Match report: Lads held to a draw in South London

Charlton Athletic 1-1 Sunderland 

Sunderland collected their fourth point on the road in 2019 as they were held to a draw in South London this afternoon.

Luke O’Nien got the Lads off to a fine start when his rocket volley found the back of the net inside the opening two minutes. 

Chances continued to come and go for both sides, but it was Charlton who earned a share of the spoils as Lyle Taylor’s second-half strike deflected in off a helpless Reece James.

Jack Ross was forced to make one change to his side for this afternoon’s trip to Charlton, with Dylan McGeouch coming in for the suspended Lee Cattermole who picked up his 10th yellow card of the season in Tuesday’s win over Blackpool.

Josh Maja led the line alongside Charlie Wyke once again, as the Lads looked to pick up their second successive win in the capital following their victory at AFC Wimbledon back in August.

Unlike that day, however, the Lads got off to a flying start when O’Nien connected sweetly with James’ cross from the left to volley the visitors in front with just two minutes played. 

Charlton steadied the ship and grew into the fixture, but Sunderland continued to carve out the better chances as Lynden Gooch rattled the crossbar with a right-footed strike from 12 yards. The ball crashed off the woodwork and rebounded off towering centre forward Wyke, however, he couldn’t react quick enough to it and the ball looped over the bar. 

Moments later, quick footwork from Maja sparked another opening as he played a one-two with skipper Aiden McGeady. The Magician played with the Addicks backline but saw his effort charged down as he looked to find the bottom corner. 

Wyke then found himself through on goal following a ball down the middle, but Phillips was equal to the striker’s scuffed effort.

Charlton did muster a few openings themselves before he half was out to send a warning sign to Ross and his men, with Krystian Bielik rifling their best chance inches wide from 20 yards. 

And it was a warning the Lads needed to take notice of as five minutes into the second 45, Charlton levelled. There was a slice of fortune behind it, though, as Taylor’s effort from the right was turned home by James’ outstretched foot. 

Sunderland had been caught cold and it could’ve so easily been 2-1 when Patrick Bauer had a free header at the back post from Albie Morgan’s free-kick.

However, the defender did everything right but find the net as he powered his effort wide of Jon McLaughlin’s goal.

Charlton continued to knock on the door in search of a second, Lee Bowyer introduced former Sunderland man Jonny Williams for his Charlton debut and within seconds of coming on the hosts would’ve taken the lead had it not been for McLaughlin’s foot.

Taylor did everything right as he was played through, but his cut back strike was read by the Scottish stopper and Sunderland escaped for the time being.

Minutes later, Charlton were left scratching their heads once more about how the ball didn’t find the net. This time a cross from the right was miscued by Jack Baldwin, Karlan Grant stormed in unmarked at the back post but touched wide.

Sunderland had their chances to win it late on but Phillips was equal to Duncan Watmore and McGeady as the match finished level.  

Charlton Athletic: Phillips, Dijksteel, Bielik, Bauer, Tylor, Fosu, Pratley, Grant, Morgan (Williams, 68), Solly, Sarr

Subs: Maynard-Brewer, Marshall, Clarke, Ajose, Hackett, Fairchild, Stevenson

Sunderland: McLaughlin, James, Baldwin, Flanagan, O’Nien, McGeouch, Gooch (Watmore, 66), Power, McGeady, Maja (Maguire, 82), Wyke

Subs: Ruiter, Ozturk, Sinclair, Mumba

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