Charlton threw away a 1-0 lead to go down to a 1-2 defeat at The Valley this afternoon at home to Sheffield Wednesday. They were poor goals to give away and my initial though was that keeper Ben Hamer must take a large portion of the blame for both of them. On reflection, I can see that the second took a big deflection, but I still think that Hamer did not have a good game. I also thought it was a mistake to leave our three substitutions until time added on when they could not be expected to make an impact. Substitutions were needed earlier with Bradley Pritchard often being muscled off the ball.
It was an underwhelming first half that produced scrappy play on a pitch that displayed the effects of the recent snow, but Wednesday upped their game in the second half. We were under too much pressure as the half went on, although a draw would have been a better reflection of the balance of play.
Difficulties on the journey often suggest disappointment at the game. Unusually, my train was nearly 20 minutes late into Euston and I found that both branches of the Northern Line were closed.
Charm merchant Giles Coke put in a very late tackle on Dale Stephens and those around for me thought that later in the game it might have earned more than a yellow card. Bradley Pritchard looked as if he was having difficulty in coping and was being muscled off the ball. Chris Solly was fouled and it was evident what Dave Jones meant when he said he would close down Charlton's danger men.
Chris Kirkland in the Wednesday goal had to make a diving save and for a very brief spell our play showed promise. Then the visitors won a corner and I think it was Cedric Evina who cleared it off the line. The second corner led to a free kick for the Addicks. After a number of foul throws, the referee finally penalised Wednesday.
Wednesday were awarded a very dubious corner, but Hamer was able to catch the ball. Wilson put in a decent cross. Buxton got a yellow card. The very deep free kick which came into the six yard box saw Morrison's effort crash off the crossbar. A free kick from Stephens led to an unproductive Charlton corner. Hamer spilled the ball, but Johnson somehow managed to put his shot wide of the open goal.
Half time: Addicks 0, Owls 0
Wednesday advanced as offside appeals by the players were turned down. The resultant corner was caught by Hamer. Charlton then made a move which the Bloke Behind Me judged to be one of the best of the season: praise from such a source is praise indeed. Wilson waited for Solly to get in a good position, Solly's cross was agood one and Pritchard teed up Jackson who struck cleanly into the back of the net to make it 1-0.
Wednesday were awarded a free kick against Morrison. Taylor put in a good defensive header. The visitors hit the outside of the post. Wedenesday signalled their intent by bringing on Leroy Lita and started to win some corners. Hamer had to make a save. On 66 minutes the Owls further strengthened their attack by bringing on Madine. This was surely the time to consider some Charlton substitutions, but there was no movement from the bench.
Wagstaff cut inside and his shot came off the post. Chris Powell subsequently saw this as a turning point in the match, but he should have acted then to freshen up the side. Evina put in a good tackle as Wednesday threatened. Stephens put in a shot from distance which was not far over. Hamer went down and required some treatment (did this have anything to do with his subsequent lack of alertness?) Solly put in some good defensive work. Stephens over hit what could have been a promising ball.
On 83 minutes Reda Johnson rose to meet a cross from Buxton which was nothing special and put in a header over the stationary Hamer. A Charlton corner led to a goal kick. Charlton were being forced back and in the 89th minute Lita scored what Dave Jones later admitted was a scruffy goal to make it 1-2.
With five minutes added on, Chris Powell brought on Danny Green, Ricardo Fuller and Bradley Wright-Phillips, but it was all too late. Green did win a corner for Charlton. Llera rushed off with the ball and received a yellow card while Kermorant got a yellow for taking it off him.
Ivy the Terrible has awarded the Silver Bone once again to Chris Solly for a tireless work rate and some real moments of skill. Hamer nearly conceded a goal by dropping the ball in the first half and as the Football League Paper commented, 'Looked unconvincing throughout.' Morrison looked solid enough and made some decent clearances, it would be a bit harsh to blame him for failing to score. I thought that Taylor did a decent job, but the Football League Paper claims that 'He failed to deal with the vistor's aerial threat and was severely punished.' I thought that Evina did well in defence and got forward well. Hard to see Wiggins reclaiming his old spot in the short run. Wilson was involved and energetic and also read the game well. Pritchard played a key role in the goal, but had a hard time dealing with Wednesday's physical challenge. Steve from Petts Wood commented of Stephens 'He goes from Premier League to non-league in two minutes' and that about sums it up, but he was certainly involved whereas Jackson struggled on the boggy surface, but all credit for scoring the goal. Wagstaff looked stronger in the second half and was unlucky not to score. Kermorgant struggled to make an impact as the lone striker and often looked crestfallen. I won't comment on the cameos by the three substitutes as it does not make a lot of sense (nor did the substitutions at that stage).
Juneau the Soccer Cat has awarded the Hiss of the Match to Senor Hoofball, Miguel Llera, for his ridculous headgear earning the chant 'Whose the w***** in the hat?' from the Covered End.