Charlton boss delivers penalty verdict as Bristol Rovers gave his side ‘biggest credit’

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John Marquis' penalty was the deciding factor between Bristol Rovers and Charlton Athletic - but did Dean Holden agree with the decision?

Bristol Rovers gave Charlton Athletic the ‘biggest credit’ by dropping Aaron Collins against them in their 1-0 win at the Memorial Stadium.

Collins dropped to the substitutes bench for the first time in a league match, despite being their most creative player with 15 goals and 11 assists. The 25-year-old eventually came on for Antony Evans on the hour mark but it was the other substitute John Marquis who had the say in the game as he scored a 71st-minute penalty.

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"I’m disappointed that our winning run has come to an end,” said Holden in his post-match interview with Charlton’s official club website.

“We’ve ended up losing the game to a penalty. I don’t think there was a lot in the game. They gave us the biggest credit with their team selection. They’ve left out Collins who is arguably their best player to block up that midfield.

“They’ve made it difficult for us and defended the key spaces. Ultimately we’ve not been able to get our wide players as much as we would have liked. I think Ash has had a good save to make in the first half but there’s nothing in the game."

Joey Barton opted to go for a 4-2-3-1 formation with Lamare Bogarde and Grant Ward as holding midfielders with a back four of Luca Hoole, James Connolly, Lewis Gibson, and Lewis Gibson.

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Antony Evans and Scott Sinclair played on either side with Sam Finley playing in the ten role providing support to Josh Coburn. Rovers made all three subs in total and all in attack with Collins replacing Evans, whilst Ryan Loft came on for Scott Sinclair. A third change came six minutes later from the 50-year-old with Coburn replaced by former Millwall striker Marquis and it was he who inspired the hosts to victory.

Holden added: "We wanted to get ahead of steam in the second half and there were a lot of stop-starts. We had some good moments, but we’ve created not as many chances as we would have liked. We’ve had some gilt-edged ones. I think back to Ryan’s header from the free-kick right in the six-yard box.

"Macaulay at the end as well, Miles is knocked down and we’ve had one cleared off the line. We just weren’t ruthless today in that final part of the pitch. The quality wasn’t where it’s been in recent weeks and that’s why we end up losing the game."

Rovers’ win was decided from the penalty spot with Marquis the designated taker after Sinclair’s departure from the pitch. George Dobson was penalised for handling the ball in the area which stopped Bogarde. Despite the decision going against the Addicks, the former Bristol City head coach had no complaints about the decision.

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"To lose to the penalty it was disappointing but it was a penalty," he admitted. I think Dobbo the rules are he didn’t mean to handball it but that’s gone out of the rulebook ain’t it? His arm is out and it’s hit his hand, so there’s no complaints at all with that.”

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