Charlton 3 (Lookman 34,83, Jackson 40) Scunthorpe United 1 (Hopper 52).
Kevin Nolan reports from The Valley.
An appreciative though tiny crowd, augmented by an impressive contingent from North Lincolnshire, was rewarded for its tenacity by a riproaring, full-blooded Cup tie which restored faith in a sadly devalued competition. At the end of a pulsating tie, it was, to local surprise and delight, Charlton who forwarded their name for inclusion in Monday's Second Round draw.
In what Russell Slade correctly identified as "a great advertisement for League One", both sides, each of them almost full-strength, delivered entertainment which warmed the cockles on a dank, chilly afternoon. And if Connor Townsend took "full-blooded" a shade too literally with a spiteful challenge on Ricky Holmes, which caused the speedster's withdrawal with a cut foot after just 27 minutes, that was the only blot on an otherwise beguiling landscape. With his squad already depleted at Swindon next week by the international commitments of Josh Magennis, Ademola Lookman and Jordan Botaka, Slade can ill-afford to lose Holmes. Fortunately, the prognosis is encouraging.
United's control of the opening exchanges was launched by Morgan Fox's crucial intervention to deny Paddy Madden an easy tap-in of Josh Morris' low cross, which was quickly followed by the first of several key saves by Declan Rudd from Kevin Van Veen. The Dutchman should then have fired his side into the lead but tamely scooped Scott Wiseman's perfect cutback over the bar from 10 yards.
With Holmes' limping departure before the half hour, the Irons seemed poised to exploit their early edge but substitute Ademola Lookman typically had other ideas. The explosive teenager pounced on a loose ball outside the penalty area, took a steadying touch and detonated an uninhibited drive into the top left corner. No fuss, no hesitation, no doubt it was netbound as the ball left his foot. Only recently turned 19, this kid is going places. Probably as early as January's transfer window, unhappily.
A glancing header from Magennis sent Nicky Ajose's fine cross narrowly wide but the Addicks were kept waiting only briefly before increasing their lead. The enterprise of Fox and Lookman on the left set up a blocked opportunity for Johnnie Jackson, who crisply returned the rebound through a thicket of legs into the bottom right corner. Before the break, Rudd's capable save from Townsend's low bullet protected the lead.
Rudd was in fine form and alertly foiled Tom Hopper after the substitute was played in by Van Veen soon after resumption, then parried magnificently at his near post as the Dutch danger man shot venomously from a tight angle. The visitors continued to turn the screw and deservedly reduced their deficit almost immediately. A short corner routine involving Duane Holmes and Morris on the left improved the angle for the latter to swing in an accurate cross, which was neatly headed home by Hopper.
The bit now firmly between their teeth, the Iron urgently hunted an equaliser. They came dangerously close when Holmes deflected snapshot cannoned off a post, Van Veen's rebound was superbly saved by Rudd and the victimised Van Veen screwed a third despairing effort wide.
It wasn't completely one-way traffic and Magennis seized on an errant backpass but was squeezed out by an alert Luke Daniels. At the other end, the lively Morris curled narrowly wide before Jackson's heroic block thwarted Luke Williams. With a clinching goal by now vital, Lookman duly delivered.
A quietly efficient contribution from Andrew Crofts was capped by his sturdy retrieval of possession in the centre circle and the short pass which sent Fredrik Ulvestad sprinting directly at the heart of Scunthorpe's retreating defence. Ignoring the option of Kevin Foley to his right, the brilliant Danish playmaker chose instead the perfect time to release Lookman to his left. The youngster's shot on the run found the net off the advancing Daniels' right hand and Charlton had claimed their place as the No. 37 ball in Monday's draw. It must be remembered, of course, that they are still one round short of last season's accomplishment in reaching Round Three. And they could yet wind up being eliminated from the FA Cup twice in the same calendar year. Perspective must be maintained.
Beaten but far from disgraced, Scunthorpe are now free to consolidate their position on top of League One.Their conquerors, meanwhile, are entitled, to savour a rousing, fully committed performance, to which every player contributed. Rudd was magnificent; Chris Solly's deputy Foley survived one daft backpass to do his bit; rocklike centre back Patrick Bauer was on hand to support the occasional lapses of promising young partner Ezri Konsa; Fox and Crofts silenced a few more of their noisy detractors; the unsinkable Jackson, with yet another key goal, did likewise; Ulvestad was unknown locally before he arrived on loan from Burnley, which is hardly the case now; Holmes was beginning to torment the visitors before Townsend thoughtfully eliminated his influence, while Lookman mercilessly stepped up to punish the indiscretion; up front, Magennis was his usual tireless, selfless influence, while Ajose is beginning to show signs of finding that elusive goal touch. The parts are falling into place; the whole, based on Saturday's exhilarating display, could be an awkward proposition for all-comers in League One.
Charlton: Rudd, Foley, Bauer, Konsa, Fox, Holmes (Lookman 27), Crofts, Ulvestad, Jackson (Botaka 89), Magennis, Ajose (Novak 73). Not used: Phillips, Chicksen, Lennon, Texeira. Booked: Bauer.
Scunthorpe: Daniels, Wiseman, Wallace, Dawson, Goode, Morris, Smallwood (Mantom 77), Townsend, Van Veen, Holmes (Williams 67), Madden (Hopper 42). Not used: Anyon, Mirfin, Adelakun, Clarke. Booked: Townsend, Van Veen, Williams.
Referee: Christopher Sarginson. Att: 4123 (682 visiting).