A stunning volley from Jay Stansfield to make it three goals in two games and a penalty slotted away by Sam Nombe were just not enough for City as they lost 4-2 on the road at Charlton Athletic.
Interim managers Kevin Nicholson and Jon Hill named an unchanged side from the fantastic victory in their previous game over Barnsley. The only addition to the squad from Saturday's win was Harry Kite who was back from injury after missing the previous four games.
In other news club captain Matt Jay remains absent from the match day squad following the birth of a healthy baby boy. Both baby and MJ’s partner Courtney-Red are doing well at home.
An early chance for Charlton inside the three minutes came from Crystal Palace loanee Jes Rak-Sakyi who cut in on his left foot past Jack Sparkes, but his effort sailed wide of Blackman’s far post. Only a minute later and this time Mandela Egbo had a chance to put the home side into the lead, but a combination of Sweeney and Hartridge sent the ball behind for a corner.
The first chance of the game for City fell after eight minutes and they found themselves in the Charlton penalty area. A lovely lofted through ball from Hartridge found the head of Nombe, whose cushioned header played in Caprice, his ball to the back post found last games match winner Stansfield but his header was put behind for a corner.
With 20 minutes played, The Addicks found themselves through on goal, after a short clearance from City, Charlton’s Miles Leaburn fought hard and smashed the ball into the back of net from the edge of the area, with the help of a wicked deflection from Hartridge.
Only minutes later and Charlton made it 2-0 with ex-City player Jayden Stockley heading past Blackman, with the help again of another deflection off Hartridge.
City were not rolling over and letting Charlton have all of the fun, as from that kick off the ball eventually made its way to Rekeem Harper who was the best part of 30 yards away from the goal, only for his thunderous strike to go just over the bar. Another shot on goal a couple moments later, this time from Harper's midfield partner Archie Collins was deflected behind for a corner.
With 37 minutes gone, City were amping up the pressure and then out of nowhere the ball fell to Stansfield on the edge of the area, he watched the ball fall out of the air and hit it first time, an absolute barn stormer of a strike almost breaking the goal as the ball hit the back of the net, sending the travelling Grecians into delirium.
Nombe with some great strength after being bundled to the grow, wins the ball back, lands a quick one-two with Sparkes, in turn winning the Nicho’s boys a corner. City were really upping the pressure in the final moments of the first half.
With the second half underway it was Hartridge who found himself weaving through the Charlton midfield, a pass out wide to Sparkes, then found Nombe in the middle who on the swivel sent the ball over the bar, but City had come out with intent and not to sit back and allow the pressure.
An excellent clearance courtesy of Josh Key, stopped Stockley from potentially getting his second of the game, with the ball out for a corner, Charlton kept on the pressure but with the ball pin balling in the area it eventually found its way into a thankful Blackman’s arms.
Some awesome play from Harper in the midfield found Stansfield through on goal, but a textbook tackle at the back from Charlton led to the ball being cleared away once again. That was Harpers last action of the game, with Nicho clearly wanting to change it up, so he made way for the returning Kite, a straight swap in the middle of the park.
With a break in play due to an injury to Charlton’s Leaburn, Ben Garner had the chance to make a double change with Leaburn and Steven Sessegnon being replaced by Albie Morgan and Sean Clare.
Jevani Brown with those magical feet had the Charlton defence twisting and turning all over the place after a jinxing run down the right hand side, but his searching all for Nombe never came off, instead winning a corner. Sparkes imminent set-piece was whipped into the box but could only find the head of a Charlton player and the ball was once again cleared away.
The chances keep coming but to no avail for the boys in blue, an absolute rocket of a shot left the foot of Sparkes only for the ball to cannon off the underside of the bar and away, the pressure was really being put on by City.
With only five minutes left of normal time to be played the newly introduced Chuks Aneke, slotted past Blackman to put the Addicks 3-1 up. Only moments later and Charlton were 4-1 up this time a ball to the back post found Jack Payne who smashed a header home.
In the dying embers of added time Nombe found himself in the penalty area baring down on goal, only for a Charlton defender to bundle him over. Stepping up the spot himself, Nombe reduced the deficit to 4-2.
City’s next game is back at home on Saturday 15 October, welcoming Oxford United to SJP. Please click here for ticket details.
City: Blackman, Caprice, Key, Sweeney (C), Hartridge, Sparkes (Chauke), Collins, Harper (Kite), Brown (Cox), Stansfield, Nombe
Subs not used: Brown, James, King, Smith
Charlton Athletic: Wollacott, Sessegnon (Clare), Dobson, O’Connell, Stockley (C) (Aneke), Kirk (Blackett-Taylor), Rak-Sakyi (Payne), Egbo, Fraser, Inniss, Leaburn (Morgan)
Subs not used: MacGillivray, McGrandles,
Referee: Craig Hicks
Attendance: 11,411 (833 away)