Bristol Rovers secured their first League One win of the season in a thrilling 2-1 victory over Charlton at the Valley on Tuesday evening. The match was decided by Luke McCormick’s stoppage-time heroics, as his dramatic strike sealed the three points for Rovers.
The game saw the return of Rovers manager Joey Barton to the touchline after a three-game absence. Debutant Harvey Vale started on the bench for the Gas.
Charlton had the upper hand in the tightly contested first half. Corey Blackett-Taylor came close with a left-footed shot that narrowly missed the target, and Karoy Anderson’s corner nearly found the back of the net but hit the crossbar.
Rovers took the lead in the 58th minute when Scott Sinclair capitalized on Ashley Maynard-Brewer’s save from an Antony Evans free-kick. Sinclair turned in the rebound from close range after Aaron Collins set him up.
Rovers had opportunities to extend their lead five minutes later. Sinclair beat the offside trap but narrowly missed with a lob, and John Marquis was denied by a goal-line clearance from Lucas Ness after rounding Maynard-Brewer.
Charlton fought back, with 18-year-old Daniel Kanu scoring his first league goal in the 73rd minute, finding the back of the net past goalkeeper Matthew Cox from Anderson’s pass.
Tempers flared as Rovers substitute Josh Grant was only shown a yellow card for a challenge on Alfie May, which led to Charlton manager Dean Holden receiving a booking.
In the seventh minute of added time, McCormick became the hero for Rovers. He chested down Grant Ward’s pass inside the box and volleyed it into the net beyond Maynard-Brewer at his near post, securing the dramatic victory for Bristol Rovers.
Charlton: Maynard-Brewer, Asiimwe, Jones (Hector 76), Ness, Edun (Thomas 84), Dobson (c), Camará, Anderson (Taylor 76), Payne (Kanu 64), Blackett-Taylor, May.
Bristol Rovers: Cox, Hoole, Taylor, Crama, Gordon (Grant 64), Evans (Loft 83), Ward, Collins, Thomas (Vale 64), Sinclair (Finley 64), Marquis (c) (McCormick 89).