Charlton 2-0 Middlesbrough: Hosts win after protest against owners
By Mark Crellin
Last Updated: 13/03/16 9:13pm
Charlton gave their Championship survival hopes a welcome boost with a 2-0 victory over promotion-chasing Middlesbrough on a bizarre afternoon at The Valley.
The match was overshadowed by off-the-field issues surrounding both clubs, as Charlton fans protested against the reign of unpopular owner Roland Duchatelet before, during and after the contest.
But the supporters who walked out in the 74th minute missed out on seeing their side wrap up just a seventh league win of the season, thanks to second-half goals from Jorge Teixeira and Callum Harriott.
As for Boro, they remain second but have won just three of their last 11 and are apparently without a manager, Aitor Karanka absent from the bench in south London and seemingly on his way out of the club after a bust-up with his players.
Assistant boss Steve Agnew took charge of the Boro side but had to wait a while for the match to begin in earnest as the home fans disrupted proceedings by throwing black and white beach balls onto the pitch.
The Addicks supporters had already staged a mock funeral prior to the game, marking the 'death' of their club, and the beach ball protest held up play for three or four minutes just after kick-off.
The passion of the fans was not really matched on the pitch during a fairly subdued first half in which chances were thin on the ground.
And when Boro's Gaston Ramirez did try to burst into the box, he stopped upon hearing a whistle, only to discover the sound had come from the stands rather than the referee.
Charlton fans continued to blow whistles throughout the remainder of the game, lending proceedings a surreal atmosphere at times.
Meanwhile, Ramirez and Charlton's Ademola Lookman had long-range efforts comfortably saved at either end, before Boro almost took the lead just before the break.
Emilio Nsue did well down the right and sent over a great cross which Rod Fanni diverted towards his own goal, only for Nick Pope to pull off a fine reaction save.
Boro then began the second half brightly but continued to struggle against a resolute Charlton defence and found themselves behind in the 57th minute.
Man of the match Jordan Cousins had a shot deflected behind for a corner, and Johann Gudmundsson's cross was met by Teixeira, who sent a fine downward header powering into the net.
The visitors raised their efforts, Albert Adomah testing Pope and then shooting over the crossbar in quick succession, before Pope tipped a Ramirez free-kick over the top.
But Charlton remained lively on the break and another Gudmundsson cross caused chaos in the Boro box, Addicks sub Reza Ghoochannejhad appealing for a penalty as he crashed to the floor, before the alert Harriott latched onto the rebound after his own shot was blocked, and rifled a shot into the net as the defenders dawdled.
The Addicks remain five points adrift of safety but, despite the off-the-field distractions, they are showing clear signs of improvement under head coach Jose Riga.
But it has been a miserable week for Boro, who find themselves seven points behind leaders Burnley after defeats to a pair of teams who are currently in the drop zone, and the club's fans will now wait anxiously for further news on the managerial situation.