Saturday 26 January 2013

Charlton Athletic 1 v Sheffield Wednesday 2

There were ominous signs today as we entered the stadium. Queues at the turnstiles and all the seats taken in my row and those around us. The West and Covered End looked "normal" but the East was unusually full. The floaters were back following three wins in-a-row - cue disappointment.

We were unchanged which meant a strong bench. I still don't like 4-5-1 at home and whilst it did the trick against Blackpool in the last Valley showing, I think it cost us today. That and another poor use of substitutes.

Wednesday may be struggling but their away form has been decent, especially of late and it was clear to me that we had to put them away, given the chance. They didn't create much in the first half and we should have scored after half-an-hour when Matt Taylor kept what looked like an over-hit Dale Stephens' free kick in play, only to see his knock back headed off the underside of the bar with the goal yawning. As if to even things up, Wednesday missed a sitter a minute before the break when Hamer, Taylor and Morrison all went for the same header and it fell to one of theirs eight yards out but he shot too quickly and somehow screwed it wide.

After the break we were ahead with our first attack. Lawrie Wilson picked up a ball in our half and whilst we urged him forward he appeared to be dithering. He wasn't. He was giving the scampering Chris Solly time to get through midfield before he fed him down the right. Solly drove into space before turning into the box and floating a back-post cross to Pritchard. Pritch had time to see Johnnie Jackson's advance and he picked him out. Jacko's left peg did the rest and the ball rattled in off the far post.

Wednesday were spurred into action and the obvious aerial bombardment ensued for ten to fifteen minutes. We were defending these well but they are such a big side and are so accustomed to hanging high balls in, that you cannot let them pressure you for too long or you will, almost inevitably, concede. We were breaking out but it needed a more concerted effort and some responsibility which we didn't have, everyone being content to defend. 

Scott Wagstaff had enjoyed a fantastic first-half, for a welcome change having focused all of his efforts on harrying Buxton, which he did so effectively that the right-back was booked for repeatedly fouling him. He then fashioned a great chance to put us two-up. Having cut inside his man on the break, he fired low to Kirkland's right and his shot beat the sprawling keeper but cannoned back across the box off the upright. Now was the time to turn up the heat but we failed. Wilson and Solly managed a couple of bursts down the right but there was no-one in the middle and Wednesday were able to clear their lines and resume the bombardment.

Kermorgant deserved a break or some support and Ricardo Fuller or BWP should have been thrown on. There was even a case for Dervite joining as a deep lying midfielder, but we did nothing. I told my wife that we were going to concede an equaliser and it duly arrived from another aerial assault. Reda Johnson finally managed a clean header and it looped beyond Hamer. Wednesday had Leroy Lita on and Madine had also joined the action. We didn't counter and the momentum got them a winner as a deflected Lita shot wormed it's way in.

With five minutes of added time we belatedly threw Fuller and Wright-Phillips on - too little, too late. The bumper 20,292 gate (only 1900 visitors who apparently sell-out every away game) headed for the exits - "same old Charlton."


  1. Sell out every away game ? 2300 was the actual figure of away support, which again gives you your biggest home attendance,away support at Hillsbourgh mmmmm so glad we dont depend on away support to keep our gate at 25000+

  2. On a funnier note though, and there were fewer of them as the game wore on, do you remember when the Wednesday player hoofed the ball out over the Jimmy Seed Stand in the middle of the second half?

    Quote of the day was from the Scotsman who called out 'the Grand Slam doesn't start till next week.'

    Agree with comment on not using subs. Once Nadine and Lita came on, that was the time to act. There goes an outside chance of the play-offs but this division's so unpredictable we could go out and hammer Crystal Palace 4-0 next week - eight quid a goal, not bad for those with the cash for tickets.

  3. Obviously you were watching a different match. The 17 shot the owls had which nine of were on target compared to the 4 shots on target from chralton. Charlton deserved nothing from this game.

  4. Anon - that was an amazingly poor effort given the time he had to take that shot. Agree re our play-off chances but it's the damage we are doing to our home support that concerns me. It really has been an abysmal season of Valley football. My step-son's ten year old has come every Saturday this season and has seen one home win. Very hard to wean him off Chelsea with that record.

  5. Just to correct he author -
    There were 1975 Wednesday fans at the valley which is considerably more than you lot brought to Hillsborough, when we beat up you up there as well!!

  6. JT - thanks but I just wanted to explode the myth that you sellout every away allocation.

  7. Din't know he was a Chelsea fan. I'm goona have to give him a sly dig next home game.

  8. I wouldn't worry about alienating any of the floating supporters from Saturday Dave. From what I heard and saw they were largely from local schools; they turned up late, took no notice of what was happening on the pitch, and then wandered around for the rest of the game.

    Most around me, me included, thought that Dervite should have been brought on for Pritchard with 25/20 mins to go. In hindsight, had Chris done
    so, we'd have been saying "how very negative at home" had we then lost! Not sure what the game plan for this one should have been. We've been outpassed by most sides I have seen recently, but still come away with a result. We seemed to come up against a side that can grind out results better than us on saturday. I don't think we could ever have outmuscled them or out passed them.

    Take a step back and we were playing with a team of league 1 players on Saturday (like previous weeks); they work damn hard but just don't have the creativity to really expose visiting teams. Top scorer Johnny with seven says a lot more about how much we feed our strikers than how prolific they are.

    Strangely quiet atmosphere on Saturday, even from the Wednesday fans until the end. Think we missed the drummer.

    Pembury Addick

  9. 2300? There you go exaggerating again - one of your own has already given us the accurate figure of 1975. Decent away support but not the "we fill every away allocation" drivel invariably served up by deluded Owls.


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