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Match Report


Posted Sat 03 Jan 15 at 17:00 PM

Report: Charlton 1 Rovers 2

A double from Chris Taylor helped Rovers overcome ten-man Charlton to book their place in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Not even a first half floodlight failure could stop Rovers from progressing in a match that should have been much more comfortable for the visitors.

Taylor opened the scoring after just four minutes with a fine header, rising at the back post to head home Craig Conway's cross.

And although Johann Gudmundsson equalised ten minutes into the second half, Taylor capped a flowing move involving Lee Williamson and Chris Brown to restore Rovers' advantage soon afterwards.

Rovers wouldn't relinquish their lead a second time, particularly after the home side were reduced to ten men 18 minutes from time.

The match should have been made much safer, Conway, Brown and Williamson all going close before Tom Cairney struck the crossbar in the closing stages.

But the two goals were enough to ensure Rovers' name will be in the hat in Monday night's draw.

Six changes were made for the cup tie with Adam Henley, Matt Kilgallon, Chris Taylor, Tom Cairney, David Dunn and Chris Brown all came into the starting XI as boss Gary Bowyer looked to freshen up his squad from the side that drew with Middlesbrough last Sunday.

The hosts made just the three changes from their last league outing with Laurie Wilson, Simon Church and Morgan Fox all starting.

After Simon Eastwood had bravely claimed a through-ball at the feet of Simon Church, it took Rovers just four minutes to break the deadlock at The Valley.

Chris Brown saw his effort at goal blocked but as David Dunn switched play back to Craig Conway, the Scot sent the ball into the box to where Chris Taylor attacked well to head Rovers in front.

Despite the drizzly conditions it was an entertaining opening with both sides looking to attack at every opportunity.

Like the match at Ewood Park a fortnight earlier, the Addicks best work came though Johann Gudmundsson, whilst Dunn, Marshall, Taylor and Conway all saw plenty of the ball for Rovers in advanced positions.

At the midway point of the first half Charlton spurned a great chance to level. As George Tucudean showing Matt Kilgallon a clean pair of heels, his cross diverted into the path of Johnnie Jackson, but under pressure from Marshall the Addicks captain blazed over the bar.

All momentum in the match was then lost as The Valley was hit by a floodlight failure. The players were off the field for almost 12 minutes before light was restored and the game resumed.

Within seconds of the restart Rovers had a great chance to double their advantage. Conway standing up a cross to Brown at the back post but he headed straight into the grateful arms of Charlton keeper Neil Etheridge.

The home side then went close themselves when good play on the left by Simon Church saw him pick out Yoni Buyens but the midfielder's effort hit Tucudean and deflected over the bar. Had the ball not struck his own man it could very well have been nestling in the back of the net.

David Dunn saw claims for a penalty waved away after a surging run into the box was brought to a crashing halt by the combined efforts of Laurie Wilson and Andre Bikey, before Craig Conway just failed to pick out Chris Taylor at the back post after breaking clear on the stroke of half-time.

Just seven minutes into the second half Rovers again spurned an excellent opportunity to stretch their lead. An impressive exchange of passes saw Rovers advance on the Charlton goal with Brown finding Conway, but from 15-yards he put his shot wide of goal.

It would prove to be a pivotal miss as the home side ot back on level terms on 55 minutes.

The Rovers players weren't impressed when referee Keith Stroud adjudged Tom Cairney had brought down Johann Gudmundsson 30 yards out. They were even less so when the Icelandic international curled the resulting free-kick beyond Eastwood and into the back of the net.

Parity lasted just four minutes as Rovers regained the lead with a fine move.

It stemmed from a drop ball with Marshall winning the contest, Lee Williamson sent a superb ball forward with the outside of his boot, Chris Brown crossed for his namesake Taylor and he swept the ball home at the back post for his second of the afternoon.

Charlton boss Bob Peeters responded by sending on attacker Karlan Ahearne-Grant for Simon Church. Immediately the youngster impressed with a ball into the box, George Tucudean heading wide of goal.

The home side's task was then made tougher when Yoni Buyens received his marching orders 18 minutes from time. Already booked from the first half, the midfielder felled Conway to get his second followed by a red.

Luke Varney replaced David David and almost scored with his first touch. Great work by Williamson saw him cross but the near post header was saved, it came out to Brown but he too was denied a first Rovers goal by a Charlton body.

Rovers looked to take advantage of the extra man by grabbing a deserved third. Taylor saw a shot deflect wide, whilst Williamson sliced a left-footed shot off target from Matt Kilgallon's clever dink over the top.

Craig Conway thought he'd got it when he cut in from the left to shoot, but as the ball looped up off Tal Ben Haim, it took enough pace off the ball to allow Etheridge to claim.

But the best chance of the lot fell to Tom Cairney three minutes from time.

Rovers had retained possession well for long spells before Taylor and Varney closed in at the edge of the box, the ball came out to Cairney who hit a superb effort, only to see it crash down off the crossbar and away.

Play was stretched in the five additional minutes, but roared on by healthy travelling support Rovers saw them out without concern to book their place in Monday's fourth round draw.

CHARLTON: Etheridge, Wilson, Jackson (c), Bikey, Gudmundsson (sub Gomez 84 mins), Buyens, Church (sub Ahearne-Grant 63 mins), Fox, Cousins, Ben-Haim, Tucudean (sub Pigott 89 mins).

Subs not used: Pope (GK), Lennon, Muldoon, Thomas.

Goals: Gudmundsson 55 mins.

Booked: Buyens, Gudmundsson.

Off: Buyens.

ROVERS: Eastwood, Marshall, Duffy, Kilgallon, Henley, Conway, Taylor, Williamson, Cairney, Dunn (c) (sub Varney 72 mins), Brown.

Subs not used: Steele (GK), O'Connell, O'Sullivan, Green, Rhodes, Gestede.

Goals: Taylor 4, 59 mins.

Booked: Duffy, Kilgallon, Cairney.

Attendance: 8,727, including 1038 Rovers fans.

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