Late Grant penalty sees off brave Accrington


Charlton needed a late penalty from Karlan Grant to see off Accrington Stanley after both teams had a player sent off during a fiery second-half.

Lee Bowyer’s men made one change coming into the fixture, Josh Cullen returning from injury to replace youngster Albie Morgan.

John Coleman’s men remained unchanged and he would have been pleased with his side’s start, Stanley the early aggressors at the Valley as Billy Kee and Sean McConville both squandered early chances for the away side.

It was the home side who should have taken the lead on 13 minutes however when a driving run by Josh Cullen found Jonny Williams who played wide for Lyle Taylor to flash an effort across the face of goal, somehow going untouched by any player in either shirt.

The game lacked any real intensity, both sides looking to set-pieces for chances.

January signing Jonny Williams looked the most likely to change that, feeding passes into both strikers whilst linking well with the returning Cullen.

The home side almost took the lead in a repeat of their chance in the 13th minute, this time Karlan Grant flashing across the face of Stanley’s goal.

The Addicks attempt to assert dominance on the game but Accrington failed to lie down, creating chances of their own through Kee and striker partner Luke Armstrong.

The best chance of the game fell to Stanley five minutes before half-time, a cross from Sam Finley was headed down by Kee into the path of Armstrong only for a combination of Dillon Phillips and Naby Sarr to deny the on-loan Middlesbrough player the opening goal.

The referee’s whistle signalled the end of a pretty timid first half as both sides failed to make many clear-cut chances.

Charlton started the second with much more urgency than they showed in the first, Lyle Taylor often the vocal point for the Reds’ attacks.

Taylor and Grant’s willingness to run in behind looked as though it would eventually pay dividends as the pair attempted to add to the 25 goals they have as a pairing this season.

Accrington continued to have chances at the other end however, Armstrong firstly heading into the hands of Phillips before a dangerous ball two minutes later evaded everyone in the Charlton box before going narrowly wide.

The Addicks had a golden chance to take the lead just before the hour mark. A floated ball from Grant found new loan signing Ben Purrington at the back post, who headed across Jonny Maxted only to be denied by a superb save from the Accrington number one.

Accrington would have been ahead five minutes later if not for the heroics of Charlton keeper Phillips, McConville’s looping header brilliantly kept out from an Armstrong cross.

Charlton began to dominate the game as they looked for the goal to ensure they kept pace with the automatic promotion places, Lyle Taylor’s deflected effort fooling many of the home fans into thinking the opener had arrived.

Karlan Grant’s low shot went narrowly wide of Maxted’s far post not long after, as Lee Bowyer’s men looked to turn the screw on the away side.

Giving away cheap free-kicks restricted Charlton’s momentum although Stanley were unable to profit, blasting them into their group of 188 visiting fans.

A Reeves corner was headed in by Bauer but not before the referee’s whistle, causing a melee to erupt in the Charlton box as players piled in angrily.

The end result saw a red card shown to Stanley keeper Maxted as well as Charlton’s Lyle Taylor, their actions deemed enough for dismissal among the crowd of players involved.

Substitute keeper Dimitar Evtimov, a new signing for today’s game, replaced striker Armstrong as both sides fought out the last ten minutes with ten men each.

Charlton were now firmly in the ascendancy with Coleman’s men happy to leave south east London with a point.

Then controversy struck. The Addicks were awarded a penalty in stoppage time after a Ben Reeves cross hit the arm of Stanley defender Will Wood, the referee initially waving protests away before the linesman flagged to the spot kick.

Accrington players appeared baffled at the decision with tempers still high from the early incident in the box that resulted in two red cards.

Normal penalty taker Lyle Taylor was back in the changing rooms following his dismissal which left Grant to step up, his strike struck firmly into the right corner to send the home fans into jubilant celebrations.

Coleman’s men will feel aggrieved to concede so late in a game they competed in throughout but Lee Bowyer’s men will be delighted to snatch all three points at the Valley and keep pace with the sides above them.

Charlton remain in fourth but now are just four points off the top of the table, whilst Stanley also remain in fourteenth.

Charlton Athletic: Dillon Phillips, Krystian Bielik, Patrick Bauer, Lyle Taylor RED, Darren Pratley (Ben Reeves,66), Ben Purrington, Karlan Grant, Chris Solly (C), Jonny Williams (Tarique Fosu, 78), Naby Sarr, Josh Cullen

Unused Substitutes: Chris Maxwell, Anfernee Dijksteel, Mark Marshall,George Lapslie, Wilberforce Ocran

Accrington Stanley: Jonny Maxted RED, Callum Johnson, Mark Hughes, Jordan Clark, Sean McConville (C), Sam Finley, Ross Sykes, Daniel Barlaser, Billy Kee, Liam Gibson (Will Wood,86), Luke Armstrong (Dimitar Evtimov, 82)

Unused Substitutes: Scott Brown, Erico Sousa, Harvey Rodgers, Andy Mangan, Seamus Conneely

Referee: John Busby

Attendance: 11,877 (188 away)




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