Final day success at Portman Road
Town closed out their 2021/22 campaign with a scintillating attacking performance and convincing home victory over Charlton.
A Wes Burns brace, which saw him become the Club's top goalscorer this term by taking his tally to 13, was sandwiched by goals from Tyreeq Bakinson and James Norwood in front of over 26,000 fans supporters at Portman Road.
Kieran McKenna made five changes from the previous weekend’s draw against Crewe, with Elkan Baggott, Burns, Matt Penney, Bersant Celina and Macauley Bonne returning to the starting XI.
Town started well in the Suffolk sunshine and took the lead with just under seven minutes on the clock through a wonderful effort from Bakinson. The on-loan midfielder side-footed into the top corner from 25 yards past the helpless Nathan Harness.
The Blues doubled the lead just four minutes later. Conor Chaplin sliced the Charlton defence open with a sublime through ball for Burns, and the Welshman found the bottom corner with the outside of his right boot from just inside the area.
Bonne thought he had netted the Blues’ third inside 10 minutes shortly afterwards, but the linesman’s flag was up as he finished from close range.
McKenna’s side continued to be the one in the ascendancy, Bonne seeing a shot blocked before Sam Morsy drilled a half-volley wide from range.
A stunning save from Christian Walton maintained the two-goal advantage 10 minutes before the break, the shot-stopper acrobatically diving to his right to turn away Jayden Stockley’s goalbound header.
Bakinson turned provider as Town went close once again just before the break, his dinked pass into the box being met by a stooping header by Chaplin which beat Harness but landed on the roof of the net.
Burns scored his second and the Blues’ third just five minutes into the second half. Once again, Chaplin was instrumental as he released Bonne, who unselfishly squared the ball for Town’s number seven to convert from six yards.
McKenna was forced into a change shortly afterwards, as Janoi Donacien limped from the field and was replaced by Kane Vincent-Young.
Charlton’s best opportunity of the second half yet followed on the hour-mark, Conor Washington blazing a volley over the top of the goal from the middle of the box.
Chaplin opened up the Addicks’ backline again shortly afterwards, threading the ball through to Luke Woolfenden, who saw his pass across the face of the goal cleared back at him, with the centre-back not being able to correct his feet to tuck away the rebound.
A superb team move so nearly made it 4-0 midway through the half, Vincent-Young playing a one-two with Burns before pulling the ball back to the middle of the box where Morsy passed the ball inches wide of the bottom corner.
Stockley should’ve pulled one back for Charlton with just under 15 minutes remaining, but he could only head onto the crossbar from a couple of yards out after Corey Blackett-Taylor had picked him out at the back post.
Walton denied Chuks Aneke a consolation goal from close range from a corner, with Celina dragging an effort just wide from the left side of the box at the other end a couple of minutes later.
Norwood came off the bench with five minutes remaining and found the back of the net just three minutes later, finishing from a narrow angle after being slotted in behind the defence by Academy graduate Cameron Humphreys, as the Blues finished with a flurry.
Town: Walton, Donacien (Vincent-Young 56’), Woolfenden, Baggott, Burns, Bakinson, Morsy (C), Penney, Chaplin (Humphreys 75’), Celina, Bonne (Norwood 85').
Subs: Hladky, El Mizouni, Aluko, Pigott.
Charlton: Harness, Dobson, Famewo, Pearce (C), Stockley, Morgan (Forster-Caskey 68’), Gilbey (Aneke 54’), Washington (Lee 76’), Matthews, Blackett-Taylor, Inniss.
Subs: Henderson, Jaiyesimi, Burstow, Elerewe.
Attendance: 26,002 (1,972 away fans).