Report: Charlton 2-1 Bolton
Despite laying siege to the Charlton Athletic goal, Bolton Wanderers were ultimately unable to claw their way back from two goals down and left The Valley empty handed.
The hosts scored against the run of play in the first half through George Tucudean, before immediately after the half time interval Johnnie Jackson doubled the lead.
But Bolton’s response was admirable and for much of the second half they dominated the home side, though in the end Dean Moxey’s first goal for the club was all they had to show for their efforts.
Neil Lennon named the same starting team following his first game in charge – a 1-0 away win at Birmingham City three days earlier.
Mark Davies returned to the bench after a spell out with a minor knee complaint.
Wanderers immediately seized the initiative and within three minutes had worked the Addicks’ goalkeeper Stephen Henderson.
Lee Chung-Yong, once again deployed in a central role, fired in an early warning shot from distance that was gathered at the second attempt by Henderson.
The Korean was then again at the heart of all things good from Bolton.
Another flowing attacking saw Lee skip beyond a few Charlton defenders before teeing up Jermaine Beckford, whose tame low effort from the edge of the area was held by Henderson.
As the 20-minute mark passed any clear-cut chances were few and far between. Bolton continued to look the more likely, though the hosts did threaten from a spate of crosses from wide areas into Andrew Lonergan’s penalty area.
But on the half hour Charlton broke the deadlock.
Jordan Cousins flighted a delicate ball over the Bolton rearguard onto which Tucudean raced. The Romanian striker took a clever first touch before firing low into the far corner despite the best efforts of a covering Dean Moxey.
Bolton continued to endeavour and ended the opening half on top.
Matt Mills rose to head Jay Spearing’s corner narrowly wide of the angle of the bar and post, before Spearing himself then saw a low daisy-cutter from 20 yards gobbled up by Henderson at the near post.
The second period started in the worst possible fashion.
On 50 minutes Charlton skipper Jackson capped a neat move that flowed from right to left across the Bolton area, calmly slotting under Lonergan from 18 yards out.
But Bolton refused to lie down and hit back minutes later.
Moxey halved the deficit with a crisp low drive from the edge of the area that skidded through a forest of legs and into Henderson’s far corner.
Bolton were buoyed. Darren Pratley saw a shot deflect wide from distance before Mark Davies was introduced in place of Liam Feeney in an attempt to make inroads into the Charlton backline.
Beckford then nodded a loose ball goalwards only for Rhoys Wiggins to clear off the line after the hosts had made a hash of clearing Spearing’s inswinging corner.
Lennon’s charges continued to apply pressure, as frustration amongst the home supporters grew.
Max Clayton and Tim Ream were then thrown on, as the search for a winner reached a head of steam.
Wanderers continued to pepper the hosts’ penalty area, with Clayton skewing a shot wide and Spearing drilling a few feet wide of the post.
But despite laying siege to the Charlton goal late on, there was to be no equaliser as Bolton left the capital empty handed.