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Match Reports

Match Report : 23/01/2016

23 January 2016

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Report: Charlton 1 Rovers 1

Rovers endured a frustrating afternoon at the Valley as they drew 1-1 with Charlton Athletic.

In a scrappy first half the home side took the lead when Harry Lennon's effort deflected in off Chris Taylor, before Rovers levelled on the stroke of half-time thanks to Jordan Rhodes' 11th goal of the season, converting an excellent Adam Henley cross.

Rovers had the better of proceedings in the second as Stephen Henderson saved from Craig Conway and Rhodes, whilst Jason Steele saved a near-post effort from Igor Vetokele.

But Rovers were denied the chance of all three points in added time when strong penalty claims were waved away after substitute Simeon Jackson was hauled to the ground.

Rovers made five changes from the side that progressed through to the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup on Monday night.

Danny Graham was handed his Rovers debut following his arrival on loan from Sunderland in midweek, but a heel injury ruled out Ben Marshall, his place taken by Adam Henley.

Shane Duffy recovered from the groin injury that kept him out of the last two matches, whilst Craig Conway and Jordan Rhodes returned to the starting line-up.

The hosts made four changes following their 6-0 loss at Hull City seven days ago. Tony Watt was back from his loan spell at Cardiff City, whilst Zakarya Bergdich, Morgan Fox, and new signing Jorge Teixeira all came into the starting XI.

Neither goalkeeper was troubled in the opening 15 minutes at the Valley. Whilst both sides looked to get on the front foot early, it wasn't until the quarter-hour that a shot was registered at goal when Charlton midfielder Johann Berg Gudmundsson let fly from distance, the ball going high over Jason Steele's goal.

Rovers responded with an effort of their own but Corry Evans dragged a left-footed strike well wide.

Teixeira headed over a Gudmundsson corner kick, whilst the other end crosses into the box from Hope Akpan and Conway offered promise, but the home side cleared the danger.

But on the half hour it was Charlton who grabbed the opening goal of the game, albeit in fortunate circumstances. 

Gudmundsson put a free-kick into the Rovers area and as it dropped to Harry Lennon his poked effort goalwards took a huge deflection off Chris Taylor and rolled agonisingly past a stranded Steele and into the opposite corner of the net.

Rovers saw more of the ball as the half drew to a close. A cross from Conway on the left almost picked out Graham in the centre but Evans got in his way, but they'd have more joy from the right on the stroke of half-time.

As Akpan and Taylor kept play alive on the edge of the box, Evans spread play to Henley on the overlap and his ball into the box was headed home by Rhodes, Henderson unable to keep the ball out as it crept in off the post.

It had been a scrappy first half, but Rhodes' 11th of the season ensured it was all-square at the break.

Rovers made a change at the start of the second half with Elliott Bennett replacing Chris Taylor, and it didn't take long for the wide man to be involved. After good work by Rhodes the ball was spread wide for Bennett and he delivered a dangerous cross to the back post to where Conway saw his downward header saved.

Akpan then saw a shot from the edge of the area strike Graham, before a Conway centre was headed over by Duffy.

The Addicks went close themselves with a well-worked free-kick routine on 54 minutes. Gudmundsson with the delivery to the near post, Teixeira with a flick that flew inches over Steele's crossbar.

Rovers were seeing more of the ball in what was a very stop-start second half, the constant whistle from the referee thwarting any fluidity to the football on show.

The home side were happy to let Rovers to have possession and to hit them on the break. Just past the hour mark a long ball upfield saw Igor Vetokele broke through in the area but Steele did well to save the shot low to his left.

Danny Graham made way with 13 minutes to go to be replaced by Simeon Jackson, the new signing had worked hard for little reward on his debut.

Both Apkan and Evans fired wide as Rovers continued to press and probe in the closing stages, before a ball over the top saw Rhodes denied by the legs of Henderson.

But with Charlton looking to hit Rovers on the break with a long ball forward, Steele bravely headed the ball clear. But in doing so the keeper collided heavily with sub Reza Ghoochanneijhad.

There was immediate concern for the Rovers man but thankfully after a couple of minutes treatment Steele was back on his feet and able to take his place in goal.

In added time Jackson saw strong claims for a penalty waved away. The forward did well to control a high ball into the area before being sent to ground by Lennon, but referee Robert Lewis ignored appeals from those in blue and white.

Rovers pressed to the end of the six additional minutes but they were left frustrated that they would only leave the Valley with a point.

CHARLTON: Henderson, Watt, Gudmundsson, Jackson (c), Vetokele (sub Ghoochanneijhad 75 mins), Solly, Bergdich (sub Harriott 75 mins), Cousins, Fox, Teixeira, Lennon.

Subs not used: Pope (GK), Ba, Poyet, Johnson, Makienok.

Goals: Lennon 30 mins.

Booked: None.

ROVERS: Steele, Henley, Duffy, Hanley (c), Spurr, Taylor (sub Bennett 46 mins), Akpan (sub Lenihan 83 mins), Evans, Conway, Rhodes, Graham (sub Jackson 77 mins).

Subs: Raya (GK), Kilgallon, Ward, Lawrence.

Goals: Rhodes 45 mins.

Booked: Duffy.

Attendance: 13,512 (including 929 Rovers fans)

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