Charlton Bested by High Flying Swans
Swansea City went top of the Sky Bet Championship tonight after a hard fought 2-1 victory over Charlton Athletic at The Valley ground.
Both teams started the game mathematically able to take the league’s top spot, but it was Swansea who seized the opportunity to reach the summit. Tonight’s win takes their points tally to twenty one after ten games, one point clear of second place Leeds United.
Charlton took the lead early on thanks to a powerful effort from West Brom loanee Jonathan Leko, but goals from Swansea’s Yan Dhanda and Andre Ayew meant that it was the away team who left The Valley with all three points.
The Addicks started brightly and it took all of 90 seconds for them to take the lead. Jonathan Leko found himself in plenty of space after Swansea had failed to clear their lines, and he made no mistake in rifling his effort into the top right corner of the net.
With the Charlton fans in a buoyant mood following the goal, a chorus of ‘I know you won’t believe us, but the reds are going up..’ optimistically rang out from the home end.
Some composed defending, especially from right back Adam Matthews, kept Swansea at bay for the following ten minutes, but experienced attacker Andre Ayew started to cause problems when drifting inside from his right wing as he grew into the game.
And it was Ayew, this time from the Swansea left, who started the away side’s next attack. After a few neat passes in the box, the ball found its way to the feet of Yan Dhanda in the middle of the Charlton penalty area. His deflected shot beat Charlton keeper Phillips to equalise after 17 minutes.
The Swans’ narrow formation proved hard for Charlton to defend against, but it did create plenty of space for the home side’s marauding left back, Ben Purrington, to deliver some dangerous balls into the area. Unfortunately lone striker Macauley Bonne, hero of Saturday’s 1-0 win over Leeds, was rarely in the right position to convert the crosses.
Swansea had the better of chances towards the end of the first half, but neither team looked particularly threatening. The only effort of note fell to Jay Fulton, who fizzed the ball just over the home team’s right post with a fierce volley with only three minutes of the half remaining.
Both teams started the second half with more purpose, and drama soon followed when the away side had the ball in the back of the net just two minutes after the restart. Andre Ayew, again proving dangerous, headed home from close range, only to have the effort chalked off – the linesman deeming Fulton’s cross to have drifted behind the goal on its way into the box.
Swansea continued to push for a second and Fulton again found himself in a dangerous position at the near post, but was unable to make the chance count.
It was instead Ayew who gave the Welsh side their lead, bundling home a left sided corner from close range on 65 minutes, naturally prompting elation in the away stand.
Addiks’ manager Lee Bowyer immediately reacted by bringing on Jonny Williams and forward Chuks Aneke. He was nearly rewarded when, just moments later, Aneke was knocked off balance in the opposition area. However, the subsequent penalty shout was waved away by referee Peter Banks.
The South London side continued to push, with Conor Gallagher fashioning a couple of chances in the latter stages of the game. Much to the home supports’ frustration, their team’s crosses rarely fell to a red shirt. They even struggled to find a friendly head in the opposition area when big centre back Jason Pearce was moved up top – a desperate attempt to steal a point at the last.
With the luxury of a spare substitute, Swansea were able to run the clock down. After five minutes of additional time they were relieved of their defensive duties by the full-time whistle.
Some-daily Star Man – Andre Ayew.