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Match Report

 

Posted Wed 17 Jul 13 at 06:41 AM

Sheffield Wednesday v Charlton

Olly Groome reports from Hillsborough

The afternoon at Hillsborough proved somewhat representative of the season. 

2-0 down to Sheffield Wednesday after eight minutes and Charlton looked down and out. 

But a Marvin Sordell master class in finishing ensured that his hat-trick would force the cart firmly back on the rails and with that the Addicks' rollercoaster continued to dip and turn on its way to a gutsy 3-2 victory. 

When Chris Maguire struck to put the Owls into an early two-goal lead the Londoners were in the bottom three. But an extraordinary comeback saw Charlton pull themselves back in front thanks to the Olympic striker to see them sitting pretty in 18th place come 5pm. 

José Riga made three changes to the side which drew with Bolton Wanderers three days ago with Chris Solly returning to the starting XI in place of Lawrie Wilson, while Callum Harriott and Marvin Sordell started in place of Reza Ghoochannejhad and Astrit Ajdarević. 

Things could not have got off to a much worse start in Yorkshire. 

The game was in its infancy when Wednesday moved down the left-hand side with their first attack, and with just three minutes on the clock, they were ahead. 

With the Addicks shooting into the sun Michael Morrison appeared to lose track of the ball, allowing the bounce and Atdhe Nuhiu to get in around the back.

And with work still to do, the big striker unleashed his shot from a tight angle which beat Ben Hamer and bounced off the right upright on its way in to make it 1-0. 

And just five minutes later, it got worse. 

Morrison was caught out once again by Nuhiu who skipped past the defender before squaring to Chris Maguire just inside the box. 

The attack looked to have broken down when the midfielder slipped on reception of the ball. But somehow, he was allowed the time to get back to his feet, take a touch and smash the ball past Hamer to double the home side's lead. 

The Addicks were all over the place defensively and the Owls had taken maximum advantage. 

There needed to be an immediate response and Charlton got it moments later through Sordell. 

Harriott's through-ball found the Olympian who raced through one-on-one with Chris Kirkland, leaving the former England keeper flat-footed to strike into the far corner to reduce the deficit. 

The Addicks had looked dead and buried but that goal provided an all-important lifeline – and there had only been ten minutes played with neither side yet given the opportunity to even breathe. 

Charlton continued to look shaky at the back and, in truth, were lucky to keep the score at 2-1 for the time being. 

Immediately after conceding, the hosts came straight back at the South-Londoners. 

Nuhiu poked narrowly wide from 12 yards before the forward, who was proving to be a real thorn in the Addicks' side headed just over shortly after. 

But as shaky as Charlton looked to be at the back, Wednesday certainly weren't comfortable at the other end. 

On 25 minutes, a Morgan Fox throw-in ran all the way through to Sordell in a great position but the Bolton loanee could only hit his half-volley straight at Kirkland to provide the home side with a let-off. 

After a lightning quick start to this game proceedings seemed to lull somewhat with both sides conspiring to give up possession as a midfield battle ensued. 

Mistakes were proving key at either end and with three minutes remaining in the first half, the Addicks capitalised with a vengeance. 

Michail Antonio's sloppy pass was intercepted by Harriott who raced goalwards before once again playing in Sordell. 

And from an almost identical position as the first, the striker fired across Kirkland to see the ball nestle nicely in the far corner to draw level against all odds. 

After the first eight minutes some would have been well within their rights to believe it was game over. But Charlton battled back to earn their right to head into the dressing room at the break with their heads held high and the scores level. 

The Addicks' tails were up and they emerged for the second-half in a much better state than that of the first. 

Sordell was again in the thick of the action, first firing a hopeful shot wide from 20 yards before linking up again with Harriott to force Kirkland into a good save at his near post. 

On 53 minutes a Johnnie Jackson corner found its way to the far post where Fox met it on the bounce with his head. The connection sent the ball looping menacingly towards goal, but with Kirkland back-pedalling, he got back to his line just in time to watch it loop over the bar to safety. 

Wednesday remained a threat as they attacked their own fans with substitute Jermaine Johnson's pace causing real problems. 

One particular threatening ball all in took an almighty tackle from Dorian Dervite to stamp out the danger which epitomised the fact that the Addicks were looking far more confident at the back. 

Then with 63 minutes gone Charlton turned the game completely on its head.

A clumsy pass backwards from Nuhiu split the Wednesday defence in two to send Sordell racing through. 

Suddenly, he was one-on-one with just Kirkland to beat and with plenty of time to consider his next move. 

And the striker kept an exemplary cool head to bide his time before slotting home for his hat-trick to give his side an unlikely lead. 

Now it had become about the Addicks keeping their head and, without exception, keeping it tight at the back. 

Charlton were galvanised and looked comfortable on the ball and with Astrit Ajdarević having been introduced to pull the strings, it added an extra dimension to Riga's play. 

Superb football down the right saw the Standard Liege loanee exchange well before laying across to Cousins who skidded an effort wide of the post. 

A speculative Maguire free-kick tested Hamer with 13 minutes remaining as the Addicks managed to reduce the Owls to shots from range with the back four looking sturdier than ever. 

But with the seconds ticking down, inevitably, it would be all hands to the pump as the home side surged forwards. 

But, again, the threat was limited and it was all down to the Addicks snuffing the Owls forward play out.

A corner-kick saw Giles Coke send an overhead kick wide but, in truth, there was no realistic threat in the latter stages as Charlton held on for a precious, precious three points. 

At 2-0 down there seemed no hope. But the key ingredient to survival comes down to one thing – fight. 

And Charlton showed plenty of that in abundance on a memorable Easter Monday afternoon at Hillsborough. That and a hatful of goals with thanks to Marvin Sordell. 

Charlton: Hamer; Solly, Fox, Dervite, Morrison; Cousins, Poyet, Jackson, Harriott (Wilson 80); Sordell (Obika 90+2), Church (Ajdarević 54).

Subs (not used): Thuram-Ulien, Ghoochannejhad, Petrucci, Wood.

Booked: Morrison 21 (foul on Helan)

Goals: Sordell 10, 43, 63

Sheffield Wednesday: Kirkland; Palmer (Mattock 45), Helan, Llera, Onyewu; Maguire, Coke, Lee, Antonio (Johnson 45); Nuhiu, Best. 

Subs (not used): Martinez, Taylor, Corry, Lavery, Afobe. 

Booked: Maguire 8 (excessive celebration), Lee 78 (foul on Harriott), Helan 86 (foul on Solly)

Goals: Nuhiu 3, Maguire 10

Referee: T Harrington

Att: 20,557

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