Sheron on target

Stoke City 1 Charlton Athletic 0
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The Independent Online
Mike Sheron celebrated the birth of his son by scoring the goal which earned Stoke a first victory in seven matches last night. It was tough on Charlton whose neat passing gave them control for long spells, but Sheron's 15th goal of the season had the hallmarks of a natural striker.

He reacted superbly to fire home from eight yards after Mike Salmon did well to beat out a first drive from Mark Stein in the 49th minute.

Charlton had started well and almost exposed Stoke's weakness at set pieces in the 12th minute when Phil Chapple fired too high following a Anthony Barness free-kick.

Stoke were lacking in confidence and the visitors sensed their fourth successive away win in the Nationwide First Division. Mark Kinsella had a shot well saved by Mark Prudhoe on the half hour as Stoke struggled to clear their lines. A Sheron shot, which flew hopelessly wide in the 43rd minute, summed up City's awful first-half display.

Charlton regained the initiative after Stoke's goal and their top scorer David Whyte missed narrowly with two efforts. But the visitors' misery was complete when Whyte had a last-gasp effort ruled out for offside.

Stoke City: Prudhoe; Pickering, Griffin, Sigurdsson, Whittle, Forsyth, McMahon, Wallace, Stein (Macari, 89), Sheron, Kavanagh (MacKenzie, 78). Substitute not used: Gayle.

Charlton Athletic: Salmon; Poole, Barness, O'Connell, Rufus, Chapple, Newton (Lisbie, 82), Leaburn, Robinson, Whyte, Kinsella. Substitutes not used: Robson, Brown.

Referee: R Poulain (Huddersfield).