Bonne double helps Doughty Charlton end winless run with stirring fightback
Charlton 3 Bristol City 2
Two goals in the last 12 minutes gave the Addicks a first win in 12 games to put a halt to that alarming sinking feeling.
Lee Bowyer’s men had not won since the visit of Derby County in late October and were looking at another fruitless afternoon, until Macauley Bonne profited from slack defending to claim his second of the afternoon before Alfie Doughty bundled home a late winner from a Bonne cross.
Midfielder Doughty only turned 20 this week and it was a fine moment to score his first senior goal for the club – although he was lucky to touch home at the second attempt after his first effort had been blocked on the line by keeper Dan Bentley.
The dramatic late turnaround – Charlton’s winner came in the 82nd minute – appeared unlikely as they allowed a first half lead to evaporate right at the start of the second.
Andreas Weimann’s glancing header from a Niclas Eliasson cross levelled it and then Eliasson himself – on as a half-time sub - slipped the ball under Dillon Phillips to give the visitors the lead.
But Bonne took his goal tally for the season to eight when he took advantage of some dithering after playing a one-two with Lyle Taylor in the penalty area – firing into the roof of the net.
He showed the same kind of opportunism in the face of generous defending just before the break, latching onto a long ball from Albie Morgan and a kind bounce to lift the ball over the advancing keeper and into the net.
With the late equaliser at QPR a few days ago, and now this win, Charlton can perhaps regroup with a sense of optimism about the second half of the season – even if uncertainty remains about the ownership and the future of Taylor, who is a potential target for other Championship clubs.
Bowyer admitted a win was perhaps a little fortunate given the way the visitors swamped the Addicks during a purple patch for 20 minutes after the break. But he also said beating City was an achievement from which they should be able to take great heart,
He said: “There have been games where we’ve deserved the three points and they’ve not come our way. Today, did we deserve the three points? I thought it was quite an even game.
“We went 2-1 behind without really doing anything wrong, but that’s the difference in this league, you get punished. But the players just kept going and going. Their will to win is great.
“Bristol city are a team that should be in the top six this season – so let’s not underestimate what we’ve just done.”
Line-up: Phillips – Matthews, Lockyer, Pratley, Sarr – Morgan (Pearce 86), Gallagher (Purrington 52), Oshilaja, Doughty (Solly 90) – Taylor, Bonne. Subs not used: Mynard-Brewer, Ledley, Dempsey, Davison