Charlton Athletic 1-4 Bolton Wanderers

  • September 28, 2021 | By Chris Mann
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After suffering back-to-back defeats without scoring a single goal, Bolton shushed their critics with a 4-1 demolition of Charlton Athletic.

Despite falling behind to Josh Davison's 12th-minute opener at The Valley, Wanderers recovered to go in level at the break as Oladapo Afolayan scored his sixth of the season.

For large spells of the second period it looked as though the two sides may have been made to settle for a point, but the Trotters found a new gear in the final 20 minutes - roaring into a 3-1 lead courtesy of a brace from Kieran Lee, before Antoni Sarcevic added a fourth in stoppage time to cap a memorable evening in the capital for 888 travelling supporters.

With concern beginning to build over the form of his team, Ian Evatt made four changes to the side that was beaten at Sunderland on Tuesday as he looked to guard against fatigue ahead of Saturday's home clash with Shrewsbury Town.

Lloyd Isgrove missed out after suffering a head wound at the Stadium of Light last time out, while George Johnston, Josh Sheehan and Liam Gordon all dropped to the bench. In ahead of them were Declan John, Elias Kachunga, Lee and Alex Baptiste.

It was a fairly quiet opening in the capital as both teams got into their stride, with Wanderers having the first sight on goal with nine minutes played as MJ Williams played a one-two with Lee before seeing his strike blocked by Akin Famewo.

Charlton's first attack arrived three minutes later and with it came the opening goal, as Jonathan Leko broke free of John before crossing for Davison to tap in at the far post beyond a helpless Joel Dixon.

The Addicks came close to doubling their advantage moments later as Corey Blackett-Taylor fired into the side netting, before Bolton burst forward at the other end and came close as Kachunga flashed the ball across the face of goal and behind.

Dixon denied Elliot Lee as the hosts went back on the attack midway through the half, shortly before Afolayan headed straight at Craig MacGillivray as he connected with a cross from Williams.

The home goalkeeper was alert to keep out a tame effort from Gethin Jones with 34 minutes on the clock and although he was beaten three minutes later, he was mightily relieved to see a bending shot from Afolayan roll inches wide of the post.

Bolton did manage to get themselves back on level terms before the interval, however, as Afolayan raced down the left-hand side before cutting inside and seeing a shot from outside the area roll into the bottom corner.

With the scores level at the break, neither manager looked to the bench as the teams returned unchanged for the second period.

Aside from a Lee free-kick which was comfortably gathered by Dixon, the two teams largely cancelled each other out as time ticked beyond the hour.

Bolton then sprung into life on 64 minutes as Jones received possession from Lee on the right flank and crossed for Kachunga, whose free header bounced the wrong wide of the post.

Charlton then struck the woodword at the other end as Davison cut inside and unleashed a shot from the edge of the box which had Dixon beaten, only to be denied by the outside of a post.

Blackett-Taylor saw a cross-shot flash wide on 72 minutes, shortly before Wanderers took complete control as they completed the turnaround to go 2-1 up.

Jones was once again the provider, receiving possession from Kachunga before putting a cross into the box where Lee's volley deflected beyond MacGillivray.

Substitute Conor Washington latched on to a long ball before firing wide on 77 minutes but that was as good as things would get for Charlton, who trailed 3-1 just four minutes later as Afolayan's blocked attempt fell into the path of Lee, who slotted in calmly at the near post to end the match as a contest.

Lee capped a superb individual display in stoppage time as he turned provider, lofting a pass from inside his own half through to Sarcevic, who beat the offside trap before rounding the goalkeeper and tapping into an empty net add some gloss with a 4-1 scoreline.

Bolton move up to 7th place in League One with their biggest win at Charlton since 1976, and they will have the opportunity to close the gap on the promotion places when they host Shrewsbury Town on Saturday.

Charlton Athletic: MacGillivray, Matthews, Lavelle, Famewo, Purrington, Blackett-Taylor, Clare (Gilbey 78), Watson (Stockley 86), Leko (Washington 67), Lee, Davison
Subs Not Used: Henderson, Gunter, Pearce, Arter
Booked: Lavelle, Davison
Goals: Davison 12

Bolton Wanderers: Dixon, John (Gordon 62), Baptiste (Johnston 78), Santos, Jones, Lee, Williams, Afolayan, Sarcevic, Kachunga, Doyle (Delfouneso 85)
Subs Not Used: Gilks, Sheehan, Brockbank, Thomason
Booked: Jones, Santos
Goals: Afolayan 43, Lee 73,81, Sarcevic 90+1

Referee: Lee Swabey
Attendance: 12,707

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
1 Accrington Stanley 0 0
2 Barnsley 0 0
3 Bolton Wanderers 0 0
4 Bristol Rovers 0 0
5 Burton Albion 0 0
View Full Standings >>


Who is Bolton's 2021/22 Player of the Year?
32.58% Oladapo Afolayan
30.96% Gethin Jones
21.72% Ricardo Almeida Santos
5.51% Declan John
4.05% Kieran Lee
3.08% MJ Williams
1.78% Joel Dixon
0.32% George Johnston