Charlton continue to flourish on return to the Championship

Charlton made a winning return to Championship football at The Valley with a 3-1 victory over Stoke.

Goals from Lyle Taylor, Chuks Aneke and Conor Gallagher gave Lee Bowyer’s side the points after Tom Ince’s long-range effort had levelled the match for the Potters in the first half.

The result gave the Addicks two league wins from two, while Nathan Jones’ men suffered their second defeat of the season.

Stoke started the brighter of the sides and their midfield trio of Sam Clucas, Ryan Woods and Joe Allen dictated the pace of the game, albeit without creating any real chances.

Charlton, looking organised and comfortable in their first season back in the second tier since the 2015/16 campaign, grew into the fixture as early game nerves were shed.

In the 25th minute the nervy atmosphere turned to euphoria and it was talisman Taylor who caused it.

Loan signing Jonathan Leko’s long ball found the 29-year-old who faced one-on-one with Danny Batth, found space to unleash a curling effort from the edge of the box, beating Jack Butland and finding the far corner.

Brimming with confidence Bowyer’s side attacked with more frequency, but no sooner did they look on top they were pegged back by a fierce Ince strike on the counter.

Having already been warned by a Scott Hogan effort which struck the bar moments earlier, Ince pounced on a loose ball and, confronted with three defenders, unleashed a 25-yard left-footed strike which beat Dillon Phillips at his near post.

With The Valley silenced the visitors nearly took the lead before the break, but Hogan’s effort struck the base of the post after beating the edgy looking Phillips in goal.

The second half started at a frantic pace with opportunities at both ends.

Stoke striker Lee Gregory fired over from close range under pressure from Tom Lockyer following a corner, while Butland saved at the feet of Leko after a swift counter-attack.

There was no letting up in the pace as both managers turned to their bench in search for a winner with 20 minutes to go.

And in the 75th minute it was summer signing Aneke, in his first home game, who put the hosts ahead once more.

The busy Jonny Williams saw his cross from the left deflected into the path of the substitute to slot home from 10 yards.

The Addicks, with the crowd now in full voice, extended their lead seven minutes from time through another of their loan signings, Chelsea’s Gallagher.

The 19-year-old arrowed home a corner from 12 yards which Butland had little chance of stopping.

With the two-goal cushion, the Addicks saw the game out to record their second victory of the season, and the first time they’ve won their opening two fixtures of a second tier campaign since the 1999/2000 campaign.

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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