keep out McFadzean’s venomous drive from the edge of the 18-yard box.
Kirk then made way for Elliot Lee as the Luton Town loanee enjoyed his Charlton debut, followed by a flurry of chances for the Addicks as both Washington and Morgan saw their efforts blocked, before Stockley’s header was kept out by a flying Jaaskelainen.
Charlton: MacGillivray; Matthews, Inniss (Elerewe 63), Famewo, Gunter; Jaiyesimi (Clare 80), Watson, Morgan, Kirk (Lee 76); Stockley (c), Washington
Subs (not used): Harness, Pearce, Blackett-Taylor, Davison
Goals: Jaiyesimi 36, Stockley 41
Booked: Gunter 40
Crewe Alexandra: Jaaskelainen; Adebisi, Offord, Thomas, McFadzean (Griffiths 83); Lundstram, Murphy (c); Knight (Ramsay 66), Ainley, Finney (Porter 66); Mandron
Subs (not used): Richards, Daniels, Sass-Davies, Johnson
Booked: McFadzean 61 (foul on Jaiyesimi), Adebisi 71 (foul on Jaiyesimi)
Referee: James Bell
Attendance: 13,167 (498 from Crewe)