A Sam Vokes tap in gave Wycombe Wanderers a winning start to 2022, as they defeated Charlton Athletic 1-0 at the Valley.

From not playing in 18 days to having a below-average display against Ipswich, their second away game in three days saw the Adams Park outfit not only win away at the Valley for the first time in a league fixture, but also remind the teams around them that they are in this promotion fight for the Championship.

In what was a flat first-half display from both sides, Wanderers dominated the ball and in brief spells, showed the Addicks why they are fighting for a place in the second tier.

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Anis Mehmeti, who came into the side following the Ipswich defeat, pulled the strings alongside Garath McCleary and former Charlton man, Brandon Hanlan, and it was the latter who had the game’s first real chance.

After 12 minutes, Hanlan managed to work some space in the opposition box and found himself one-on-one with the Charlton keeper, Craig MacGillivary.

The 24-year-old skipped past the keeper, but MacGillivary pounced on the ball to deny Hanlan a certain tap in.

This was the most exciting moment of the first half as both teams really struggled to get a flowing move going, but, on 35 minutes, Wanderers managed to take the lead.

Anis Mehmeti ran the length of the pitch before eventually finding Jason McCarthy, who laid it off to Garath McCleary on the left-hand touchline on the overlap.

There, McCleary got around two defenders, squared to Sam Vokes who tapped in from five-yards.

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The build up was sublime and the strike was Vokes’ seventh of the season and his first since the 3-0 away win at Plymouth at the end of November.

Moments later, David Stockdale was forced into his first save of the match when Elliot Lee sent a curling shot towards goal moments before half-time, but the keeper was on hand to tip the 20-yard effort away, as Wycombe went into the break 1-0 up.

The second-half started a lot livelier.

Just two minutes into the second period, Hanlan was denied by MacGillivary before McCleary’s effort from 20-yards went just wide of the goal via a deflection.

The game kicked into life, but the tide soon turned in the favour of Charlton.

Johnnie Jackson’s men dominated, the ball, shot count and ball wins for large parts of the second half as Wycombe were hanging on following their bright start.

On 50 minutes, another Elliot Lee effort teased Stockdale but this time, his shot/cross from 30-yards went inches wide.

Then, on 60 minutes, substitute Jonathan Leko managed to hit the post from a yard away after being found by Lee.

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In between these two attempts were countless half-efforts from the Addicks, as McCarthy, Jack Grimmer and Chris Forino put their bodies on the online to stop any Addicks attack coming to fruition.

By the 75th minute, Charlton seemed to drop off but still looked dangerous whenever Leko or Lee got the ball, and it was the former who again tried his luck, but this time, missed the target.

As Jackson's men began to tire, Wanderers went for the kill, but Obita's tame half-volley on 75 minutes was easily gathered by MacGillivray, but the keeper denied McCleary who unleashed a first-time strike after being put through by Vokes on 80 minutes.

Charlton continued to press as Conor Washington fired wide in the final minutes as Wanderers held on to secure their first away league win at Charlton. 

Up next is Sunderland on January 8.