Saturday, 15 January 2011

Charlton fight hard for away point

A spirited performance by Charlton saw them secure an away point against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough with a 2-2 draw at a ground where they have not won in the league since 1953.

I couldn't pick up any commentary at first from Charlton and then it seemed to be from a match involving Rochdale so I switched to the home commentary. It was rather amusing listening to two glum Yorkshiremen trying to console each other.

I missed Waggy's opening goal on 5 minutes, but heard Johnnie Jackson put the ball past Nicky Weaver on 7 minutes to extend the lead to 2-0.

Charlton were passing well, although they tended to sit back a bit. The Owls then had a chance to get back into the game with a penalty of their own, but it was saved. The local commentators described this as a 'miss', although they were perplexed that this was the first time their penalty taker had missed. They then had to admit that Elliot had made a 'decent' (i.e., excellent) save by diving to his left.

Half times: Owls 0, Addicks 2

The local commentators had remarked that Wednesday were a one half team and they can storming out of the traps after the break. The swirling wind in the penalty area meant that the ball was hanging high in the air, giving opportunities to the big lads of the home team.

Heffernan scored their opener on 48 minutes. Anyinsah had a chance to reply immediately at the other end, but put the ball over the bar. Charlton were under the cosh and after a succession of corners Johnson made it 2-2 on 52 minutes.

Charlton were not defending well, emphasising the need for a younger and more mobile central defender. Sodje was brought on to give greater physical presence with Anyinsah being withdrawn. Then Racon was withdrawn to give Eccleston his Charlton debut. The youngster seemed to lift Charlton to some extent.

Elliot made good some saves, while Francis defended well and made his presence felt at the other end. He provided a great cross to Sodje, but Purse was able to take the pace off the ball and Weaver managed to collect.

It looked as if the Owls were going to score in injury time, first through a good effort from 25 yards out by O'Connor. The Owls had a succession of corners with the ball coming off the inside of the bar and being put away by Francis.

It was a pulsating game and there was no lack of commitment from the Charlton players. The squad does need strengthening, however.

I predict that this will be Keith Peacock's last game as Charlton manager.

Charlton are now outside the play off places in 7th place, MK Dons having gone up to 6th.

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