Charlton's stunning second-half show swats hapless AFC Wimbledon aside in east-west derby
Charlton Athletic 5 AFC Wimbledon 2
Charlton recovered from a two-goal burst from AFC Wimbledon just before half-time to claim all three points in a rip-roaring cross-London derby.
The Addicks were totally dominant in the second half and cashed in on some abject defending, which will worry Dons boss Glyn Hodges.
Addicks manager Lee Bowyer made two key substitutions early in the second half and both were involved in swinging the game decisively back in the home side’s favour with two goals in a minute just past the hour.
First, Chuks Aneke’s shot paved the way for Jake Forster-Caskey to make it 2-2, then Jonny Williams swept in a low shot in the very next attack to restore the Charlton lead.
Aneke punished more shocking defending with five minutes to go, firing home a left-footer which two defenders could not keep out.
And as if that was not enough, Ben Purrington came on for the last knockings and was on hand to stab in from a yard after a Williams shot had come back off the inside of a post.
Once again, the porous nature of the Dons’ rearguard was all too evident. They shipped four last week to Bristol Rovers at Plough Lane and looked all at sea at the back.
But Charlton have got the scoreboard moving again and are back up to fifth in the table. For them, things are looking up.
Wimbledon stunned the Addicks with their two-goal burst before the break, having trailed briefly to a Conor Washington goal on 37 minutes.
The Charlton striker raced onto a pass from skipper Jason Pearce and cut inside Terell Thomas before arcing a perfect shot into the far corner beyond Connal Trueman for his sixth of the campaign.
But an equally polished finish from Joe Pigott levelled it up five minutes later – the Dons marksman being given too much time on the edge of the box to turn back onto his right foot and curl a shot past Ben Amos for his 11th of the season.
The Addicks were still licking their wounds when Alex Woodyard collected a pass wide on the left and crossed for an unmarked Daniel Cskoa to head home at the far post on the stroke of half-time.
For the home fans – admitted back at the Valley for only the second time since spectators were allowed back – it was deflating after all the initial verve and optimism that accompanied the belting out of the Valley Floyd Road mantra.
But the mood quickly changed as the action resumed. Marcus Maddison, at last showing glimpses of the form expected of him since his move from Peterborough, came close to making it 2-2 at the start of the second half with a rasping drive that Trueman did well to palm over.
And that close-call roused the home fans at the Covered End, who sensed their side was finally building momentum and looking threatening. Williams and Aneke came on before the hour was out, and the tide was about to turn.
The Addicks scored twice in a minute to regain the lead in the 65th minute. It was all-square when Forster- Caskey was on hand to tap in after Trueman had kept out an Aneke shot with his legs, but only succeeded in putting the ball back into the danger zone.
Then, Chris Gunter’s roll back into the area from the right wrong-footed a retreating Dons defence and Williams swept in a low shot into the bottom corner for his first goal at the Valley.
There was still icing to come on this particular cake.
It was a dish fitting for owner Thomas Sandgaard, who received a warm ovation from Charlton fans when he walked the touchline before kick-off and his name was chanting again by appreciative supporters before the end.
Charlton: Amos – Maatsen, Pearce, Pratley, Gunter – Gilbey (Wiliams 53), Forster-Caskey, Watson, Maddison (Purrington 84) – Washington (Oshilaja 89), Bogle (Aneke 53). Subs not used: Maynard-Brewer, Levitt, Matthews
AFC Wimbledon: Trueman – Thomas (Nightingale 71), Heneghan, Cskoa (Palmer 84) – McLoughlin, Woodyard, Hartigan (Reilly 70), Rudoni (Chislett 70), Seddon – Longman, Pigott. Subs not used: Guinness-Walker, Alexander, Tzanev