Charlton scrambled to three points in their first game in the new Sky Bet League One season. It was far from being an easy victory as the home side were hamstrung by the sending off of Lee Novak after just six minutes.
A clumsy tackle, after a even clumsier first touch, saw the Addicks on the back foot from the off.
But the side dug in grinding out a gutsy 1-0 win over Bristol Rovers thanks to Patrick Bauer’s header from a Ricky Holmes free-kick.
It was imperative Charlton started this season with a win against such unfancied opposition.
But what was equally important were the performances of the new signings.
Tariqe Fosu exuded class wide on the right, causing Rovers all sorts of problems. Billie Clarke in the No.10 role looks determined in a Garry Nelson style.
If that was a glimpse into the real player then he won’t let the side down this season.
Ben Amos in goal still has to prove himself after some shaky handling but he did keep a clean sheet.
Alongside the incomers was the returning Jay Dasilva, who took up where he left off last season.
The full-back from Chelsea is more than capable in defence and exciting at the other end of the pitch.
He worked brilliantly with Ricky Holmes down the left-hand side and the duo will torment many League One sides this season.
Chris Solly, Jason Pearce and Bauer completed a dependable defensive line-up which looked impenetrable for most of this game.
And in front of them Jake Forster-Caskey rarely put a foot wrong in what had to be a defensive minded performance.
How we missed Kashi
But the man who stood out, forgotten after a year and a half with an Achilles injury, was Ahmed Kashi .
There’s more than a touch of Radostin Kishishev about the tough tackling midfielder.
Tucked in just in front of the central defence, the 28-year-old is worth two players. How Charlton missed him last season when they needed a backbone.
His all-action style is the key to allowing the three in a 4-2-3-1 to play with their such flair.
Charlton now need to keep Kashi fit - but that’s no mean feat considering he’s only played 11 games in the last two season.
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