Goals from Jaiyesimi and Stockley give Charlton all three points at the Valley
First half goals from Diallang Jaiyesimi and Jayden Stockley secured the points for Charlton Athletic at the Valley this afternoon to leave Crewe Alexandra still seeking that first win in League One this season.
A spirited Crewe created a number of good chances over the course of the 90 minutes to remain in the contest but were denied on a number of those occasions by the agility of Craig MacGillivray in the Charlton goal. He made good saves from Callum Ainley, Callum McFadzean, Chris Porter, Kayne Ramsay and even his own defender Akin Famewo to keep us at bay.
Charlton had chances of their own to make it even more comfortable but they found Will Jaaskelainen in equally good form.
David Artell reverted back to a 4-3-3 formation for the trip to the Valley. Callum Ainley was recalled to the starting line-up with Kayne Ramsay, the real unfortunate one to miss out. Luke Offord returned from his one match suspension to partner Terell Thomas in the centre of defence. Youngster Billy Sass-Davies dropped back to the substitutes’ bench after performing admirably in a back three at Leeds United on Tuesday evening.
Will Jaaskelainen continued in goal following his impressive display at Elland Road.
As expected, Crewe Alexandra’s former winger Charlie Kirk started for Nigel Adkins side on the left hand side, in direct competition with Rio Adebisi. The former Exeter and Preston forward Jayden Stockley captained The Addicks.
Jaaskelainen was called into action inside the opening two minutes after Ryan Inniss forced him to push his header at the far post away for an early corner. From the second corner coming in from the Crewe left hand side, Kirk lifted his shot from the edge of the penalty area clear of the left hand post.
Adkins’ side made the more confident start in the opening minutes and much of the play was in the Crewe half of the field. From yet another Albie Morgan corner, Murphy did superbly to hack the ball clear before Stockley could get his head to it just outside the six-yard box.
On 13 minutes, Offord bundled into the back of Stockley to concede a free-kick 25 yards out, but Morgan’s low drive into the six-yard box was read by Adebisi and he put it behind for another corner.
Crewe’s best move on the opening 15 minutes saw Finney and McFadzean combine and switch play to the right. Knight and Ainley then interchanged passes but Mandron, had just strayed into an offside position to halt a promising attack. The Alex had weathered that early Charlton pressure and began to have more of a say in possession. From a Knight free-kick close to the touchline, Offord stole a run on his marker but couldn’t keep his header down. It was a decent chance.
Ainley was certainly seeing a lot of the ball in advanced areas and after linking with a header from Finney inside the Charlton penalty area, his clipped cross was headed into the gloves of Craig MacGillivray by the supportive full-back, McFadzean. It was much more encouraging from the Alex.
On 33 minutes, Mandron did superbly to retrieve possession from Akin Famewo as he tried to bring the ball out. The transition provided Knight with space to run into but his eventual shot lacked conviction. Knight should have possibly passed it.
A couple of minutes later, the home side took the lead. Kirk was involved in the initial build-up but the assist was provided by the overlapping full-back, Chris Gunter. His teasing centre allowed winger Diallang Jaiyesimi to steal a march on the back of McFadzean and his powerful header gave Jaaskelainen no chance.
The Alex response was almost immediate. Knight slipped in Ainley and his fierce shot brought a good save from MacGillvray. Then after Gunter was booked for catching the tricky Knight, the referee allowed a good advantage and Mandron just couldn’t find Finney as we tried to load the box.
Four minutes before the half time whistle, Charlton punished Crewe on a counter attack. From being on attack, it suddenly broke into a two-v-two situation. Conor Washington fed Stockley in behind Thomas and he kept his composure enough to take it wide of Jaasklainen before wrapping his foot around it to double the Addicks’ lead heading into interval.
The second period started with Stockley teeing up Jaiyesimi for a shot from the edge of the box but Offord did well to block. Moments later, Stockley headed another good delivery from Gunter over the top of the Crewe crossbar.
Five minutes into the second half and Thomas needed a period of treatment from head physio Steve Phillips before he was able to resume.
Gunter produced a stunning drive from all of 30 yards out that whistled just wide before Kirk lifted over the crossbar from a good position.
Ainley continued to try and conjure up something for the Alex and after a mini-dribble on the edge of the Charlton box, he saw his eventual shot blocked by Morgan.
Just after the hour mark, McFadzean became the first Alex player to be booked for hauling down Jaiyesimi inside the centre circle.
The home side lost defender Inniss through injury and he was replaced by Deji Elerewe. On 65 minutes, Artell made a double change with Porter and Ramsay on for Finney and Knight. McFadzean pushed on into midfield.
Ramsay’s first venture forward nearly saw him pick out fellow sub Porter. With 20 minutes remaining, Adebisi was booked for holding on to Jaiyesimi as he threatened to make inroads into the Crewe final third.
Ramsay forced MacGillivray into a rare save in the second half after he positively attacked Gunter. Moments later, Jaaskelainen did well to stand up long enough to make a really good stop from Washington in a one-v-one contest. The Alex goalkeeper then dived to deny Kirk a goal against his former club.
With Crewe needing the next goal to get back into the contest, the game became much more open and on 75 minutes, McFadzean unleashed a fine shot from 25 yards that had to be pushed behind for a corner.
Kirk made way with 15 minutes remaining and he was replaced by Elliott Lee. Then from a McFadzean corner, Porter was denied superbly by the strong hand of MacGillivray after he did well to manoeuvre himself into position to head goalwards.
Jaaskelainen did likewise to keep out a firm header from Stockley to keep us in the contest with 10 minutes left. McFadzean was replaced for Griffiths for the closing minutes and Crewe needed something to drop in our favour. It nearly came from a back header from Charlton’s own defender, Famewo but again the Charlton goalkeeper made an important save.
In the dying minutes, Ramsay made a telling interception to prevent Lee from slipping his fellow sub Sean Clare on goal and Washington lashed one wide from a really good position to cap the win for the home side.
Gunter had an equally good chance to seal his solid display with an injury time goal but he shot well over.