MiddlesbroughMiddlesbrough1CharltonCharlton Athletic0

Middlesbrough 1-0 Charlton Athletic: George Saville's early goal enough to beat Addicks

George Saville celebrates scoring the opening goal
George Saville's goal was the Northern Ireland midfielder's first for Middlesbrough in eight months

A first-minute goal was enough for Middlesbrough to put a four-point gap between themselves and the Championship relegation places as they beat Charlton at the Riverside.

Boro needed just 52 seconds to score as George Saville pounced after Britt Assombalonga's shot had taken a deflection and Ashley Fletcher kept the ball alive.

The Addicks, who have won just twice in 14 games since mid-September, created no chances of note in a performance that will worry boss Lee Bowyer.

And Middlesbrough could have increased their lead as Marcus Tavernier, Hayden Coulson and Assombalonga all missed good opportunities to score.

The only positive for Charlton, who stay in 17th place, was that five-goal striker Lyle Taylor returned after more than three months out with injury as a half-time substitute.

Middlesbrough put their 4-0 hammering at high-flying Leeds behind them as they dominated the opening period, with teenage full-back Djed Spence impressing on his debut.

Saville almost doubled the lead after eight minutes, and Coulson came close to scoring after a defensive blunder.

It was more of the same after the break as Tavernier volleyed over from four yards after an hour and Dillon Phillips saved well as Fletcher went close late on for Boro, who moved up to 19th place.

Conor Gallagher had Charlton's best effort with 20 minutes to go, but having turned his man well and run into the penalty area, he curled an effort wide.

Middlesbrough boss Jonathan Woodgate:

"Djed (Spence) came in and did an absolutely fantastic job. I thought he was exceptional, and it's his place to lose now because of that performance.

"I just said, 'Get the ball Djed, and run'. It's not rocket science. It's quite simple messages you give these young kids, you don't have to complicate the game for them.

"I thought it could have been three or four nil. We dominated throughout, creating chances, and in the second half I thought we looked very dangerous on transition.

"When they had a bit of play, we soaked it up. It was a very pleasing result."

Charlton manager Lee Bowyer:

"It wasn't good enough. From the first whistle, they were better than us. There's not many times I've watched a game and we've been that poor.

"It's not like our side. Our side is normally fighting and competing, but they just looked nervous in possession, I've never seen them like that before.

"I'll just have to put it down to one of those bad experiences, I guess. We didn't win a second ball all day, we didn't stop crosses and we defended poorly for the goal.

"Conceding in the first minute? That can't happen. But I've been in charge for 18 months and this is really the first time I've had to question them like I have."



Formation 3-5-2

  • 42Pears
  • 16Howson
  • 4Ayala
  • 6Fry
  • 29Spence
  • 22Saville
  • 8Clayton
  • 7Tavernier
  • 33Coulson
  • 9AssombalongaSubstituted forWalkerat 64'minutes
  • 11FletcherBooked at 88mins


  • 1Mejias
  • 25Wood
  • 27Bola
  • 34Malley
  • 35O'Neill
  • 36Walker
  • 37Liddle


Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Phillips
  • 2Matthews
  • 4Oshilaja
  • 6Pearce
  • 3PurringtonSubstituted forMorganat 45'minutes
  • 11GallagherBooked at 54mins
  • 15PratleyBooked at 59mins
  • 16LedleySubstituted forTaylorat 45'minutes
  • 14LekoBooked at 67mins
  • 17Bonne
  • 45Doughty


  • 9Taylor
  • 19Morgan
  • 20Solly
  • 23Sarr
  • 30Maynard-Brewer
  • 44Davison
  • 46Vennings
Steve Martin

Match Stats

Home TeamMiddlesbroughAway TeamCharlton
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Middlesbrough 1, Charlton Athletic 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Middlesbrough 1, Charlton Athletic 0.

  3. Post update

    Hand ball by Marcus Tavernier (Middlesbrough).

  4. Post update

    Foul by Adam Matthews (Charlton Athletic).

  5. Post update

    George Saville (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Albie Morgan (Charlton Athletic).

  7. Post update

    Jonny Howson (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Attempt missed. Conor Gallagher (Charlton Athletic) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left following a corner.

  9. Post update

    Corner, Charlton Athletic. Conceded by Djed Spence.

  10. Post update

    Corner, Charlton Athletic. Conceded by Aynsley Pears.

  11. Post update

    Attempt saved. Albie Morgan (Charlton Athletic) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

  12. Post update

    Conor Gallagher (Charlton Athletic) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  13. Post update

    Foul by George Saville (Middlesbrough).

  14. Booking

    Ashley Fletcher (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  15. Post update

    Albie Morgan (Charlton Athletic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Ashley Fletcher (Middlesbrough).

  17. Post update

    Attempt saved. Conor Gallagher (Charlton Athletic) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Alfie Doughty.

  18. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Stephen Walker (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by George Saville.

  19. Post update

    Attempt missed. Stephen Walker (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by George Saville.

  20. Post update

    Corner, Charlton Athletic. Conceded by George Saville.

As It Stood

2West Brom19126136191742
4Bristol City209833328535
5Nottm Forest1996426161033
6Sheff Wed209562819932
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