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Charlton Athletic (H) match preview

11 May 2019

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Rovers host Charlton Athletic at the Keepmoat Stadium on Sunday for the first leg of the Sky Bet League One play-off semi-final.

Rovers reached the play-offs following a 2-0 win over Coventry City thanks to goals from Kieran Sadlier and John Marquis which sealed sixth place for Grant McCann’s men last Saturday.

Charlton leapfrogged Portsmouth and Sunderland to claim third place in League One on the final day, with a resounding 4-0 win at home to Rochdale seeing them earn their final three points of the regular season.

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 and their nickname is the Addicks.

This season is 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.

Charlton finished third in League One this season following a brilliant end to the season which saw them pick up 25 points from their final 10 games, beating Portsmouth to third on goal difference with both sides picking up 88 points.

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 65 games in charge of the Addicks, winning 34 of those, whilst drawing 13 and losing 18, leaving him with a total win percentage of 52.31 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 was named as the Addicks’ Player of the Year at their recent awards night after a superb season in front of goal in his first campaign at The Valley.

Krystian Bielik

The Polish central defender/midfielder has been on a season-long loan from Premier League side Arsenal. Beginning his youth career with Gornik Konin and Lech Poznan, Bielik then signed for Legia Warsaw, making his debut in Poland’s Ekstraklasa in August 2014 against Korona Kielce. He joined the Gunners in 2015, making his debut later on that year in the League Cup away at Sheffield Wednesday, though he has spent much of his time in the Arsenal under-21 squad. After loan spells in the West Midlands with Birmingham City and Walsall, Bielik signed a deal with the Addicks ahead of the start of this season, scoring his first goal for the club, and his first in professional football, in a 2-1 over Southend United back in September. Bielik has also represented his country on the international stage, playing at youth levels from under-16s through to under-21s.

Josh Cullen

The midfielder is on a season-long loan from Premier League side West Ham United. Cullen has been with the Hammers since the age of nine, making his first-team debut in a Europa League game against Lusitanos in 2015, before making his Premier League debut in a 3-0 win over Liverpool at Anfield. Cullen spent a season-and-a-half on loan at Bradford City between 2016 and 2017, winning the League One Player of the Month for April 2017, whilst helping the Bantams to the League One play-off final the same year. After time on loan at Bolton Wanderers last season, Cullen made the six-mile journey for a temporary switch to the Addicks ahead of the start of this campaign, making 29 appearances in the league, scoring once against Gillingham last month.

Who’s the ref?

Oliver Langford will be the man in the middle when the two sides meet on Sunday, and you can read more about him here.

Last time out

Rovers and Charlton played out a 1-1 draw when the two sides met at the Keepmoat Stadium back in March. John Marquis’ own-goal put the Addicks in front before Mallik Wilks struck from the edge of the box just a few moments later to draw Rovers level.

Tommy Rowe then saw a goal disallowed deep in to injury time to deny Rovers the three points at the Keepmoat Stadium.

Tickets for Sunday’s Sky Bet League One play-off semi-final against Charlton Athletic on Sunday are still available via the Club Doncaster Box Office. Purchase yours now by either visiting in-store at the Keepmoat Stadium, by calling on 01302 762576, or online at tickets.clubdoncaster.co.uk.

Supporters are reminded that Sunday’s fixture is an ALL TICKET game, and there will be no cash gates available on any turnstile.


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