Lukas Jutkiewicz grabbed the only goal of the game as ‘Boro took an important three points at the Valley. A 72nd minute headed winner secured victory for the Teessiders and left the Addicks still searching for their first points of the 2013/14 campaign.
Following a period of sustained pressure, the Addicks’ defence crumbled and a horrible mix-up between goalkeeper Hamer and Yann Kermorgant allowed the 6’1” target man to nod into an unguarded net.
Not many could argue that the win was deserved on the balance of play however, with a game of few clear cut chances 0-0 would not have been a surprise result.
Josef Varga tested Ben Hamer within the opening minute, a low drive stung the ‘keeper’s palms and was gathered at the second attempt. Further, a pattern of play emerged with ‘Boro able to exploit frailties in the Addicks’ midfield. A series of potshots resulted but neither side were able to work a clear goalscoring opportunity in the first 45 minutes.
Marvin Sordell fired over the bar for the Addicks on the stroke of half time. Shortly before, Jonathan Woodgate was penalised for a foul in front of the Covered End as Albert Adomah’s hooked volley crashed against the crossbar.
After threatening for the first time just shy of the hour mark, the Addicks’ sensed an opportunity to open up the ‘Boro backline. The introduction of playmaker Dale Stephens gave the Addicks the impetus needed and for a brief spell, Jason Steele’s goal was under threat. Danny Green came closest for the Addicks, following good work from Callum Harriott down the left wing, but a good first touch evaded him and the ‘Boro ‘keeper was able to close down the angle.
At the other end, the Teessiders sensed blood themselves and with the game stretched, George Friend surged down the left flank and whizzed a low drive across the six yard box. Unfortunately for the travel fans, there was no-one in a Royal Blue shirt to make decisive contact.
They wouldn't have to wait long. The decisive goal came following a corner. The reds’ defence failed to clear their lines and when the influential Josef Varga looped the ball back into the six yard box, the aforementioned mix-up laid the ball on a plate for Jutkiewicz to grab his third goal in as many games this season.
There was no real fight back from the Addicks in the twenty minutes that remained and despite substitute Simon Church’s best efforts, his teammates weren't able to force substitute goalkeeper Jayson Leutwiler into significant action.
CAFC: Hamer; Solly, Wiggins; Morrison, Dervite; Green (Wilson 77), Gower, Jackson (Stephens 46), Harriott; Kermorgant, Sordell (Church 77).
Subs (not used): Pope, Evina, Cort, Pigott.
Boro: Steele (Leutwiler 77); Richardson, Friend, Woodgate, Williams; Leadbitter (Smallwood 83), Varga, Whitehead; Adomah, Carayol (Emnes 90), Jutkiewicz72.
Subs (not used): Parnaby, Gibson, Ledesma, Main.