Lee Bowyer hails Charlton’s best forty-five minutes of the season during the first-half of the win over Walsall

Lee Bowyer hailed his side’s first-half performance in the win over Walsall as the best he’s seen from them.

The Addicks raced into a two-goal lead inside eight minutes against the Saddlers as Karlan Grant’s eighth minute opener was added to by a penalty from Lyle Taylor.

Andy Cook halved the deficit shortly after the interval as the visitors made more of a contest of it in the second-period, but the South Londoners held on to record their fifth consecutive home league win.

“You’re never going to play ninety minutes like we did in the first-half,” said the Addicks boss.

“I think you could see we were tired in the last twenty minutes or half-an-hour. We just ran out of steam. They got that quick goal and it gave them a bit of a lift but first-half I thought we were outstanding. I think that’s the best we’ve played, that first 45 minutes, since I’ve been here.

Charlton’s players celebrate Karlan Grant’s opening goal against Walsall. Photo Paul Edwards

“It was great to watch. It should have been more goals. They couldn’t get near us. I love seeing that because I see that near enough every day [in training.] That’s why I do get frustrated. After we played Gillingham I said it was not the best we’ve played for a long time. That’s why. Because we can play like we did today.

“A hell of a lot of plusses today. Dillon [Phillips] going in goal, I thought he did very well on his first game back.”

“Two young lads,” added Bowyer, on Albie Morgan and Toby Stevenson who both started the game for the home side.

“I chucked them in, no choice. You’ve got to sink or swim. I know they’ve both got characters.

“I knew what Albie would give us in possession. I was a little bit worried out of possession but it was a gamble that I’ve got to take. I knew I had to bring Albie in to freshen it up. The kid can play.

“Toby gives you that honesty at left-back. Naby coming back in from suspension. The front lads they were very good. They caused a threat all game and worked hard. We deserved that win for sure.”