Charlton Athletic (Home)

Jul 8, 2023 | 2023 A Season in Review

The Memorial Stadium Friday 7th April 2023

Bristol Rovers 1

Marquis (pen, 71)

Charlton Athletic 0

Referee: Simon Mather Attendance: 9,613

International call ups and Plymouth Argyle reaching the final of the Papa John’s Trophy meant that this was a first game in three weeks for Rovers as they went in search of their first home win since New Year’s Day.

The only real surprise regarding the manager’s team selection was the fact that Aaron Collins began the game on the bench and so missed starting a league game for the first time this season.

Goalkeeper Jed Ward was recalled from his loan spell at Hungerford and was named as a substitute as on loan shot stopper Ellery Balcombe had picked up an injury in training.

Josh Coburn began the match as a lone striker, in front of what appeared, at the time, to be a midfield five though in reality there were three players in the middle of the park with Scott Sinclair and Antony Evans acting as wing backs.

The result was a fairly sterile first half with little in the way of goalscoring opportunities for both sides. Miles Leaburn glanced a header over James Belshaw’s bar early on and that was about it from the away side, who seemed content to hold on to the point they arrived with.

Rovers fared little better, though they did create a chance with a minute of the half remaining when Grant Ward teed up a shooting opportunity for Evans who saw his ferocious first time shot produce a superb save from Ashley Maynard-Brewer.

Although they began the second half well, it wasn’t until the introduction of substitutes Collins and Ryan Loft, on the hour mark, that Rovers began to assume control of proceedings and they really stepped up a gear following the introduction of John Marquis six minutes later.

The new sense of urgency about Rovers’ play saw them win a penalty when a clever flick from Lamare Bogarde over the head of Charlton skipper George Dobson saw the ball hit the defender’s arm, leaving referee Sam Barrott no option but to point to the spot.

With regular penalty takers Sinclair and Evans having been substituted, I think most observers suspected that Collins would be given the chance to take the penalty to add to his already impressive goal tally.

However, the experienced Marquis assumed responsibility and, having been on the pitch for a mere five minutes, duly sent Maynard-Brewer the wrong way with his spot kick to register his tenth Rovers goal of the season.

It was the striker’s third goal against Charlton as he also scored the two that beat Charlton at The Valley earlier in the season and one suspects that, as a former Millwall player, those strikes have given him great satisfaction!

As Rovers looked to increase their lead, Marquis saw another effort blocked by the Charlton defence. However, the visitors also went close when Belshaw made a comfortable save from Jack Payne and Ryan Inniss headed over when well placed.

Loft headed over, from a Collins cross, at the other end but there was a huge scare for Rovers in stoppage time when Leaburn’s goalbound header from a cross by Inniss was cleared off the line by Lewis Gordon.

Bristol Rovers: Belshaw, Hoole, Gibson, Connolly, Gordon, Ward (G), Finley, Bogarde, Evans (Collins, 60), Sinclair (Loft, 60), Coburn (Marquis, 66).

Substitutes: Ward (J), Anderson, McCormick, Gibbons.

Charlton Athletic: Maynard-Brewer, Sessegnon (Kanu, 87), Inniss, Hector, Thomas, Morgan (Bonne, 77), Dobson, Fraser, Rak-Sakyi, Leaburn, Campbell (Payne, 77).

Substitutes: Wollacott, Egbo, Henry, Mitchell.


There were no former Rovers players in the Charlton Athletic side

No yellow cards issued

Sam Finley was skipper

Three substitutes used

For the first time this season Aaron Collins wasn’t in the starting lineup for a league match

John Marquis scored his first Rovers penalty

Three added minutes

(photos courtesy of JMP)

Keith Brookman