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Match Report


Posted Thu 13 Mar 14 at 16:31 PM

Charlton 0 Huddersfield Town 0

Olly Groome reports from The Valley

José Riga's reign at The Valley started with a share of the spoils against Huddersfield Town at The Valley on Wednesday night. 

Neither side could find a way through in a game which, it is fair to say, the Addicks edged. 

Charlton had their chances to win it, enjoying good spells of pressure throughout the game but it would only count for only a point as the two sides cancelled each other out. 

Riga's first act was to make four changes to the side which crashed out of the FA Cup at Sheffield United three days earlier. 

Dorian Dervite, Astrit Ajdarević, Reza Ghoochannejhad, and Marvin Sordell all returned to the side in place of Richard Wood, Jordan Cousins, and Simon Church who took their place among the substitutes with Marcus Tudgay missing out altogether. 

The hosts began by putting Mark Robins' side under some early pressure and five minutes in Charlton had the first sight of goal when Ajdarević let fly from 30 yards, drawing a save from Terriers' stopper Alex Smithies who got down low to his right. 

At the other end, Ben Hamer followed suit; Nahki Wells stinging the Addicks number one's palms with a powerful effort just inside the box. 

Riga's men showed some confident forward play in the early exchanges and it continued as Rhoys Wiggins brushed aside Danny Ward's attentions with ease, haring forward to supply Marvin Sordell. 

The Olympian beat his man before sending a ball spinning across the Terriers' six-yard box, bamboozling their defence in the process, but ultimately managing to clear their lines. 

Charlton kept coming, earning a series of corners from which Michael Morrison sent a volley sailing wide when unmarked before Ghoochannejhad missed with a near carbon-copy minutes later. 

Attacking Johnnie Jackson's left-sided corner with haste, the Iranian blasted his effort goalwards but could only watch as itflew agonisingly wide. 

On 28 minutes, the Addicks showed some good play down the right flank as Ghoochannejhad dummied brilliantly for the overlapping Lawrie Wilson. 

The right-back sent a ball in which eventually reached Ajdarević, and the loanee's volley drew a good stop from Smithies.

Anything Charlton could do down the right wing, the left could do (almost) better as a similar manoeuvre saw Harriott dummy for Wiggins to supply the populated box. 

Ghoochannejhad again read the situation well, getting there first before seeing his first-time effort blocked from 12 yards. 

The pendulum then began to swing Huddersfield's way as the visitors enjoyed their best spell of the half. 

But although the Terriers enjoyed plenty of possession, they could only manage to threaten from range. 

Jonathan Hogg was first to try his luck from 25 yards on the half-hour mark, drawing a good stop from Hamer before Ward's effort from similar range was seen to by the Addicks' custodian. 

As time was ticking down for the first 45, Charlton had a glorious opportunity to take a lead into the break. 

Jackson's corners had been causing Huddersfield a host of problems up to the 42nd minute when once again he stepped up to bend one in. 

This time, his pinpoint dead-ball delivery was met by Ajdarević whose header looked for all the world to be heading in. Indeed, Huddersfield's backline were beaten. But it was the head of Sordell which got in the way, leaving the ball to instead head away from the net and out for a corner.

It was desperately bad luck for Charlton would have been deserving of a half-time lead. But as it was, the two sides retreated for the changing rooms without a goal to separate them. 

Riga's side needed to show some of the same endeavour in the second-half and the early signs were promising. 

A swift counter-attacking move saw Harriott play through Sordell who ran 20 yards before firing a left-footed shot just wide of the right-hand upright with Smithies looking a beaten man. 

Huddersfield responded with a spell of pressure but, just as they did in the first period, struggled to convert possession into meaningful chances. 

On the hour, the Terriers did manage to unpick Charlton's defensive lock when Wells got on the end of a through ball. 

Hamer committed early, dashing out of the six-yard box to send the striker wide and when he eventually did make an attempt at goal after rounding the keeper, Dervite was on hand to clear the danger. 

 It would be 71 minutes before the Addicks would have their next shot in anger and it came via Ajdarević.  

Collecting from a throw-in on the right, the midfielder shaped up before drilling a powerful shot from the edge of the box which Smithies struggled to keep hold of at his near post. 

And from the resulting corner, pinball ensued as Charlton fought to send the ball goalbound before the Terriers eventually hacked away. 

The balance of play was now back with Riga's side and Harriott showed good feet, sending a shot on his weak foot skidding wide before Sordell was presented with the chance of the half. 

The forward took a neat first touch to bring down Poyet's sweet ball over the top but finding himself faced with the onrushing Smithies, his shot was smothered one-on-one. 

On 78 minutes, the Addicks thought, if only for a second, that they had taken the lead when Michael Morrison put pressure on Smithies who bundled the ball over the line from a corner. 

As the stopper fumbled, it trickled over the line before the referee's assistant quelled the celebrations by brandishing his flag. 

The remainder of the game played out with the home side on the ascendency as Charlton enjoyed plenty of possession without creating that all-important killer chance. 

And so, Riga began his rein with a point on the board. And with games in hand and an always-difficult trip to Millwall coming up, that point could well prove to be vital.  

Charlton: Hamer; Wilson, Wiggins, Morrison, Dervite; Ghoochannejhad (Pritchard 64), Poyet, Jackson, Ajdarević, Harriott (Cousins 85); Sordell (Church 78).

Subs (not used): Thuram-Ulien, Nego, Wood, Green.

Booked: Poyet 56 (foul on Southern)

Huddersfield: Smithies; Dixon, Wallace, Clarke (c), Woods; Southern, Clayton, Hogg; Scannell (Hammill 75), Wells (Paterson 75), Ward 

Subs (not used): Bennett, Norwood,Gobern, Stead, Smith.

Booked: Dixon 91 (foul on Pritchard)

Referee: K Hill

Att: 12,974 (440 from Huddersfield)

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