Gallagher goal enough as Charlton edge out Brentford
The promoted Addicks continue their impressive start to the season.
Conor Gallagher’s first-half goal maintained Charlton’s unbeaten start to the new Sky Bet Championship campaign with a 1-0 London derby victory over Brentford.
The visitors were the better team for long periods but it was Gallagher’s strike which ultimately proved the difference at a sweltering Valley as promoted Charlton went second in the table.
Sergi Canos almost capitalised on confusion in the Charlton box between goalkeeper Dillon Phillips and defender Ben Purrington in the 10th minute only to blaze wildly over.
Canos should have broken the deadlock two minutes later but instead headed over despite being completely unmarked.
Brentford continued to look dangerous and were unfortunate to see another Canos effort go close, this time the Spaniard placing an effort from just outside the box agonisingly wide.
Tom Lockyer made an excellently-timed challenge in the box after 21 minutes to stop Emiliano Marcondes picking out Canos, while Ollie Watkins’ long-range attempt flew over the bar.
The Addicks were forced into an early switch after Deji Oshilaja was forced off by injury in the 32nd minute and replaced by George Lapslie.
Despite all their first-half dominance, Brentford fell behind four minutes before the interval from what was the Addicks’ only real attempt on goal up until that point.
Jonny Williams did well to win the ball and then set Gallagher through on goal, with the on-loan Chelsea youngster confidently smashing home beyond David Raya.
Purrington was well placed to block Henrik Dalsgaard’s stoppage-time effort to ensure the hosts went in at the break with their advantage still intact.
Charlton looked much more threatening from the restart.
Gallagher placed a header straight at Raya early in the second half and Lyle Taylor was within inches of connecting with a dangerous Purrington delivery.
Brentford continued to look dangerous, however, and Phillips produced an excellent fingertip save from Watkins on the hour to preserve the home side’s narrow lead.
Jason Pearce made a timely clearance to thwart Marcones at the expense of a corner and then Phillips gathered Dalsgaard’s 63rd-minute header.
A well-worked Brentford attack ended disappointingly as Dalsgaard shot well over the bar from outside the area after 74 minutes.
Dalsgaard’s frustration was compounded moments later when he picked up a yellow card for a foul on Taylor as the Addicks striker threatened to burst clear.
Phillips was alert to push away Mathias Jensen’s 25-yard drive in the 85th minute and then Pearce produced yet another vital block again on Marcondes inside the box.
Brentford sent up keeper Raya for an injury-time free-kick and the ball fell to the unmarked Said Benrahma, whose effort sailed harmlessly behind.
There was more woe for the visitors when a trio of shots were blocked by Charlton’s gallant defence.