Gateshead 0 Charlton 2 (Stockley 30 54)
After seeing off Aston Villa's youngsters in the Papa John Trophy at The Valley on Tuesday, Charlton's attention switched further north as second round FA Cup visitors to Gateshead in front of ITV's cameras on Friday evening. Driven by Johnnie Jackson's refreshing attitude to Cup football, they're becoming unlikely knockout specialists.
Without a posh chap in their line-up, Gateshead (or the Heed as they're known locally) stand for solidly working class values. Nothing wrong, of course, with the kind of aristocratic polish supplied by the likes of Villa's Finley Thorndike or Jaden Philogene-Bidace, elegant coves who run you ragged while sporting figurative topper, tails and a cane. But Mike Williamson's belts-and-braces blokes were primed and ready for Charlton's visit. ITV had clearly chosen this tie for its giant-killing potential and despite the Addicks' excellent Cup record against lower league opposition, they smelled upset in the frigid Tyneside air.
The bulk of the pre-match attention centred on the plucky underdogs, though ex-Addick Graham Stuart stood up gamely for his former club. His fellow pundit Chris Waddle smugly assumed a Heed victory was a better than even shot, while irksome co-commentator Jermaine Beckford was unapologetically in the black-and-white corner. Until, needless to say, Charlton scored for a second time.
Before that point was reached, the visitors lived dangerously. Had their hosts not regularly froze in front of goal, we might have been recounting a totally different outcome. Disastrous finishing let them down on several key occasions, the earliest of them the third minute drive which Cedwyn Scott sent into the sidenet from a promising position. Scott's effort, viewed alongside later attempts, was a comparative model of accuracy; the Tynesiders got in behind Charlton's rearguard with alarming frequency to set up clearcut chances but just as regularly missed the target. Cows, backsides and banjos spring to mind.
Scott's near thing was followed by the mess made by top scorer Macaulay Langstaff of a golden chance laid on for him by Adam Campbell. Receiving Campbell's cross beyond the far post, Langstaff took a steadying touch before blasting haplessly over the bar. Minutes later, he was handed a lesson in ruthlessness as Charlton eased into the lead.
Switching from defence to attack by surging into the home half, hard running Akin Famewo's clever chip found Conor Washington making ground in the inside left channel. Stop-start acceleration disposed of Washington's marker on his way to the byline and made space for a deliberately shortened cross aimed for Jayden Stockley' blond head. Showing scant regard for the advancing vintage of co-managers Williamson and Gregg Olley, the onrushing striker deposited them both, ball and all, into the net behind Jake Chapman.
Stockley's opener was to prove decisive though the Addicks were never in a position of comfort. They continued to be vulnerable to counter-attack and were prised open by Olley's delivery which picked out Campbell in space to the left of goal. The latter's left-footed drive was parried by Stephen Henderson, with the rebound falling conveniently on to his right foot. Campbell's second effort flew harmlessly wide of the target and the Addicks had survived again, more by luck than judgement.
For a second time, the Heed paid a bitter price for their profligacy, as the visitors doubled their lead on 54 minutes. The architect of Charlton's clincher was Diallang Jaiyesimi, who was beginning to fade after an impressive first half. The winger's dinked centre was met by Ben Purrington's instant shot on the turn and appeared to have extended the left back's recent burst of scoring. An unwitting deflection off Stockley said otherwise.
Still Gateshead, to their credit, refused to surrender. Sent through by Williams' pass, Langstaff fired horribly wide but by the time Henderson saved miraculously from substitute Jack Hunter and Louis Storey, with Williamson's header rebounding off the woodwork, Jackson's anything but soft Southerners had booked their place in the third round draw. It's already heady stuff as well as unfamiliar territory. Shame Charlton's league commitments get in the way.
Charlton: Henderson, Clare, Elewere, Famewo, Purrington (Souare 81), Gilbey, Dobson, Lee (Morgan 66), Stockley, Washington (Davison 73), Jaiyesimi (Leko 73). Not used: McGillivray, Gunter, Arter, Watson, Kirk.
Referee: Tom Reeves.