Charlton took a big stride towards Wembley Stadium with their 2-1 victory away at Doncaster Rovers on Sunday, although the Addicks can perhaps feel fortunate to have the advantage going into the second leg, with Dillion Phillips – and his crossbar – having been called into action a few times in the first half an hour.
Two quick-fire goals from Lyle Taylor and Joe Aribo turned the tie on its head though and now Lee Bowyer’s side are just 90 minutes away from a play-off final and the chance for promotion.
Taylor’s was his 25th goal of the campaign but perhaps not his prettiest – in fact, the 29-year-old was lucky to come out unscathed after a goal-line scramble led to him diving at a foot-height ball with his head to nod home.
The former Wimbledon striker was fortunate not to have his face taken off by the defender, although Taylor’s superior reactions to the loose ball saw Lee Bowyer’s side take a perhaps underserving lead. This fearlessness shows just how much a win at Keepmoat Stadium means for the SE7 outfit but, in this instance, Taylor himself, who only arrived at The Valley last summer.
After the game, the big hitman had this to say on his opening strike:
“I thought, ‘Right, I’m going to get my head taken off here but I need to score. I have to score, I have to, I’m going to have to head this’.
“I just threw myself at it and, thankfully, didn’t get volleyed in the head and it went in!”
Be sure to check out the incredible story of the man who rose from a Tanzanian refugee camp to become one of Australia’s biggest football stars in the video below…
“I have to score, I have to”: There clearly was no question of ‘if’ in the number 9’s mind as he stooped to head in, but this goes beyond natural striker’s instinct – the risk attached to doing so was huge and so, in throwing himself right into the danger area, Taylor showed that he would do pretty much anything for Bowyer and his teammates.
The former midfielder turned Charlton boss has instilled an excellent spirit amongst his group of players and, while it wasn’t quite as good as the forward’s goal-of-the-month-voted free-kick in April, there’s no doubt that he would have absolutely loved Taylor’s scrappy strike versus Donny.