Charlton Athletic 1-0 Bristol Rovers

Patrick Bauer’s first-half header gave 10-man Charlton a winning start to the new League One campaign as they edged out Bristol Rovers 1-0 at The Valley.

The hosts looked to be in serious trouble in the seventh minute when striker Lee Novak saw red for a two-footed challenge on Stuart Sinclair.

Rovers midfielder Chris Lines was unable to capitalise on some nervous goalkeeping from Ben Amos, while Ricky Holmes almost fired Charlton in front at the other end with a spectacular long range effort that flew inches over.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, it was the Addicks who broke the deadlock seven minutes before the break as Bauer met a Holmes free-kick to head past Rovers goalkeeper Adam Smith from close range.

Liam Sercombe, Lee Brown and Ollie Clarke all produced efforts on goal early in the second half as Bristol Rovers upped the tempo following a lacklustre opening period.

Sercombe was then denied by a fine reaction stop by Amos in the 55th minute, but the goalkeeper was less impressive when he tipped over Tom Broadbent’s speculative 35-yard attempt.

Jake Forster-Caskey made a crucial block to prevent Lines testing Amos once again.

Bauer almost added a second in identical circumstances to the opener when he was again picked out by Holmes’ 75th-minute free-kick, this time instead having to settle for a corner.

But his earlier effort ultimately proved decisive as Charlton held on for a deserved three points.

Match report supplied by the Press Association.

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