BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Charlton kicked off their traditional friendly curtain-raiser at Welling United with a 2-0 win.
A crowd of 2,052 – the vast majority Addicks fans – saw the Championship new boys net twice in the opening 45 minutes through Brendan Sarpong-Wiredu and Abraham Odoh.
Charlton moved the ball well in the first half with boss Lee Bowyer opting for a three-man central defence – Darren Pratley playing between summer signing Tom Lockyer and Naby Sarr.
It was Sarr who set up the opening goal on 16 minutes. The Frenchman played an excellent diagonal ball over the Wings defence and Sarpong-Wiredu raced into the right of the box before finishing.
The goalscorer could have had a second soon after but his header on an Albie Morgan free-kick went over the bar.
Ben Dempsey’s goalbound shot was blocked and it really was one-way traffic in terms of notable chances.
Welling played the price for switching off defensively in the 35th minute. They lost possession cheaply and Odoh went through one-v-one against Dan Wilks, slotting home via the base of the right post.
Only youngster Junior Quitirna stayed on for the start of the second half and he was replaced early after the restart by Jake Forster-Caskey, who had been a doubt with a foot injury.
Charlton switched to a 4-2-3-1 formation which saw Chuks Aneke, another of the new signings on show, played behind Lyle Taylor.
Taylor Maloney picked out Ben Purrington but the left-back flashed his shot across the face from a very tight angle.
Not long after that Taylor smashed the ball against the crossbar.
The Addicks talisman played his part in a chance for Forster-Caskey. He supplied the cross from the left and the midfielder took a touch before his shot was blocked at close range by Wilks.
The closest Welling came to a goal was from a Jack Jebb free-kick, but Ashley Maynard-Brewer read the intent well and dived sharply to his right to claim the ball.
PICTURES BY PAUL EDWARDS