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Charlton Athletic match preview

2 November 2018

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Rovers travel to the capital for the first time this season when they face Charlton Athletic at The Valley in Sky Bet League One on Saturday.

Rovers will be looking for their first win in four games following a draw at home with Gillingham before defeats to both Sunderland and Coventry City last week.

Charlton on the other hand will also be looking to get back to winning ways following their defeat away at Rochdale last Saturday.

Brief history of Charlton Athletic

Charlton play at the 27,111-capacity The Valley stadium in south-east London, which has been their home since 1919, barring a seven-year spell away from Greenwich between 1985 and 1992.

Their nickname is the Addicks, which comes from the pronunciation of the word ‘Athletic’ in south-east London.

This season will be the Addicks third successive season in League One, following their relegation from the Championship in 2016. The Addicks have title-winning history in this division, having last won the League One title in 2012, storming to the top with 101 points.

Last season saw the Addicks finish sixth in League One, qualifying them for the play-offs. They met Shrewsbury Town in the play-off semi-finals, however it would be the Shrews who would progress 2-0 on aggregate.

Who’s the gaffer?

Lee Bowyer is the man at the helm at The Valley, taking permanent charge this season following a temporary spell in the dugout towards the end of the last campaign. The former Leeds United, Newcastle United and Birmingham City midfielder is in his first managerial role with the Addicks, and he helped guide them into the play-offs whilst in caretaker charge last term.

So far, Bowyer has overseen 30 games in charge of the Addicks, winning 13 of those, whilst drawing six and losing 11, leaving him with a total win percentage of 43.3 per cent.

Ones to watch

Lyle Taylor

The Montserrat international signed from cross-London rivals AFC Wimbledon over the summer. Taylor began his career with Millwall, though it would be his drop into non-league with Concord Rangers that would kick-start his career. 34 goals in one season for Concord saw him sign for AFC Bournemouth before a successful season with Falkirk where he would score 24 goals in 34 league games for the Bairns. After time with Sheffield United and Scunthorpe United, he joined Wimbledon in 2015, going on to become a fans’ favourite with the Dons, scoring 23 goals in his first season, including the opening goal in their 2017 League Two play-off victory over Plymouth Argyle at Wembley Stadium. Taylor switched to south-east London to link up with the Addicks and has hit the ground running with eight league goals from his first 15 games.

Jamie Ward

The Northern Ireland international is currently on loan at The Valley until January. Ward spent part of his early career with Aston Villa, Torquay United and Chesterfield, before his move to Sheffield United in 2009. Ward joined Derby County after two seasons at Bramall Lane, making over 125 appearances for the Rams over four years. After his departure from Pride Park, Ward would make a controversial move to the Rams’ biggest rivals in Forest, and that is where he has remained ever since. Ward was named in Michael O’Neill’s Euro 2016 squad in France, where he would help Northern Ireland to the Round of 16 stage.

Chris Solly

The Addicks legend is also a one-club man, having come up through the academy before his senior debut in 2009. Solly was a key figure in the Addicks’ 2011/12 League One title win, going on to win the club’s Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year awards following their promotion, as well as winning it the senior award again the season after following a solid season in the Championship. Despite Solly entering his 11th season of professional football at The Valley, Solly has only scored three goals in a Charlton shirt, with the last of those coming this season, bagging a last-minute equaliser away at Luton Town, his first goal since 2012.

Who’s the ref?

Gavin Ward will be the man in the middle when the two sides meet at The Valley on Saturday. Ward has taken control of 14 games in league and cup competitions this season, dishing out 40 yellow cards, though he is yet to brandish a red card.

Ward last took charge of Rovers in December 2017 for their 1-1 draw at home to Oldham Athletic, with his last game involving Charlton coming on Good Friday this year for their 4-0 win away at Northampton Town back in March, also in League One.

Ward will be joined by assistant referees John Flynn and Daniel Leach, with Christopher O’Donnell being named as the fourth official.

Last time out

The last game involving these two sides saw late drama at the Keepmoat Stadium back in February on James Coppinger’s 500th league appearance for the club. Patrick Bauer’s 18th-minute header put the Addicks in front, with the visitors dominating for the majority of the game, only to see Matty Blair pop up in the third minute of second-half injury-time, ghosting in to the six-yard area to poke the ball home and earn Rovers an unlikely point.

Rovers last, and only win, at The Valley came in the Championship in March 2009, with James Coppinger putting Rovers ahead before Nick Bailey’s equaliser. Brian Stock’s penalty 11 minutes from time however would see Rovers earn three points for the first time in south-east London.

Rovers fans can kick off 2019 with huge savings on fixtures including Barnsley, Peterborough, Accrington Stanley and Charlton at the Keepmoat Stadium. The new Half Season Membership package gives you access to all remaining Doncaster Rovers home games this season from January 1, and costs as little as £165 – making each seat just £15 for a full paying adult in category C seating. Buy online now at tickets.clubdoncaster.co.uk, at the Club Doncaster Box Office in person or via telephone on 01302 762576.


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