CHARLTON made a welcome return to winning ways with victory over Ipswich at Portman Road this afternoon.
Chris Powell’s side went into the game on the back of three straight Championship defeats but put the brakes on the slide thanks to early second half goals from Johnnie Jackson and Ricardo Fuller.
Jason Scotland’s 57th minute deflected shot put the Tractor Boys right back in it and although the hosts had chances to equalise, Charlton survived to secure what was a welcome and merited three
Yann Kermorgant was ruled out after picking up an injury in training, so Fuller made his first start and partnered Bradley Wright-Phillips.
Salim Kerkar came in for Danny Hollands, who was dropped to the bench where he was joined by the returning Danny Haynes and Scott Wagstaff.
Ben Hamer made a simple save to keep out former Addick Lee Martin's 20 yard shot in the fourth minute.
Daryl Murphy headed straight at Hamer from Martin’s delivery and then Scotland fired just wide as Ipswich had a couple of chances in the space of 60 seconds.
Murphy glanced an 11th minute header off target after being found by Aaron Cresswell before Charlton almost took the lead at the other end as Kerkar came within inches of meeting Lawrie Wilson’s
dangerous ball into the box.
The visiting Charlton fans were cheering moments later when Danny Green unleashed a shot from inside the area, although unfortunately it hit the side-netting as opposed to the back of Scott Loach’s
Scotland dragged a low drive well wide and then only a crucial deflection prevented Wright-Phillips smashing home from Fuller’s pass.
Hamer produced a comfortable stop to catch Scotland’s next attempt, a 20 yard effort which didn’t have any real power behind it.
Leon Cort headed just wide from Jackson’s corner as the Addicks again went close.
Jay Emmanuel-Thomas picked up a 25th minute yellow card for a cynical trip on Green but Jackson’s free-kick into the danger zone came to nothing, while Scotland's ambitious 25 yard effort almost
ends up in Scotland.
Loach produced a fingertip stop to keep out Dale Stephens’ 25 yard shot before the danger was scrambled away.
Fuller saw a shot charged down in stoppage time after Jackson swung a free-kick into the box but after a promising start, the remainder of the first half saw a gradual deterioration in passing and
control, perhaps a sign both of these sides are clearly short of confidence.
Charlton almost made the dream start to the second half but Kerkar’s excellent cross just evaded the head of Wright-Phillips.
But they weren’t to be denied for long as they finally got their noses in front in the 48th minute as Wright-Phillips again just missed out on a cross, this time Green the provider.
The ball instead found Kerkar who set up skipper Jackson to score from close range.
And the advantage was quickly doubled within two minutes as Massimo Luongo was dispossessed by Fuller and the striker raced into the area before drilling a low shot beyond the reach of Loach.
Luongo almost immediately atoned by firing a shot just wide of the post but Ipswich were handed a fortunate lifeline back into the game on 57th minute as Scotland’s 35 yard effort took a cruel
deflection off Michael Morrison and past Hamer.
Scotland and substitute Nathan Ellington both had shots charged down before Charlton finally cleared, while Chris Solly charged down a stinging Carlos Edwards effort as the hosts again pressed
Wright-Phillips placed a shot straight at Loach as the Addicks again pushed forward in attempt to restore their two-goal cushion.
Not for the first time Scotland placed an effort miles away from Hamer’s goal and then Murphy glanced a header wide.
Ellington was the next to fail to test the Addicks keeper by shooting over the bar from 15 yards, although the home side one a corner shortly afterwards when his shot was deflected behind.
Ipswich introduced Josh Carson for Murphy with 10 minutes remaining before Green fired wildly over from 20 yards.
Charlton’s first change came in the 83rd minute with Kerkar withdrawn in favour of Bradley Pritchard.
Jackson mades crucial block to deflect behind Carson’s shot and then Ellington glanced header just wide from the corner, while a quick Charlton counter ended with Stephens being denied by Loach.
It should have been 2-2 in the 89th minute when Ellington beat a Charlton defender after bursting into the box but he somehow shot over the bar from 10 yards.
There were five minutes of stoppage time for anxious Addicks fans to endure, with a bit of it smartly wasted as Dervite came on for Wright-Phillip and Haynes for Fuller in a double change.
Ipswich were awarded a free-kick 25 yards from goal at the death but Andy Drury fired it over and Charlton ran down the clock to pick up a deserved three points.
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Charlton: Hamer, Solly, Morrison, Cort, Wilson, Kerkar (Pritchard 83), Jackson, Stephens, Green, Wright-Phillips (Dervite 90), Fuller (Haynes 90). Subs not used: Button, Evina, Wagstaff, Hollands.