Charlton Athletic 3 Fleetwood Town 2: Winning run ends despite Evans double

Fleetwood striker Ched Evans scores his second at CharltonFleetwood striker Ched Evans scores his second at Charlton
Fleetwood striker Ched Evans scores his second at Charlton
Fleetwood Town's three-match winning streak came crashing down with defeat in a five-goal thriller at Charlton.
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Keeper Leutwiler earns boss' praise

Ben Purrington’s first goal for almost eight months and Conor Washington’s effort put the hosts two up.

An inspired quickfire brace from Ched Evans pulled Town level by half-time and ended the Addicks’ near nine-hour vigil without conceding.

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But Washington took his tally to three goals in as many games as his penalty early in the second condemned the visitors to defeat at The Valley, where they have never won.

Boss Joey Barton made two changes to the side which beat Oxford United at the weekend as Callum Camps and Sam Finley were replaced in midfield by Mark Duffy and captain Paul Coutts.

After going ahead early last time out the shoe was on the other foot this time as the Cod Army’s defence was breached for the first time in 291 league minutes.

Barton will be disappointed his charges were undone by a set-piece as Purrington rose highest to head home Andrew Shinnie’s inviting corner in the fourth minute.

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The Addicks kept the pressure on, with Town keeper Jayson Leutwiler fortunate no-one was on hand to double the hosts’ advantage after he could only parry Chris Gunter’s cross back into danger.

Former Grimsby goal machine Omar Bogle blasted over the bar from a promising position.

Fleetwood found their feet and started to knock the ball around nicely, but without creating anything clear-cut in the final third.

And it was the aggressive Addicks who looked more likely to score the second goal. Purrington came close to doubling his tally as he fired a volley over the bar.

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Down the other end, defender Callum Connolly should have done better with his header after escaping his marker.

Ben Watson left Leutwiler sprawling as he lashed just past the post before Ian Maatsen’s long-range effort flew high and wide of the target moments later.

And the pressure told on the half-hour mark as Charlton deservedly grabbed a second.

Washington bagged his second goal in three games on 31 minutes after Leutwiler did well to keep out Bogle.

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But in the blink of an eye Welsh striker Evans turned the game on its head to level proceedings.

The first on 33 minutes was a fantastic finish as the in-form marksman chested down Coutts’ ball before creating space to curl into the far corner.

And parity was restored seconds later as Evans slid in to poke home Barrie McKay’s low cross for his fourth goal in four games.

Despite the half-time momentum being in the Cod Army’s corner, the visitors conceded a penalty in the 50th minute after Danny Andrew felled Albie Morgan.

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Leutwiler went the right way but couldn’t keep out Washington’s spot-kick.

Washington couldn’t quite complete his hat-trick as Bogle’s cross just evaded him with the goal gaping.

The visitors were left fuming as shouts for a penalty were waved away when Evans went down in the box.

Moments later Evans was denied a terrific treble when Ben Amos tipped his goalbound header over.

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Saturday scorer Camps almost made an instant impact off the bench as he forced Amos into a good, low save at his near post.

Substitute Chuks Aneke almost put the game to bed as his left-footed strike cannoned back off the post with 10 minutes left.

Fleetwood huffed and puffed late on but couldn’t find an equaliser.

CHARLTON: Amos, Gunter, Inniss, Pratley, Purrington, Morgan (Matthews 72), Watson, Shinnie, Maatsen, Washington, Bogle (Aneke 76); Subs not used: Williams, Maddision, Levitt, Smyth, Maynard-Brewer

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FLEETWOOD: Leutwiler, Edwards, Mulgrew, Connolly, Andrew, Coutts, Whelan (Camps 72), Burns, Duffy (Finley 78), McKay (Madden 55), Evans; Subs not used: Cairns, Morris, Holgate, Saunders

Referee: Christopher Pollard.

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