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Match Reports

Report | Charlton Athletic 3 – 2 Port Vale

29 April 2023

Match Reports

Report | Charlton Athletic 3 – 2 Port Vale

29 April 2023

Valiants defeated at The Valley, though League One status is confirmed for the 2023/24 season with Andy Crosby’s side’s 49 points unassailable for four other League One sides.

  • Match Report | Charlton Athletic 3 – 2 Port Vale
  • Valiants’ League One status confirmed for the 2023/24 season confirmed despite defeat at the Valley
  • James Plant’s first league goal and Matty Taylor – on his 500th career appearance - scored for Andy Crosby’s side, though the Valiants on the wrong side of five-goal clash

Campbell 14
Rak-Sakyi 58
Leaburn 77

Plant 62
Taylor (pen) 90+7

Attendance: 15,314 (996 away)

The Valiants will be playing League One football in the 2023/24 season despite a 3-2 defeat at Charlton Athletic in our final away match of the campaign.

James Plant’s first league goal gave Andy Crosby’s side a second-half lifeline after Tyreece Campbell and Jesrun Rak-Sakyi goals had given the Addicks a two-goal advantage.

Miles Leaburn’s 77th minute strike gave the hosts control going into the final stages, though Matty Taylor halved the deficit with the final kick of the game, scoring from the penalty spot on his 500th career appearance.

Crosby made two changes to his side from last weekend’s victory over Bristol Rovers as James Wilson and Ellis Harrison missed out due to injury, with Danny Butterworth and Jamie Proctor returning to the starting XI.

The hosts started the better of the two sides and Will Forrester had to be brave and alert on six minutes as Rak-Sakyi cut the ball back to Campbell on the edge of the area before the forward saw his effort blocked by the Vale defender.

However, Campbell wasn’t to be denied on 14 minutes when a deep cross from Morgan was headed away by Forrester into the path of the Charlton forward, who fired beyond Aidan Stone at close range.

Forrester went close to an equaliser soon after, though, as a corner routine between David Worrall and Funso Ojo saw the former’s cross to the back post find the Valiants defender, though he header over the bar.

The young defender was involved again within a minute as a switch of play released Campbell for the hosts in the left channel before Forrester recovered well to deflect the ball behind for an Addicks corner.

Crosby made a double change at the break as Taylor and Plant were introduced, the former heading a Worrall cross towards goal within seven minutes of coming off the bench, though the effort was deflected behind.

That chance put some impetus into the Vale’s performance and Butterworth then dribbled with the ball from halfway to the penalty area, almost scoring a wonderful solo effort before seeing his effort deflected away for a corner. From the resulting corner, Aaron Donnelly was presented with a close-range chance to score but his powerful strike was saved by Ashley Maynard-Brewer.

Charlton scored the all-important second goal just before the hour as George Dobson’s forward pass was diverted into the path of Rak-Sakyi, who beat Mal Benning to the ball and curled beyond Stone.

Within four minutes, though, the Valiants had a goal back as a Benning corner fell into the path of Plant, who showed great composure to volley home in front of almost 1,000 travelling supporters at close range.

Crosby’s side upped the ante in search of a leveller and substitute Tom Conlon saw an excellent 25-yard free-kick saved by Maynard-Brewer in front of the travelling Vale support.

However, just a minute later Leaburn struck the crucial blow in the game as the Vale defence struggled to deal with a Campbell cross from the left and the striker powered home a third for the hosts.

Nathan Smith headed a Worrall corner on target in the latter stages before Dennis Politic’s shot from distance was blocked by the hand of Terell Thomas to give the Valiants a late penalty that Taylor duly converted with ultimately the final kick of the game.

Results elsewhere meant the Valiants’ total of 49 points in League One was unassailable for four other teams in the division, meaning the season’s primary objective has been achieved with League One football back at Vale Park in the 2023/24 campaign.

Crosby’s side finish the season with the visit of leaders Plymouth Argyle on Sunday 7 May (12pm kick-off), with the visitors going in search of the League One title.

Charlton Athletic: Maynard-Brewer; Sessegnon (Kane 85), Thomas, Hector (Mitchell 78), Clare (Egbo 73); Dobson (Capt), Morgan, Fraser (Payne 78); Leaburn, Campbell (Henry 85), Rak-Sakyi.
Subs: Wollacott, Kanu.

Port Vale: Stone; Forrester (Plant 45), Smith, Donnelly; Worrall, Pett (Capt) (Conlon 70), Ojo, Benning; Butterworth (Politic 70), Massey, Proctor (Taylor 45).
Subs: Stevens, Holden, McDermott.

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