Oxford United have ended Charlton Athletic’s three-game winning run in Sky Bet League One with a 3-2 victory in a crazy match at The Valley.
Ahmed Kashi and Josh Magennis had twice put the home side ahead in SE7 but late goals from Todd Kane and Ryan Ledson saw the match completely turn on its head against all odds.
The first half saw plenty of early zip from the hosts as Tariqe Fosu forced a good save from United keeper Simon Eastwood with a driven shot across goal before Mark Marshall headed wide from a cross.
The visitors then nearly snatched the lead against the run of play as Jon Obika’s audacious strike from 20 yards struck the angle of the post and bar.
Charlton Athletic really should have scored just before the half hour mark when a pinpoint Magennis cross fell to Fosu but the player was unable to get any clear contact on the ball.
Oxford United were dealt a huge blow soon after when Obika left the field with an injury although Isaac Buckley-Ricketts was unfortunate not to profit from a defensive mix up to score on the stroke of half time as the first 45 minutes ended goalless.
The home side made a bright start to the second period and Oxford United keeper Eastwood had to stand firm to keep a powerful Magennis strike out of the net.
Joe Rothwell’s fierce long range drive for the visitors then flew over the bar before the same player’s lung-busting run set up substitute Malachi Napa who saw a low shot parried to safety by Ben Amos in the Charlton Athletic goal.
The deadlock was broken in the 63rd minute when some uncertain defending by Oxford United saw the home side win back possession. The ball found its way to Kashi who thumped a shot across Eastwood into the back of the net.
The Addicks then failed to make the most of some nervy Oxford United defending before the visitors levelled when substitute James Henry found space on the edge of the box to fire the ball past Amos. The match remained level for less than 60 seconds with Athletic regaining the lead from their next attack. Jay Dasilva’s clever work from the left saw the player fire a dangerous ball across the box for striker Magennis to end his barren run with a tap in.
An end-to-end close to the game saw a Buckley-Ricketts effort hit the post while Fosu had a penalty shout dismissed, although the referee looked to have made the right call.
Charlton Athletic seemed to have done enough to hold on for the three points until on loan Chelsea youngster Kane levelled matters again with a composed finish from 10 yards. Karl Robinson’s side’s anguish soon turned to utter despair in injury time when Ledson lashed in a winning goal from 20 yards to seal a superb comeback from Oxford United in caretaker boss Derek Fazackerley’s first league game in charge.