Sunday 23 December 2012

Sheffield Wednesday 2 v Charlton Athletic 0

A good day out in Sheffield had the gloss taken off it somewhat by an unconvincing Charlton display against a side who, frankly, were there for the taking. In spite of the flooded landscape between London and Sheffield we made good time and were in a taxi just after midday and headed towards Hillsborough. A few pints in the hospitable Old Crown and we walked down with the locals to the ground.

The 500 visiting supporters were housed high in the Leppings Lane and we looked forward to a rip-roaring-goal-scoring victory. The signs were good. Leon "the Beast" Cort was back alongside Michael Morrison and he played an absolute blinder. Solly and Seaborne took the full-back berths although Chris was given an unusually hard time by Helan (I think - didn't get a programme).

I was pleased we had opted for a four man midfield of Wilson, Frimpong, Jackson and Kerkar with Haynes and Kermorgant doing the pressing. Frimpong and Jackson held their own and Wilson was especially lively early on and in the first half although he faded after a booking which he seemed very unhappy about. Salim Kerkar had another duff game and missed a gilt-edged opportunity in the opening few minutes when he appeared to get too far forward and missed a fine cross from Wilson which only needed a back-post touch. He also overhit half of the crosses he delivered as we wasted a number of promising positions.

Wednesday came back into the match and Hamer was called on to save and Leon Cort headed off the line before they opened the scoring. A corner was headed out and fell plumb centre for Rhys McCabe with no-one able to close the shot down. McCabe hit a venomous volley straight above Hamer's head but all big Ben could do was flap at it and it was one-nil. We saw little goal threat after that although Wednesday put a lot of balls into space on the flanks for Johnson and Helan to chase and the threat of a second was always there.

For our part we did manage to get the ball into their net just before half-time but I saw the flag go up as Haynes picked up a through ball from Frimpong and beat Kirkland. We should have then scored but Haynes fluffed his lines four yards out after Kermorgant finally won a far post header and steered it down passed Kirkland for Danny-Boy but he got his legs crossed and the chance was gone. Chris Powell was sent off I understand (didn't see it at the time) for complaining about this and an earlier failure to send Johnson off for his umpteenth crude block on Wilson.

After the break we again persisted with an attack that was struggling against a huge Wednesday back line. Yann Kermorgant was getting no change in his vain aerial battles and resorted to trying to win free-kicks. Haynes persisted as he had the legs on Llera but nothing was falling. With Kerkar still posing out left and Wilson fading, we needed a change but it didn't come until 63 minutes when Fuller entered the fray for the ineffective Kerkar.

Chris then waited another 15 minutes before a belated double substitution as Hulse and Green replaced Frimpong and Haynes. We went for it again as the game closed out but Wednesday had a rare victory in their sights and they defended manfully as Hulse attempted to get one over the booing locals (always hard for an ex-Leeds player at Hillsborough). In the final minute of four added, Wednesday forced a corner and from the pressure down at our end, Helan raced along the goal line and fired through Hamer from an acute angle to give the scoreline an unfair reading.

Two successive two-nil defeats oop north and I think we have learnt that this season will be about consolidation. What I would like to see now is some bigger and bolder performances at the Valley as we rescue our home form and reward our season ticket holders ahead of what could be an improvement next year. It was good to see old face, Dave Nixon and his lad yesterday.


  1. This reads pretty much the same as Bolton last week. Glad you enjoyed your day.
    Sometimes the football has to come second to a good northern away jaunt.
    Following last weeks performance and the fact that a Jackson free kick was the only thing that seperated us last season, I wasn't expecting us to get anything from yesterday.
    Couple of beers Boxing Day?
    All the best.

  2. Fair enough report from a Charlton perspective.

    I guess looking at the league table Wednesday "being there for the taking" would have been your view going into the game. Things are slowly tightening up at Hillsborough now though and a bit of confidence is returning so my bet is on a much improved Wednesday team for the second half of the season.

    Hulse played for Sheffield United of course, hence the antipathy. ex-Leeds players don't get it quite so bad.

  3. Tony - Ill aim to see you Boxing Day.

  4. NHOwl - I'll be disappointed if we don't turn you over at ours when you are back here (next month?) but I reckon you will have a better second half to the season. Thanks for the correction on Hulse, I was forgetting he also played for the Blades. I did think the booing was a bit heavy but that explains it!


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