Football: Charlton Athletic 4 - 0 Rochdale
Date published: 05 May 2019
Charlton Athletic finished the season in third place after a comfortable victory over a much-changed Rochdale side in the final game of the season at the Valley. Goals from Joe Aribo and Lyle Taylor either side of a Calvin Andrew own goal saw play off bound Charlton take a 3-0 advantage into the half time break. A fourth from Polish midfielder Krystian Bielik with fifteen minutes left was enough to see Lee Bowyer’s side climb into 3rd ahead of Portsmouth on goal difference.
With their league status secured last weekend, boss Brian Barry-Murphy made five changes to his side after a gruelling end to a tough season. Older players such as Ian Henderson, Jim McNulty, Aaron Wilbraham and Matty Done were rested after playing through the pain barrier in recent weeks with niggling injuries whilst on loan Ethan Ebanks-Landell missed out after picking up a concussion in the Southend game last Saturday. The rotation allowed younger players Aaron Morley and Dan Adshead to gain some minutes whilst second year scholar Lewis Bradley was given a place on the bench.
Charlton, who were already assured of their place in the play offs, named their strongest squad as they looked to continue their recent good form heading into the end of season extenders.
The home side set about their mission from the first whistle with Rochdale struggling to cope with Charlton’s movement at times. Joe Aribo sent the first warning shot; a curling effort just wide of the post after just six minutes.
Aribo then fortuitously set up striker Lyle Taylor when a long punt upfield hit him on the back and fell perfectly for Taylor; Lillis equal to his low shot as he got down to save.
The opening goal came after 19 minutes. Lillis was quickly out to save at the feet Taylor and when the ball spilled out, Josh Parker’s clever backheel set up Aribo who fired into the virtually unguarded net. The Dale defenders were incensed as they felt Lillis had the ball knocked out of his hands by Taylor in the build-up, but referee Charles Breakspear remained unmoved.
Barry-Murphy’s side rarely troubled the Charlton backline although Callum Camps’ speculative strike from distance almost caught out Dillon Phillips in the Charlton goal as he tipped away the effort.
The Addicks doubled their lead just after the half hour mark, Taylor turning Adshead inside the area before crossing towards the back post where the unfortunate Calvin Andrew diverted the ball into his own net under pressure from Ben Purrington.
Despite their dominance, Dale did create a couple of opportunities and perhaps should have halved the deficit soon after going 2-0 down. On loan Huddersfield striker Rekeil Pyke did brilliantly to beat two Charlton defenders and with a break of 3 on 1; Pyke should have played in one of his team mates but opted to head for goal with the excellent Naby Sarr on hand to smother out the chance.
The game was over as a contest shortly before half-time when Taylor got his 24th of the season. The former AFC Wimbledon striker beat the offside trap to race through and finish past Lillis from inside the box.
Jimmy Keohane was lucky not to see a red card when the Rochdale defender hauled down Josh Parker when through on goal. The referee deeming it only worthy of a yellow card as Josh Lillis had come out to sweep up the danger.
The second half was all Charlton as they looked to extend their advantage. Albie Morgan hit the side netting only when teed up by Taylor whilst the frontman warmed the hands of Lillis with a powerful shot; Parker inexplicably shooting wide from the loose ball with the goal at his mercy.
The fourth goal came in the 75th minute with Bielik playing a neat one-two around the edge of the area and finishing well.
In the end Dale were well beaten by a Charlton side that will be looking at a return to the Championship via the play offs. As for Rochdale, they’ll be happy that it will be league one next season as Brian Barry-Murphy can now begin to shape his squad for next season.
Rochdale: Lillis, Keohane, MJ Williams, Delaney, Ntlhe (Bunney 62), Camps, Hamilton, Adshead, Morley, Andrew © (Wilbraham 69), Pyke (Bradley 76)
Subs: (not used) Wade, McNulty, Done, Henderson,
Charlton: Phillips, Dijksteel, Bauer ©, Sarr, Purrington, Bielik (Pratley 84), Morgan, Cullen, Aribo (Reeves 89), Parker, Taylor (Marshall 84)
Subs: (not used) Maxwell, Page, Pearce, Lapslie
Referee: Mr C Breakspear
Assistants: Mr P Kelly & Mr S Butler
Fourth Official: Mr A Tanter
Attendance: 12,705 (290 from Rochdale)
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