His teammates joked that it was nothing more than a clearance that flew in, but Darren Pratley was pleased with his wonder-strike as Charlton ran out 3-0 winners at Shrewsbury Town.
The veteran midfielder arrowed a glorious shot into the top-corner from range to double the Addicks’ lead shortly after half-time in Shropshire. Lyle Taylor had edged the South Londoners ahead at the New Meadow in the first-half, with Karlan Grant’s late spot-kick adding the finishing touch to a polished performance.
“The lads were saying in there that it was a good clearance from me,” Pratley said of his second goal in Charlton colours.
“I’ll take that, for a clearance. Nah, it was a good goal. Lyle said he was going to turn and swivel but I shouted at him to leave it. He left it for me and I hit it, hit it quite well and I knew it went in. I was obviously happy.
“I got one from the halfway line once,” he added, when asked if that was his best-ever strike.
“That was an even better clearance! The more goals the merrier.
“I think we needed the third goal to be honest. If it goes 2-1 then they get their tails up, so the third goal is crucial.
“I thought it was brave, good character from Karlan to take the penalty. He had missed a few chances before that and it just shows the character of what he is to step up. A lot of players would have passed it on. Lyle is normally our penalty taker so it was nice of Lyle to pass it on as well.”
Lee Bowyer’s side dominated the second-period after a fairly even first-half, and Pratley revealed that the Charlton chief had given his side some stern words of advice during the interval.
“We weren’t too happy going in at half-time,” he admitted.
“The manager got into us, had a go at us. I think second-half we came out and played a bit better, got the goals.
“Second-half, we got it wide and up to Lyle and Karlan a bit quicker and got the goals.
“It’s a tough place to come. Over the years when I’ve played here it’s been hard. I’ve had some tough games. Last summer the team came here in the play-offs and got beat so we wanted to put that right.
“[The pitch] doesn’t look too bad from here but when you’re on it, it’s quite bobbly. It’s quite hard to play but it’s the same for both teams. They go quite direct, to be fair. In the first-half I think they drew us into a little bit of a battle.”
Pics: Kyle Andrews