By Gerry Prewett.
Looking back at games between Rovers and Charlton the record 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, so 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 London Rovers have won just 4 games, there have been 7 draws and 19 Charlton victories. Rovers last victory at the Valley was nearly 50 years ago when they came away from South London with a 3-2 win on 29 March 1958, Geoff Bradford, Barrie Meyer and John McIlvenny scored for the away team and Stuart Leary and John Summers notched for the home team to keep a 20,000 crowd entertained in a Division 2 game.
In those intervening years Rovers have made 19 visits to the Valley, they have lost 14 games and drawn 5 with a goal record of 23 scored and 51 conceded. On five occasions they have let in four goals and three of those have come in the last six visits.
On 2 January 2017 Jermaine Easter opened the scoring on 12 minutes as he rounded the keeper and found an empty net. Magennis brought the scores level on 41 minutes as he nodded home from Joe Aribo’s free-kick. Within five minutes of the resumption of the second half the same duo combined to give the home team the lead. Jorge Teixeira scored from another Aribo delivery before Magennis completed his hat-trick with a shot past Will Puddy.
Rovers last visit to the Valley was on 24 November 2018. The home team took a 10thminute lead when Jed Steer's long clearance was latched on to by Jamie Ward, who burst through on goal before coolly lofting the ball over Jack Bonham.
The Gas should have been back on terms but Tom Nichols was just unable to apply a vital touch to Stefan Payne's dangerous low cross. However, they did not have long to wait to draw level as Joe Martin drilled an unstoppable left-footed effort from 20 yards beyond the reach of Steer on the half-hour mark.
Rovers pushed on and Liam Sercombe tried his luck with a long-range volley that flew just off target and then Steer produced an excellent reaction save from Ollie Clarke.
Nicky Ajose was denied at the other end by Bonham moments later and saw a free-kick deflected inches wide of the post just before the break.
Rovers' hopes of going in level were cruelly dashed on the stroke of half-time as some sloppy defending was punished by Joe Aribo's close-range header to restore the Addicks' advantage.
Patrick Bauer headed wide after the restart and Ajose was just behind Ward's inviting pull back on the hour as Charlton looked to move further clear.
Steer had to be alert to deal with Sercombe's volley at the other end and the Rovers midfielder blazed an effort well off target four minutes from time to sum up a disappointing second-half display from the visitors.
Charlton wrapped it up deep into injury time as Karlan Grant capitalised on Bonham's decision to go up for a corner when he was set clear to fire into an empty net.