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Charlton 1-2 Watford
CHARLTON were beaten by 10-man Watford at The Valley this evening.
Tommie Hoban gave the Hornets a 29th minute lead which was quickly cancelled out by Ricardo Fuller’s strike six minutes later.
Watford’s Fernando Forestieri picked up his second yellow card in first half stoppage time but it was the visitors who scored the decisive goal in the 70th minute as Almen Abdi smashed home a free-kick.
Fuller was back to partner Bradley Wright-Phillips up front after missing Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Blackburn through illness.
He came in for Johnnie Jackson who was injured in that Rovers clash, so the captain’s armband was handed to Michael Morrison.
New signings Rob Hulse and Abdul Razak were among the substitutes.
Watford, who began the game only one point ahead of the Addicks, were unchanged from the side which won 3-2 at Huddersfield at the weekend.
The first real attack didn’t come into the 12th minute but a quick counter from the Addicks broke down in the Watford box as Fuller took one touch too many.
Troy Deeney tested Ben Hamer with a long range effort on the quarter hour mark before Salim Kerkar saw a retaken free-kick deflected behind for a corner.
The kick had to be taken again because Forestieri was booked for encroachment, an offence which was to prove costly for him later.
Charlton were enjoying plenty of possession but it was Watford who broke the deadlock on 29 minutes.
A Nathaniel Chalobah free-kick into the area took an unfortunate touch off Salim Kerkar for a corner, which was taken by Fernando Forestieri and headed home by Hoban.
But the lead lasted barely six minutes as the Addicks drew level when Dale Stephens’ delightful pass found Fuller, who drove a low shot past Manuel Almunia from inside the area.
Forestieri won a very dubious free-kick shortly before the break just outside of the area and Morrison was booked for protesting the decision.
But justice was done when Abdi’s effort went straight into the Charlton wall and there were huge cheers moments later as Forestieri scuffed a shot tamely behind.
Forestieri’s evening went from bad to worse in stoppage time as he picked up a second caution and red card for diving in the area, handing Charlton a numerical advantage for the entire second half.
But it was Watford who came close to restoring their advantage five minutes after the restart when Deeney just failed to connect with Daniel Pudil’s low cross.
Wright-Phillips tested Manuel Almunia with a stinging shot which the former Arsenal keeper was more than a match for.
Fuller provided a great pass to slip it through to Wright-Phillips, but his strike partner fired over with Neuton putting him under pressure.
Only a fine reaction stop from Almunia denied Fuller and then a defender got his body in the way to thwart Stephens’ follow up shot.
Charlton again went close midway through the half when Chris Solly’s delivery was flicked on by Kerkar but just evaded the reach of Wright-Phillips inside the six-yard box.
However, the 10-men of Watford got their noses in front again on 70 minutes when they were awarded a free-kick 25 yards from goal for a Leon Cort foul on Deeney and Abdi stepped up to smash it home past Hamer.
There was a double change for the hosts 11 minutes from time as Danny Green and Danny Hollands made way for debutant Hulse and Bradley Pritchard.
Charlton threw everything at the 10-men but the final pass inside the box just let them down and this, combined with some questionable refereeing decisions, frustrated the increasingly restless home fans.
Five minutes of stoppage time were signalled during which Hulse and Stephens both saw efforts go over and Cort went close with a header.
But there was to be no second equaliser and Watford held on for the three points.
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Charlton: Hamer, Wilson, Morrison, Cort, Solly, Green (Hulse 79), Stephens, Hollands (Pritchard 79), Kerkar, Fuller, Wright-Phillips. Subs not used: Button, Evina, Wagstaff, Razak, Dervite. Att: 15,585.