Match report: Charlton Athletic 1 Doncaster Rovers 0

Charlton Athletic v Doncaster Rovers
Charlton Athletic v Doncaster Rovers

It was yet another retelling of a familiar story for Doncaster Rovers who came away with nothing from their visit to Charlton Athletic.

Tariqe Fosu's first half strike was enough to separate the teams in a tight encounter at The Valley in which fine margins again cost Rovers.

They were more than a match for their high-flying hosts and for long periods of the first half had the edge over Charlton.

But they again struggled to create anything to truly test the opposition goalkeeper with the clinical edge which saw them sweep past Southend United the previous week unfortunately absent.

Darren Ferguson unsurprisingly stuck with the same starting XI from the demolition of Southend. Rodney Kongolo returned from international duty to make the bench while Marko Marosi was back from injury and among the substitutes.

Rovers made a bright start and looked intent on establishing possession in the opposition half.

But they were quickly hit with a blow when James Coppinger was forced off with a foot injury just seven minutes in. Kongolo replaced him.

And the setbacks came thick and fast as Charlton took the lead a minute later.

Fosu collected the ball in space on the left corner of the box and smacked a shot which flew in at the near post, much to Ian Lawlor's surprise.

The goal rattled Rovers, who struggled to find the fluidity of passing with which they started the game. It saw them put through a nervy period in which Charlton pushed hard for a second.

But they survived and, coupled with sloppy play from the hosts, they began to reestablish control of possession in the Charlton half.

What continued to let them down was a lack of a killer touch in the final third, either with delivery or movement.

Alfie May, however, struck the bar with a fine curling effort from the edge of the box midway through the half.

Charlton almost added a second just after the half hour mark. Fosu drilled a free kick from close to 30 yards with the ball moving in flight which forced Lawlor into a less than convincing parry. The ball came back into the box where Josh Magennis rose and headed on goal, but it was far more simple for Lawlor to claim.

Tommy Rowe forced Ben Amos into a save at the near post with a header as Rovers counterattacked quickly.

And Harry Toffolo curled a fine low free kick around the wall but it was tame enough for Amos to stop and hold.

Play was delayed for eight minutes at the start of the second half due to an injury to referee Lewis.

Magennis charged down Rovers from the kick off but Lewis stepped across him and was clattered into by the big Northern Ireland international. Lewis barely moved for six minutes before slowly walking off the pitch.

Rovers really struggled to have as much influence on the game in the second half as they did the first.

And with Charlton looking the more likely to add a second, Rovers were forced on the defensive.

They did have a decent chance early in the half however. Toffolo spotted the run of Marquis and found him with with a good ball into the middle only for the striker to side-foot well over the bar.

But Charlton really should have doubled their advantage soon after as they peppered the Rovers goal in a quick barrage.

First, Lawlor was forced to tip away with his fingertips after a Holmes cross threatened the goal. Billy Clarke then headed the follow up off the bar before Magennis saw his low strike blocked. And Clarke ended the frantic sequence by blasting well over the bar.

Rovers were forced into another change when Alfie May limped off and Liam Mandeville came off the bench.

Magennis tested Lawlor with a low drive from the edge of the box but the save was good, as it was from an Ahmed Kashi strike moments later.

The game looked to be slipping away from Rovers but they revived, with the introduction of Matty Blair off the bench giving them some much-needed attacking impetus while Mandeville found some good positions.

They were camped in Charlton territory for long periods but struggled to truly test Amos.

Even with ten added minutes they could not trouble the keeper and Charlton saw the game out in relative comfort.

Charlton: Amos, Solly, Konsa, Bauer, Dasilva (Sarr 87), Kashi, Forster-Caskey, Clarke (Reeves 82), Holmes, Fosu, Magennis. Subs: Phillips, Jackson, Aribo, Ahearne-Grant, Dodoo.

Rovers: Lawlor, Mason, Wright, Butler, Toffolo (Blair 69), Houghton, Whiteman, Rowe, Coppinger (Kongolo 8), Marquis, May (Mandeville 64). Subs not used: Marosi, Alcock, Garratt, Ben Khemis.

Referee: Robert Lewis (Shropshire)

Attendance: 10,917 (753 away)