Charlton lost 2-1 at Huddersfield last night while Saturday's opponents Millwall won their first game of the season by beating table topping Blackpool (who trained for the match at Sparrows Lane) 3-1. However, Charlton remain in 17th place in the table.
After a lacklustre first half from both sides, some thought that Chris Powell left his substitutions too late: Stewart for Ward on 68 minutes, immediately followed by Harriott for Sordell and then Piggott for Jackson on 86. However, the first two were ready on the touchline when the second goal went in against the run of play. It was Stewart who scored Charlton's consolation goal off the underside of the bar 11 minutes from time, although it should be emphasised that the match was a tight one.
For Huddersfield Joel Lynch scored the winner on 65 minutes with a stunning 35-year shot, reminiscent of one I saw scored there by another Welsh international, Johnnie Robinson. Vaughan had opened the home side's account two minutes into time added on in the first half. The Addicks dominated the closing stages but were unable to snatch an equaliser.
In the first half it was not until the 45th minute that either side managed to register an attempt on target, with Charlton's Simon Church heading straight into the hands of goalkeeper Alex Smithies. A minute later Hammill crossed to the far post for Vaughan to head home past Hamer.
Charlton, helped by some wayward defending, provided much more of an attacking threat after the restart and could count themselves unlucky when an on-target Johnnie Jackson effort struck 'Sodall' in the area and deflected harmlessly wide.
Possession was 52-48 in the home side's favour, but what is striking is how far attempts on target both teams had: two for Huddersfield and three for Charlton.
A Charlton fan from 'oop North who was there said: 'It was a dreadful game certainly, but we were extremely unlucky to lose and in my opinion (and I suspect that of many home fans too) were far more comfortable in possession, of which we had plenty, than they were.Unfortunately, they possessed a front-man worthy of the name, who took his one chance with consummate skill, while, for all our tiki-taka passing, we simply didn't.'
'Sordell has a (tiny) hint of class but seemingly no interest, Church huffs and puffs in a fan-pleasing way, but they appear never to have met before (admittedly, I don't think they've played together) and seemed out of sync with the midfield. We kept the ball impressively - but in the final third we were simply unable to get it to the strikers and when we did, their touch let them down.'
There does also seem to be an issue about the time it takes to make substitutions, although arguably Chris Powell should be less cautious about making them. An Addick has commented, 'The problem appears to be the time taken -in general- to make substitutions, as witnessed with Yann's injury at Watford. The 'system' appears to be ponderous at best,in notifying the 4th official, him getting the board ready, advising the ref, waiting for a stoppage- not helped by the substitute himself taking an eternity to prepare (putting shirt on, pudding shin pads on, taking jewellery off, etc.)- quite why all subs can't sit 'kitted and ready' for the duration of the game is a mystery to me, albeit wearing training tops over the match shirt.'