The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Matt Wright

CHARL­TON de­fied the form book to claim their first win in three months by soundly de­feat­ing Brent­ford, whose manager Mark War­bur­ton in­sisted the doubt over his fu­ture was no ex­cuse.

Novem­ber 8 was the last time the Ad­dicks basked in the glow of a victory and the end of this wretched run couldn’t have been more timely in their fight against be­ing dragged into the rel­e­ga­tion zone.

They hadn’t won in their pre­vi­ous 13 league games and hadn’t claimed three points at The Val­ley since Oc­to­ber but they were by far the more en­er­getic side from the out­set.

Hav­ing sur­passed ex­pec­ta­tions so far this sea­son, this was a sur­pris­ingly life­less per­for­mance from Brent­ford, which rounded off a dif­fi­cult week for War­bur­ton.

He said:“There are no ex­cuses at all – we trained well, we pre­pared well and there are no ex­cuses be­cause we have an hon­est group of play­ers.

“That was not Brent­ford, it was not our stan­dard be­cause we were slow to the ball, gave it away cheaply and made poor de­ci­sions in pos­ses­sion.

“Quite sim­ply we weren’t good enough but all credit to Charl­ton.”

War­bur­ton ex­pects his po­si­tion to be clar­i­fied shortly, af­ter re­ports emerged ear­lier in the week which sug­gested he could be re­placed as Bees boss.

He added: “I’m sure that there will be a state­ment early next week, but our job to the play­ers is to look af­ter them.

“We re­ceived great back­ing from the sup­port­ers and they de­served bet­ter than that but I’m sure there will be some clar­ity next week.”

The first op­por­tu­nity fell to Charl­ton when Jo­hann Berg Gud­munds­son’s low curler was dealt with not en­tirely con­vinc­ingly by Brent­ford goal­keeper David But­ton.

Af­ter dom­i­nat­ing the open­ing half-hour the Ad­dicks got their re­ward when Igor Ve­tokele found Gud­munds­son all alone on the right and the Ice­land in­ter­na­tional bent a su­perb ef­fort into the top cor­ner.

But­ton then pre­vented Ve­tokele from dou­bling the hosts’ lead three min­utes later when he saved with his feet at his near post.

Ve­tokele put day­light be­tween the sides in the sec­ond half when, with the Brent­ford de­fence all over the place, he was set up by Tony Watt to slide the ball into the net from close range.

Watt al­most had a goal for him­self that would have killed the game off but was de­nied by a fine save by a stretch­ing But­ton.

Charl­ton goal­keeper Stephen Hen­der­son wasn’t tested enough but did well with ten min­utes when he tipped Alex Pritchard’s free-kick over the bar as Brent­ford looked give them­selves hope late on.

But Charl­ton rounded off a su­perb day at the of­fice in stop­page time as Fred­eric Bu­lot ar­rowed a shot across But­ton into the bot­tom cor­ner from a nar­row an­gle.

Brent­ford dropped out of the play-offs but for the Ad­dicks some breath­ing space at the bot­tom and a first win for manager Guy Lu­zon.

He said:“We played very well - from the start of the game we moved the ball well and we cre­ated chances to score.

“We scored three goals and also in de­fence we were or­gan­ised.

“It was not easy be­cause the club had gone three months with­out any wins and we’ve needed to work on both the men­tal side and the phys­i­cal side.

“But this is the first step and our goal now is to come again next week and show the same per­for­mance be­cause that is the only way to bring us up the ta­ble.

“We lost two play­ers in the first half to in­jury but they gave ev­ery­thing and the de­fence can be proud to­day be­cause of the char­ac­ter that they have shown.”

PIC­TURES: Pin­na­cle

IGOR FOR GOALS: Igor Ve­tokele puts Charl­ton 2-0 up

OPEN­ERS: Jo­hann Gud­munds­son cel­e­brates

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