Bristol Rovers 1 - 5 Charlton Athletic
Attendance: 8,089 (411 away)
Visitors Charlton Athletic score goals at crucial times in both halves to record a five-one victory over Rovers at the Mem.
Bristol Rovers boss Darrell Clarke made five changes to take on Charlton Athletic, with Byron Moore, Chris Lines, Cristian Montano, Matty Taylor and Rory Gaffney coming into the starting eleven, at the expense of Ollie Clarke, Hiram Boateng, Charlie Colkett, Jermaine Easter and Ellis Harrison.
In the tentative opening exchanges, Rovers almost manufactured a half-chance when a neat flick by Stuart Sinclair on the edge area almost ran into the path of Matty Taylor, but Charlton 'keeper Dillion Phillips was quick to advance off his line to gather the loose ball.
Rovers registered their first shot on target when a pinpoint chipped pass by Chris Lines was poorly cleared by the visitors, which allowed Matty Taylor to gather the ball and drive into the area unchallenged before attempting to place a shot into the net, but the striker was denied by the outstretched legs of Dillon Phillips.
The home side found themselves a goal down midway through the first-half, when Charlton broke high up the field following a direct pass forward, with the high ball being knocked down into the path of Lookman by Magennis, with winger Lookman hitting an effort from twenty-five yards out that took a slight deflection on its route into the back of the net, which took the ball past Kelle Roos.
A deep cross by Lee Brown sparked an attacking response for Rovers, with his pass being recycled by Byron Moore at the far-post, with the winger able to direct a driven pass across the face of goal that was touched towards goal by Matty Taylor, who's close-range effort was tipped dramatically over the crossbar by 'keeper Phillips, only for play to be brought back for a handball by the Rovers forward.
Charlton had a golden opportunity to double their lead when a Josh Magennis latched onto a well-timed pass that split the Rovers back four and the striker was able to lure Kelle Roos off his line before chipping the ball over the 'keeper but his effort was deflected away from goal by the covering Tom Lockyer.
In the lead up to the break, Rovers created opportunities to bring the scores back level, with Chris Lines sending a dangerous whipped corner into the box from the right which was met by Jake Clarke-Salter who sent a powerful header towards goal which took a slight deflection that diverted his effort onto the post and behind from a corner. From the resulting corner, Lines again produced an excellent cross which was met once more by Clarke-Salter, who's powerful header from ten yards was tipped over the crossbar. Rovers third corner in quick succession was turned back into the area by Stuart Sinclair, with Matty Taylor picking up the loose ball and hitting a powerful effort on goal that was turned away by Dillion Phillips.
Just prior to the break Charlton doubled their lead, as a direct cross into the Rovers box was aimed at the far-post where Adam Chicksen was able to angle the ball back across the face of goal and Josh Magennis was on hand to tap the ball home from close-range
At the break Rovers made a double change, introducing Charlie Colkett and Peter Hartley to the game, replacing Cristian Montano and Byron Moore. The substitutions meant that Rovers headed into the second half with the centre-back trio of Lockyer, Hartley and Clarke-Salter, pushing Lee Brown and Daniel Leadbitter into more advanced positions.
Just four minutes into the second half, Charlton extended their lead when a corner from the right by the first-half goalscorer Ademola Lookman was connected with emphatically by Patrick Bauer who headed the ball into the net at some pace, with Kelle Roos unable to make the save on the line to prevent the goal.
Ellis Harrison was introduced and found himself in the thick of the action immediately, with Daniel Leadbitter knocking the ball past left-back Morgan Fox and cutting the ball back to Harrison, only for the striker to blaze the ball over the crossbar from just inside the area.
Defender Jake Clarke-Salter was forced to leave the field on a stretcher with thirty minutes left on the clock after the youngster looked to have picked up a knock to his shoulder. With Rovers already making all three substitutions, they were forced to play out the remainder of the game with ten men.
With just over fifteen minutes left in the game, a long-ball forward was taken down by Ellis Harrison and fed through to Matty Taylor, with the striker taking a touch before firing a low effort that bounced wide of the right-hand post.
In the 77th minute, the visitors added a fourth goal, with left-winger Adam Chicksen cutting infield and sending a curling effort on target that took a deflection off the outstretched leg of Tom Lockyer, which diverted the ball past as Kelle Roos who was rooted to the spot and only able to get his fingertips to the effort.
Nicky Ajose provided a fifth goal for Charlton just six minutes before the final whistle, with the striker sending a well-placed powerful effort from outside the area into the bottom corner of the net to cap off the scoring for the visitors.
Rovers scored a late consolation goal when Rory Gaffney was bundled down the in the area by 'keeper Dillon Phillips. Matty Taylor converted the resulting penalty, sending the ball straight down the middle from the spot after Phillips had dived to his right.
Next up for Rovers is a trip to the Proact Stadium to take on Chesterfield United this coming Saturday.
Rovers: Kelle Roos; Daniel Leadbitter, Tom Lockyer (C), Jake Clarke-Salter, Lee Brown; Byron Moore (45' Charlie Colkett), Chris Lines, Stuart Sinclair (50' Ellis Harrison), Cristian Montano (45' Peter Hartley), Matty Taylor, Rory Gaffney.
Substitutes: Will Puddy (GK), Ollie Clarke, Billy Bodin, Jermaine Easter.
Charlton: Dillon Phillips (G), Kevin Foley, Adam Chicksen (85' Johnnie Jackson), Patrik Bauer, Ademola Lookman (77' Jordan Botaka), Andrew Crofts (C), Josh Magennis (73' Brandon Hanlan), Nicky Ajose, Jason Pearce, Fredrik Ulvestad, Morgan Fox
Subs: Dimitar Mitov (G), Ezri Konsa, Harry Lennon, Jorge Teixeira