Bolton is, for so many teams, something of a bogey place to play. By the same token, the Wanderers have found a least favourite location of their own. This was the second time Sam Allardyce's men have played at The Valley this season and in falling to their second defeat, helped lift the pressure on Charlton's manager, Iain Dowie, whose side thus progressed to the fourth round of the Carling Cup.
The chances are that when the Addicks score a goal it will be by someone with the name Bent on their shirt as Darren Bent has scored six so far this season. The only other contributor to their "goals for" column prior to this match was Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink with one. In the absence of Darren Bent, it was his namesake, Marcus, who scored the only goal. With 17 minutes gone, Hasselbaink looked up and saw his strike partner at the far post and the former Everton forward put his header past Ian Walker from eight yards.
If Dowie was looking for omens then the visit of Bolton was certainly an auspicious one. The only League win Charlton have chalked up this season was their home game against the Wanderers at the end of August. Thanks to Marcus Bent's strike here, they were not forced to rue the absence of the injured Darren, who scored both in that 2-0 win. "This has become an unlucky ground for us now," complained Allardyce, who also saw his side's run of five consecutive wins grind to a halt.
Both managers had rested six players after their weekend exertions. Crucially for the visitors, Allardyce was without his captain, Kevin Nolan, sent off on Sunday against Blackburn and who will also miss the local derbies with Manchester United and Wigan. He also chose to leave Nicolas Anelka at home and the Trotters clearly lacked the Frenchman's pace and ability to get past defenders.
Allardyce had selected a three-pronged attack, testament to the visitors' desire to try to see this game through in normal time, but there appeared no way through a Charlton team growing in confidence.
Having fallen behind, their best chance fell to Kevin Davies after almost an hour. He was through on goal but his powerfully struck shot was well saved by Thomas Myhre.
No doubt Davies was uppermost in his thoughts when Allardyce complained of missed chances. He said: "We should have won it, we had so many chances. I'm disappointed to create so much but not score. We've thrown it away."
Charlton's assistant manager, Les Reed, was as pleased with the clean sheet as the win: "If you get those you can concentrate on scoring. And this does take the pressure off Iain."
Charlton Athletic (4-4-2): Myhre; Young, El Karkouri (Sankofa, 83), Fortune, Hreidarsson; Hughes, Kishishev (Rommedahl, 88), Holland, Thomas (Ambrose, 40); Hasselbaink, M Bent. Substitutes not used: Andersen (gk), John.
Bolton Wanderers 4-3-3: Walker; Hunt, Ben Haim, Meite, Pedersen (Fojut, 73); Tal, Speed (Campo, 63), Andranik (Smith, 56); Stelios, Davies, Vaz Te. Substitutes not used: Al Habsi (gk), Jamieson.
Referee: D Gallagher (Oxfordshire).Reuse content