Charlton Athletic 2 - 0 Leyton Orient
npower League 1
ORIENT were unable to halt Charlton Athletic's charge towards the npower League 1 title as the Addicks got the better of the east Londoners in Saturday's London derby at The Valley.
A goal at the start of the game from Scott Wagstaff and one at the end from Dany N'Guessan was enough to settle it as Charlton maintained their six-point gap at the head of the table.
It was a valiant performance from the Londoners, who gave the season-long table-toppers a game, but ultimately Charlton were able to assert their authority in the final scoreline.
If the visitors' plan was to keep it tight early on against their high-flying hosts, that idea was blown out of the water on just seven minutes when they were caught napping from a free kick.
Rhoys Wiggins was allowed to run unchallenged down the left channel into the penalty area, where he cut back for Wagstaff to finish from close range.
The home side thought they had doubled the lead shortly afterwards when Leon Cort rose powerfully to nod Dale Stephens' corner into the net. The crowd rose in celebration, but their joy was cut short by referee Mark Brown's whistle for a foul on Paul Rachubka.
Orient were in danger of being sunk by Charlton's whirlwind start, but they regrouped and so nearly grabbed a leveller with 25 minutes on the clock.
Adam Reed whipped in a corner from the left which was allowed to bounce in the hosts' box. The ball dropped to Ben Chorley, who shot goalwards with power, but Ben Hamer dived to his left to make the save.
Two minutes later former Addick Matthew Spring lined up an effort from range that drew a flying stop from Hamer in the Addicks goal.
Charlton weren't able to build on their advantage before the break, but they almost did five minutes after the restart when Rachubka had to make two excellent saves in quick succession.
Bradley Wright-Phillips was the first to be denied, when the O's stopper clawed away his effort after swivelling inside the box, then Rachubka got up quickly to save instinctively from Lee Cook on the rebound.
But the O's hung on in there and another Charlton old boy, Kevin Lisbie, had a chance on 68 when he headed Adam Reed's corner wide by the near post.
The home crowd were getting edgy, but their nerves were eased eight minutes from time when Cook picked up possession down the Orient right and crossed superbly for Dany N'Guessan to nod beyond a helpless Rachubka.
It killed off the O's challenge, who nevertheless still hold a five-point advantage over the bottom four.
Charlton: Hamer; Solly, Cort, Morrison, Wiggins; Wagstaff, Stephens, Hollands, Cook (Green 87); Wright-Phillips (N'Guessan 75), Kermorgant
Subs: Taylor, Sullivan (GK), Pritchard
Goals: Wagstaff 7, N'Guessan 82
Leyton Orient: Rachubka; Cuthbert (Ben Youssef 32), Chorley, Leacock, Forbes; Jimmy Smith; Porter (Andrew 82), Spring, Reed, Mooney (Cox 71); Lisbie
Subs: Laird, Taiwo
Booked: Ben Youssef, Smith, Leacock, Forbes, Reed
Referee: Mark Brown
Attendance: 17,425 (1,092 away)