By Gerry Prewett.
The record of games between Rovers and Charlton is very even and dates right back to Rovers' first season in Division 3 (South). In those seasons the games were played on opposite week-ends, Rovers won the first ever game at Eastville 4-2 on 10 September 1921 and the Addicks won the London game 2-0 one week later. In the Eastville game the scorers were, James Liddell, Jerry Morgan, Joe Walter and a David Steele penalty for Rovers and Bert Green and Alex Steele for Charlton. Bill Cox scored both goals for the home team at the Valley.
In total there has been 64 games, with Rovers winning 22 and Charlton 23 with 19 draws.
Perhaps the most memorable game of all between the clubs occurred on 18 November 1978 when the two undefeated teams clashed at Eastville. Rovers had won all 7 of their opening home games and Charlton had the best away record in the entire League. Charlton took the lead from Dick Tydemen on 15 minutes, then Rovers scored twice to go in front. On 31 minutes Paul Randall equalised and 3 minutes later he has scored again. The Addicks scored twice to take a 3-2 lead. The first was on 41 minutes as Martin Robinson headed in a Peacock free-kick and Peacock was the provider three minutes later with a dangerous run saw him slip Mick Flanigan in. Just as the second half started a Phil Bater error gifted Flanigan his second goal and his team a 4-2 lead.
David Williams pulled a goal back for 4-3. On 63 minutes Robinson darted through Rovers defence to give the away team a two goal lead. On 66 minutes Randall was there again for a tap in after keeper Jeff Wood had parried a shot. Two minutes later Paul Hendrie was brought down in the box and David Williams blasted home the resulting penalty
Following the game Bobby Gould commented that Father Christmas had arrived early, there were that many gifts around. Everyone in attendance knew what he meant as some of the goals were gifts. What was even more remarkable was that there were no goals in the last 22 minutes.
On 7 April 2018, Rovers took a 21st minute lead after an error by Charlton skipper Jason Pearce, whose header back to goalkeeper Ben Amos lacked sufficient pace and Kyle Bennett nipped in to shoot home from close range.
Just before half-time the scores were level as Ben Reeves exchanged passes with Sullay Kaikai on the edge of the box and saw his shot brush the leg of Lee Brown to beat the dive of Sam Slocombe. The game ended up 1-1.
The Addicks last visit to the Mem was on 16 March 2019. Charlton goalkeeper Dillon Phillips produced one of the saves of the season to deny the Gas. Jonson Clarke-Harris thought he had broken the deadlock with a well-struck 37th minute free-kick from just outside the box but, with the ball bound for the bottom corner, Phillips dived full length to make a magnificent stop with his left hand.
Both goalkeepers distinguished themselves in a match dominated by the strong wind. Rovers' Jack Bonham dived to his right to keep out a 43rd-minute drive from Igor Vetokele after the striker had been put through by Josh Cullen's pass.
Cullen had the ball in the net on the stroke of half-time, but his close-range effort was ruled out by a flag for offside. And Rovers substitute Alex Jakubiak suffered the same fate when netting from a JCH pass near the end.