Tuesday night sees another long trip down to South East London as we replay our previously abandoned game against Charlton Athletic at The Valley.
Following last Friday night’s win over Yeovil, Paul Dickov’s squad go to face the Addicks full of confidence and looking for another three points.
Somewhat unbelievably the two sides have only met six times in the past but our last trip into the capital was a successful one. Rovers faced Charlton in March 2009 after a terrific home win over Derby County just a few days earlier and were keen to take that form into the game at the Valley, the home side however were staring down the barrel of relegation and were keen to maintain a stay of execution with a win in front of their own supporters.
Rovers had only lost one game in their previous eleven games while the Addicks had just won two out of the previous 25, but when the game started the neutral could have been forgiven for thinking that Charlton were the form team as they came out of the blocks the quickest. Tom Soares was to meet a right wing cross perfectly to thump a header past the despairing dive of Neil Sullivan but thankfully the ball thumped off the crossbar before bouncing to safety. Jonjo Shelvey was involved in the game barely a few days after putting pen to paper on a first professional contract for the home side and his shoot on sight policy was rousing the home supporters but thankfully for Rovers his efforts weren’t to really trouble Sullivan.
It took Rovers until the second period to really get into their stride but when they did they really turned the screw and showed just why they had been so hard to beat. Richie Wellens played an audacious back heel into the path of James Coppinger who took the ball in his stride perfectly as he cut in from the right flank, he advanced into the box and gave home ‘keeper Rob Elliot no chance.
It had taken just four minutes of the second period for the visitors to open the scoring but just as Rovers threatened to take the spoils, Charlton hauled themselves back into the reckoning. A really special strike from midfielder Nicky Bailey, was to get the host back on terms as he smashed home a volley from the edge of the penalty area.
But just as the home fans began to dream of a late winner, Rovers were to break their hearts soon after the restart. Bailey, who had been the darling of the terraces just three minutes earlier, was to commit a foul inside the box as he brought down Wellens and the visitors were awarded the spot kick. Brian Stock duly converted the penalty and upon the final whistle it was to all but seal the home side’s relegation into the third tier of English football; just two years after they had featured in the Premiership.
Rovers v Charlton Stats
The two sides have only met six times in the past, the hosts tonight have the upper hand in the head to head record but Rovers have the chance to bring the gap in wins to within one should we win tonight.
Rovers won the first meeting between the sides back in September 1935 and also won the last meeting between the sides, the aforementioned 2-1 victory at the Valley in 2009.
Expect more than two goals in the game on Tuesday, there has been an average of over two goals scored per game in the six previous meetings.
One interesting statistic is that over the games that have been played between the two sides, none of them have ended in a draw.
Sky Bet - Latest Odds
Here are the latest odds from the Football League sponsors Sky Bet.
Charlton - 10/11
Draw - 5/2
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Rovers Player will be broadcasting Live audio commentary of the game. Don't miss a kick with out match day commentary team Glen Wilson and Danny Czepiec.
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