Gary Haines reports from The Valley
Charlton’s 2013 FA Cup adventure was a fleeting one as they suffered a Valley defeat against out-of-form Huddersfield Town on Saturday.
An 11th-minute strike from Jermaine Beckford settled a low-key affair in SE7 with the Addicks also losing Dorian Dervite to a second-half red card.
The Frenchman was sent off for a professional foul 12 minutes into the second half after tugging back Beckford when the former Everton man was clean through on goal.
There were no complaints at the decision from referee Darren Drysdale to banish him but it left Powell with a defensive headache to ponder going into the Championship return next week against Blackpool.
With Leon Cort facing a number of weeks out with a hamstring injury, the Addicks now have just two senior centre-backs on the books, and that was possibly the most serious fall-out following a performance that will not linger long in the memory.
In a first-half low on clear chances it was the visitors, without a win in any competition since November 10th, that cashed in on their first serious opening just after the clock reached double digits.
Debutant keeper David Button, who impressed in his first outing for the club, was left with little chance as a floated cross from deep from Adam Clayton bypassed the backline and allowed Beckford to take a touch on the stodgy surface and stab home.
It was the visitors who looked likelier to add to their tally in an opening period of plenty of huffing and puffing – but not much in the way of unlocking – from Charlton.
James Vaughan had a goal chalked off and Button then flung himself to his left to make a fine stop from the striker’s fierce effort.
Button’s opposite number Alex Smithies had a relatively quiet opening period and Huddersfield’s afternoon improved significantly on 57 minutes as their hosts were reduced to 10 men.
Clayton was again the architect with Dervite’s tug back on a clean-through Beckford led to the inevitable red card for the Frenchman.
Charlton looked a better side a man down as the visitors looked to hold on to what they had.
The closest they came was when Smithies got down to turn away a Salim Kerkar free-kick, and despite probing for much of the closing quarter they could not find a way through.
So Huddersfield ended a run of 10 games without victory while Charlton must wait for a replay between Milton Keynes Dons and Sheffield Wednesday in a week-and-a-half before knowing if they have a weekend off on January 26th.
In terms of team news Powell shuffled his pack for the cup clash.
There were five changes from the epic 4-3 Championship win at Watford on New Year’s Day including a debut for keeper Button.
There was a starting return for Matt Taylor at the back while Jordan Cook, Kerkar and Bradley Wright-Phillips were also in the line-up.
Ben Hamer, Chris Solly, Johnnie Jackson, Ricardo Fuller and an injured Leon Cort made way.
For Button it was a first start since his early-season switch from Tottenham Hotspur and while Taylor was preferred to a suspension-free Michael Morrison and took the skipper’s armband on his 50th outing for the club.
Solly enjoyed a well-earned breather so the versatile Lawrie Wilson slotted in at right-back with Cook likely to start in front of him on the right.
Dervite and Cedric Evina completed the backline, and with Jackson rested to the bench Bradley Prichard, another to bring up his half century appearance-wise, partnered Dale Stephens and Kerkar started wide on the left.
Fuller was also given the game off so Wright-Phillips partnered Yann Kermorgant up top.
There was a mixture of experience and youth on the bench with Hamer, Morrison, Jackson, Danny Green and Scott Wagstaff joined by young professionals Morgan Fox and Ade Azeez.
There was danger in the Huddersfield line-up in the shape of strike duo Beckford and Vaughan.
The Terriers were in poor form going into the game after a 6-1 thumping against Leicester City on the first day of 2013.
But they pitched in a strong side that included highly-rated right-back Jack Hunt and no-nonsense centre-back Peter Clarke.
The visitors forced a couple of early corners and from the second a looping header was clutched confidently by Button, his first noteworthy test.
But he was beaten on 11 minutes as the visitors drew first blood.
Clayton floated a superb diagonal from the right and as the Addicks failed to deal with it Beckford had time to take a touch in the stick surface inside the box and stab the ball past an exposed Button.
It was the perfect start for the men from Yorkshire and Vaughan juggled the ball before hooking an overhead kick over as the Addicks failed to conjure up any attacking threat.
Arfield was booked after careering through Evina on the Charlton left on 20 minutes but Stephens’ curling free-kick from out wide eluded all and sundry in the box.
Despite the adverse scoreline, Stephens was clearly revelling in the occasion, and after one bone-crunching challenge that left the hard-as-nails Clarke on the deck, one sumptuous crossfield pass to Kerkar deserved better than a deflected cross.
Backford’s low effort was easy for Button and at the other end Wright-Phillips got away from Antony Gerrard but his dangerous low cross was smuggled to safety.
Sean Scannell dispossessed Wilson as the clock reached 32 but after weaving into the box his shot fell to Vaughan and although the striker finished smartly on the turn he was offside so the goal was rightly chalked off.
Vaughan, under pressure from Taylor, headed wide before Button showed his talents to deny the striker five minutes before the break.
Dervite was far from happy as the ball squirted loose on the edge of the area and the former Everton man rifled in a shot on the turn that was terrifically beaten away by Button, diving to his left.
Vaughan was booked after a reckless challenge on Pritchard moments later and the ball would not quite sit nicely for the midfielder seconds before the interval after some probing play from the hosts. Huddersfield cleared the danger and went in ahead.
An improvised effort from Wright-Phillips flew wide after a half-cleared Addicks free-kick seven minutes after the restart but Charlton’s task became doubly difficult on 57 minutes as they were reduced to 10 men.
Clayton’s ball over the top caused the damage and after initially slipping, Dervite tugged back Beckford as he sped down the middle.
The red card that followed was inevitable as the Frenchman trudged off and Oliver Norwood blasted the free-kick over the bar before Morrison entered the fray on the hour, for Cook.
The shorthanded hosts gave Smithies his first serious test of the afternoon on 63 minutes as Pritchard was fouled on the right edge of the area and Kerkar bent in a free-kick that was touched away by a diving Smithies.
Button clutched a header a looping heard from Vaughan before Norwood was booked for a foul on Pritchard.
The Charlton man quickly joined him in the notebook after catching Paul Dixon and Powell rolled the dice for the final time 12 minutes from time as Jackson replaced Kerkar and youngster Azeez came on for Wright-Phillips.
After Kermorgant landed awkwardly Huddersfield broke dangerously and Arfield shot well wide while the lively Azeez was upended by Jack Hunt earning a fourth Terriers booking of the afternoon.
Wilson shot over after a monstrous Button clearance was half headed into his path in the first of four added minutes.
In the second a centre from Evina was headed back by Taylor but the ball just wouldn’t sit up for the Addicks, despite the best efforts of Jackson and Kermorgant.
Then, in the final minute a racking ball into the box from Wilson was met by Kermorgant but his header lacked power and a grateful Smithies gathered.
Despite the late pressure Huddersfield clung on until the final whistle to celebrate a much-needed success and take their place in the fourth round draw.
For the Addicks it’s all about the Championship between now and May.
Charlton: Button; Wilson, Evina, Taylor, Dervite; Cook (Morrison 60), Pritchard, Stephens, Kerkar (Jackson 78); Kermorgant, Wright-Phillips (Azeez 78).
Subs (not used): Hamer, Fox, Green, Wagstaff.
Booked: Pritchard 73 (foul on Dixon)
Sent off: Dervite 57 (professional foul)
Huddersfield: Smithies; Hunt, Dixon, P Clarke, Gerrard; Arfield, Norwood, Clayton, Scannell; Vaughan, Beckford (Novak 83)
Subs (not used): Bennett, T Clarke, Wallace, Robinson, Smith, Atkinson.
Goal: Beckford 11
Booked: Arfield 20 (foul on Evina), Vaughan 43 (foul on Pritchard), Norwood 70 (foul on Pritchard), Hunt 85 (foul on Azeez)
Referee: D Drysdale
Att: 6,657 (499 Huddersfield)