By Alex Stedman
Saturday 14th July
Kick Off: 3pm
Park View Road
Charlton began their pre season schedule with a convincing 4-0 win over a spirited Welling side on Saturday afternoon. Chris Powell fielded two different line ups – one in each half, and this gave the Addicks fans their first chance to see the majority of the playing squad in action since last year’s marvellous achievements.
Welling approached the game determined to match the visitors, and had an early chance to take the lead when Chris Guthrie’s effort threatened to cause Nick Pope problems.
But the League One champions grew into the game as the half went on. Ruben Bover Izquierdo was at the heart of the Charlton attack and sprayed passes around whilst linking up with the front two in eye catching fashion. Alongside him, Bradley Pritchcard provided the work rate and craft that won him the hearts of the Valley faithful last year.
Charlton could have gone ahead when Cedric Evina whipped a cross in from the left, but the ball was a fraction too high for the big Frenchman Yann Kermogant. Minutes later, Charlton attacked down the left again, and it was Callum Harriot this time who fired wide before then spurning another chance that came his way after Bradley Wright-Phillips had failed to hit the target.
A new starting eleven took to the field in the second half as Powell shuffled the pack and it didn’t take the new boys long to assert their authority on the game. Player of the Year Chris Solly sent in an inviting cross that was turned into his own net by Joe Obersteller to break the deadlock.
Dale Stephens’ corner was met by the head of the towering youngster Michael Smith to make it two, before Welling threatened to find a way back into the game when Lafayette couldn’t quite beat trialist Jacobo in the Charlton goal. Lafayette saw his shot smack the near post from a tight angle and you sensed that it wasn’t to be the home side’s day.
Danny Haynes showed quick feet on the edge of the area moments later, and managed to deceive the Wings defence. But he was brought down by Fraser Franks in the area to leave Johnnie Jackson to step up and coolly slot away the penalty for the third.
Haynes then got what his second half performance deserved minutes from time. It was Stephens again who delivered the corner, and the ball was met by the onrushing striker who’s near post glancing header flew past keeper Turner.
A strong second half showing provided the Park View Road crowd with a glimpse of what they can expect to see from Charlton next season. Powell clearly has the group closely knit, and the unity and togetherness will be key in what promises to be a long and hard season.