CHARLTON enjoyed a 2-0 victory over Stevenage at a packed Valley this afternoon.
Both goals came in the second half from Michael Morrison and Bradley Wright-Phillips as the Addicks saw off yet another of the promotion contenders.
Ben Hamer had to rush out in the fifth minute to deny Lawrie Wilson, while moments later Yann Kermorgant’s flick on found Wright-Phillips, who was denied by a last-minute tackle at the expense of a corner.
Luke Freeman’s 18th minute shot was deflected behind for a corner and it took three headers to eventually clear the danger once Mark Roberts had an appeal for a penalty ignored when he went to ground as he tried to get in a header as he and Kermorgant both tried to meet the ball.
Almost immediately Stevenage were forced into an unwanted change as Chris Beardsley made way for former Ebbsfleet player Darius Charles.
Charlton came closest to breaking the deadlock on 29 minutes when Danny Green’s cross was headed just over by Wright-Phillips from six yards.
Wright-Phillips saw a shot blocked within a minute as the Addicks again created problems for the visiting defence.
It was Charlton’s turn to have a penalty appeal ignored for a tug by Joel Byrom on Johnnie Jackson but the hosts should have taken the lead on 36 minutes when Kermorgant put strike partner Wright-Phillips through on goal but his shot ended up on the roof of the net.
In first half stoppage time Kermorgant just glanced Green’s inviting cross wide and there was still time for Stevenage to go close when Luke Freeman fired into the ground at the back post after meeting Stacy Long’s delivery.
Wright-Phillips was gifted an opportunity at the start of the second half after Jon Ashton hesitated when trying to clear but the striker’s shot went over the bar.
But the home supporters in a near-capacity 26,546 Valley crowd didn’t have to wait much longer to celebrate as Charlton took the lead in stunning style on 49 minutes.
Green’s corner was only half cleared by the Stevenage defence to Morrison just outside of the area and the defender unleashed a powerful volley which gave Chris Day no chance.
Michael Bostwick drilled a low 61st minute shot harmlessly wide from 25 yards, while Green’s curling effort from imside the box flew just over at the other end.
The lead was doubled on 64 minutes when Wright-Phillips got away from Ashton before breaking into the box and firing a shot past the keeper, although the final touch may have come off Stevenage defender Ronnie Henry on the line.
Wright-Phillips almost added another moments later after getting on the end of Jackson’s long ball but his shot was punched clear by Day.
Rhoys Wiggins also produced a save from the visiting keeper with a stinging shot, while Freeman fired wide of Hamer’s post as the game swung from end-to-end.
Wright-Phillips was denied again by Day in the 79th minute, then Roberts headed just wide from Byrom’s free-kick before Danny Haynes came on for Jackson in Charlton’s first change of the game.
Haynes’ left-footed 86th minute shot from a tight angle was put behind by Day for a corner and Wright-Phillips should have scored again two minutes later when he placed a low drive straight at the keeper.
Wright-Phillips was replaced in the 90th minute by Pritchard to widespread applause.
He may have missed a few chances but the important thing is the search for his first goal since November 19 is now finally over, with the added bonus of Charlton getting back to winning ways after consecutive draws with Tranmere and Rochdale.
Follow us on Twitter @NewsShopperSprt