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Nottingham Forest 2-1 Charlton
CHARLTON suffered their first defeat of the Championship season as they went down at Nottingham Forest this afternoon.
Lewis McGugan put the hosts in front on 17 minutes and despite their domination, Forest had to wait until the 75th minute before Sam Hutchinson doubled the advantage.
Substitute Ricardo Fuller’s 88th minute header went in via the bar and Forest keeper Lee Camp but it came too late in the day for the Addicks.
There was no place in the starting line-up for Dale Stephens, with Jordan Cook the man to come into the starting XI.
Fuller and Danny Haynes were on the bench, as was new goalkeeper David Button following his arrival from Spurs.
Dexter Blackstock immediately latched onto a headed seventh minute clearance by Rhoys Wiggins but his low drive from outside of the area was easily dealt with by Ben Hamer.
Forest should have scored in the ninth minute when former Addick Andy Reid crossed to Adlene Guedioura but his shot hit the bar.
Ben Hamer spilled a McGugan free-kick from 40 yards, although fortunately Blackstock was in an offside position and unable to capitalise on the loose ball.
Forest’s early dominance was rewarded in the 17th minute when they were awarded a free-kick for a foul by Chris Solly on Simon Cox.
The free-kick was taken wide on the left by McGugan and beat everyone in a packed penalty area on its way to sailing into the far corner of Hamer’s net.
It could have been 2-0 midway through the first half as McGugan’s shot was deflected inches wide of Hamer’s post, with Danny Collins firing just over from the resulting corner.
McGugan fired a volley into the ground and behind after being picked out by Reid, who was proving a real handful for Solly to deal with.
It took until the 31st minute for Charlton to have their first effort on goal, Johnnie Jackson harmlessly heading wide from Solly’s delivery.
McGugan tried his luck from long range with a 36th minute shot but Hamer caught it comfortably.
Charlton had a free-kick and a corner in first half stoppage time, neither of which came to anything and the visitors were probably relieved to find themselves trailing by just a solitary goal at the break.
The Addicks were almost gifted an equaliser within a minute of the restart as Lee Camp spilled Cook’s shot before retrieving the ball.
Solly was tripped by Greg Halford as he surged forward, with Jackson’s free-kick put behind before Michael Morrison could meet it and then Yann Kermorgant headed over from the resulting corner.
Leon Cort made a crucial block to deny Cox a shot on goal before Charlton made their first change just before the hour by replacing Cook with Haynes.
Guedioura’s voley took an unfortunate deflection off his own team-mate before going behind, much to the relief of the visitors.
Cox tested Hamer with a 65th minute shot and then appeared to run into the keeper after he had made a save, picking up a yellow card for his troubles.
Jackson joined Cox in the referee’s book after a late challenge on Halford before Pritchard volleyed over from just outside of the area.
Halford placed a header just over after meeting Guedioura’s cross but the home fans didn’t have long to wait until the decisive second goal arrived on 75 minutes when Hutchinson met Blackstock’s flick on before firing past Hamer.
Fuller and Salim Kerkar were introduced Wright-Phillips and Danny Hollands respectively with 10 minutes remaining.
Kermorgant saw a header saved by Cook after the Addicks won a couple of corners, while Blackstock just got in at the near post to meet substitute Billy Sharp’s cross but Hamer was able to deal with the shot.
But Charlton were handed a route back into the game two minutes from time as Fuller’s header from Solly’s cross hit the post before going over the line off the unfortunate Camp.
Fuller’s cross picked out Kerkar, whose shot was blocked with the Addicks appealing for a penalty.
Jackson saw a free-kick from 20 yards sail harmlessly over and then Sharp almost added a third at the other end, lifting the ball delicately over Hamer before Solly cleverly got back to clear the danger.
There were five minutes of injury time signalled and although Charlton had a couple of corners, they were unable to cause the home side any serious worries.
Overall a fair result.
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Charlton: Hamer, Solly, Morrison, Cort, Wiggins, Pritchard, Hollands (Kerkar 80), Jackson, Cook (Haynes 59), Wright-Phillips (Fuller 80), Kermorgant. Subs not used: Button, Green, Wilson, Dervite. Att: 19,745 (Charlton 1,067)