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Burnley 3-0 Charlton
CHARLTON’S slow start to the season continued with a pedestrian performance in defeat at in-form Burnley.
A tepid back-and-forth contest was there for the taking, and it was the Clarets to do just that late in the first half through Danny Ings before his strike partner Sam Vokes added a cushion midway through the second half and finished the job from a corner in the closing minutes.
The win sends Burnley second behind league leaders QPR and leaves the Addicks a point above the drop zone.
The opening 20 minutes did not make for edge-of-seat viewing, despite both sides playing confident football in possession, sensible early defending saw them cancel each other out for the most part.
Tame efforts at either end from Welsh forwards Simon Church and Vokes were the closest either side came to an early goal, while Burnley keeper Tom Heaton did well to smother a Mark Gower free-kick in the 24th minute just before Church could poke it beyond him.
David Jones’ first-time volley put Ings through, only for Dorian Dervite to close the effort down well, moments before Vokes couldn’t quite connect with a header to Kieran Trippier’s cross from close range.
And it was another quality delivery from the right-back, a low driven one this time after being nodded through on the right by Vokes, which led to the opening goal courtesy of Ings.
Though solid, Charlton were not posing much of a threat and, more importantly, were behind at the break.
Chris Powell introduced Callum Harriott for Bradley Pritchard, allowing Stewart to take over from Dale Stephens in supporting Church with Stephens dropping back to his preferred central role.
With a decent attempted final ball and off-target distance effort in his first few minutes, Harriott immediately offered the visitors the ideas they lacked.
But though the Addicks started pushing a little harder, the home defence was nonetheless comfortably up to the task.
Rather than fighting harder for a way back into the match, unfortunately Charlton grew increasingly casual on the ball and Burnley’s second was as unsurprising as it was casual.
Bullying their guests off possession for the umpteenth time, the hosts sparked a fluid team counter which finished with Dean Marney playing Vokes onside to lift the second perfectly over Ben Hamer and in midway through the second half.
Church, now joined up top by Marvin Sordell, twice came close to pulling one back in short order, first when he was inches short of meeting Harriott’s low centre and then with another header aimed straight at Heaton.
The striker then made it three close calls with a fierce drive bravely blocked as the away side won their first corner of the game with 15 minutes remaining, with Harriott suffering the same fate on the rebound.
In a passage that summed up the entire match, however, Burnley broke up the other end soon after and were only denied a third by the crossbar as Ings turned a Ben Mee cross away from Hamer with his head.
The third and final goal came four minutes from time, though it was Vokes, not Ings, to double up with a splendid volley from substitute Junior Stanislas’ flag-kick.
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Charlton: Hamer; Wilson, Wiggins, Morrison, Dervite; Pritchard (Harriott 46), Stephens, Cousins, Gower (Sordell 68), Stewart (Kermorgant 83); Church. Subs not used: Alnwick, Evina, Wood, Hughes. Att: 10,645 (313 Charlton supporters).
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