League One, 7:45pm, The Valley.
Attendance 14, 014
The game: Charlton lacked a cutting edge in the second half, thanks to Sheffield Wednesday's gutsy and physical display.
On a cold and blustery night at The Valley, the Sky cameras were treated to what many would describe as a 'poor' game. Two shots on goal in the first half pretty much summed things up. The first shot, 3 minutes in, provided the first goal, when a neat passing move down the left hand side resulted in Bradley-Wright Phillips having a pop at goal from outside the box. His low effort powered into the bottom corner, near post, surprising many as it looked to be going wide. The goalkeeper's positioning was probably too far over to the far post, if I were to be critical. Despite that, it was a fine effort, and got Charlton off to a great start. Dale Stephens should have made it two, when a loose ball fell kindly inside the box. He had time to choose his spot, having run in from the edge of the area, but side-footed the ball over the bar. Disappointing. The rest of the first half provided little in the way of quality. The surface was slippery so long balls tended to skid on, away from players. 1-0 at the break. Satisfying for the Addicks but still work to do.
The second half performance was at best poor from Charlton, as despite still creating more chances, they allowed Wednesday to get back into the game, and secure a point. Clinton Morrison came on for early substitute Ryan Lowe, and was met by a chorus of boos from the home fans. How naive. Within 3 minutes, he had scored from a corner to make it 1-1 after 57 minutes. The ball was played in to the front post, where Jackson flicked it over Ben Hamer's outstretched hands, for Morrison to score from a matter of feet. His header hit the bar, but still, ended up in the back of the net. He duly celebrated by winding up the Charlton fans behind the goal. Revenge for his reception, and probably well deserved. the goal was hotly disputed by Hamer and Michael Morrison, who both remonstrated with officials for a length of time. From my viewpoint I could not see the actual finish, so have no opinion on the matter.
The rest of the game was frustrating, as the Addicks tried but failed to create any sort of decent chances. The main problem facing Chris Powell was his lack of an alternative strategy. There was no game-changer sat on the bench. Jason Euell was closest to it, but made little impact when he came on. Paul Benson and particularly Danny Green were sorely missed, as Green would have provided the perfect spark when introduced. However, few chances were made, and those that were resulted in goal kicks.
Wednesday played well, a victory for substance over style, as they say. The midfield battle was won by Semedo and Prutton, which meant Charlton were forced out wide, where they were isolated. Megson has chosen his style, as has Powell. I know which team I'd rather watch, but results are what matters and a point on the night seemed pretty fair for both sides. Charlton did not play well enough in the second half to deserve the win.
Charlton 1-1 Sheffield Wednesday (Wright-Phillips; C Morrison)
The performance as a whole was not too bad from Charlton. The defence was solid enough, though was put under little pressure as the game wore on. It appeared to be a rare off-day when things didn't go to plan in the attacking third. Powell needs an alternative strategy when the middle of the park is overwhelmed. I reckon he should look no further than Benno and Green. A deadly combination at Dagenham. Why not here?
|Jose Semedo wins MOTM again at The Valley.|
Even though he did get booked.
And doesn't play for Charlton any more.
Ref Rating: 7/10 for D Deadman: Spotted most fouls, played a great advantage when Prutton cleaned out a Charlton player when a break was on. I felt there were few errors on his part, in the opinion of other fans he was very inconsistent, and Michael Morrison was lucky not to be penalised for a lunge on namesake Clinton. I agree regarding the latter foul, but still felt his performance was among the better I've seen in this league. The two linesman were pretty bad though.
Match Rating 3/10: A very poor game in terms of quality. Some attractive football in very small doses from the home side, but Wednesday's mentality prevented any sort of open game from developing. There will be many better games this season, though unfortunately for Wednesday fans, their away matches will probably be pretty similar to this one.