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Match Report


Posted Sat 11 Apr 15 at 16:58 PM

Sheffield Wednesday 1 Charlton 1

Olly Groome reports from Hillsborough

Charlton played out a second consecutive 1-1 draw as they shared the spoils with Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough on Saturday. 

Despite the two mid-table sides having very little to play for at this stage of the season, there was a competitive edge to the fixture with the Addicks dominating the first half, while the Owls enjoyed the better of the second. 

Although Guy Luzon’s men impressed in the first 45, it was the hosts who took the lead just before the break courtesy of Caolan Lavery’s strike. 

But Johann Berg Gudmundsson’s 11th goal of the season 15 minutes from time cancelled out that strike to earn a point as the in-form Icelander drew level with top-scorer Igor Vetokele in the scoring charts. 

There were four changes to the side which shared a 1-1 draw with Fulham in midweek, with Tony Watt, Alou Diarra, Frederic Bulot and Tal Ben Haim all making way for Simon Church and Chris Eagles, as well as Yoni Buyens and Chris Solly who were both returning from their respective suspensions. 

With the action under way, it was the Addicks who enjoyed the first shot of the afternoon when Johann Berg Gudmundsson cut inside from the right to drill a low shot towards goal which took a slight deflection before being stopped by the Owls’ keeper Kieren Westwood, who was very nearly wrong-footed by the effort. 

On the seven-minute mark, Eagles was the next to try his luck with a well-hit strike from the edge of the box which did not bother Westwood as it flew well over the bar. 

It was 13 minutes before the hosts staged their first real attack with Caolan Lavery latching on to a splitting through-ball and curling a good-looking effort narrowly wide of the right-hand upright from just inside the box. 

Moments later, the Addicks had the ball in the back of the net when Gudmundsson played a perfectly-timed pass round the back of the Wednesday defence for Eagles who took it wide and slotted past Westwood, only to be wrongly denied by the linesman’s flag, with the replays showing the midfielder was at least two yards onside. 

Charlton were enjoying the better of things and came close again when Vetokele’s initial shot fell to the feet of Church whose follow-up was well saved by Westwood at his near post, moments before the hosts missed a glorious chance to take the lead. 

Pouncing on some hesitancy from Buyens in the middle of the park, Wednesday nicked the ball and embarked on a four-on-two attack with Lewis McGugan baring down on goal with just Stephen Henderson to beat. 

But the Irishman got out superbly to smother the effort one-on-one as the Addicks went down the other end with a counter of their own. 

Gudmundsson patiently waited before playing in Morgan Fox who came haring down the left and unleashed an almighty effort which only just rose beyond the crossbar. 

Church was presented with another opportunity eight minutes before the break when he drew another good save from Westwood following tenacious work from Jordan Cousins, but the Republic of Ireland international made the save of the game from the resulting corner, stopping Fox’s point-blank effort with his feet. 

With just four minutes to go before half-time, however, it was the Owls who took the lead completely against the run of play. 

Lewis Buxton was the provider for the hosts, swinging in the ball from the right for Lavery to divert the ball past Henderson to put his side in front. 

That goal had come as quite a shock to Charlton who had looked in control for most of the half and somehow found themselves retreating to the dressing rooms trailing. 

Wednesday probably should have stretched their lead in the early stages of the second period when Lloyd Isgrove capitalised on Joe Gomez’s heavy first touch to steam into the box and draw, yet another, good save from Henderson one-on-one. 

The hosts were enjoying a strong start to the half and Sergiu Bus saw a header tipped over by Henderson while Luzon threw on Watt for Church just before the hour mark in an attempt to inject some of the attacking threat seen in the first 45 and it paid off. 

With 15 minutes remaining, the Addicks grabbed their equaliser via the red-hot Gudmundsson who was alert to Westwood’s save from an Eagle’s curling effort. 

The Iceland international bided his time, taking a touch before bringing the ball onto his left-foot and leathering it into the back of the net from 12 yards. 

Suddenly, a sleepy half had come alive and within a minute of the leveller, Wednesday struck the woodwork not once, but twice. 

First, Lavery whacked a 30-yarder towards goal from seemingly nowhere, thwacking off the post while a rooted Henderson looked on. 

And seconds later, Lloyd Isgrove saw his effort loop over the keeper and bounce agonisingly back off the crossbar as the visitors enjoyed a double let-off. 

Wednesday  seemed desperate to regain their lead and they really should have done six minutes from time when substitute Atdhe Nuhiu missed an absolute sitter. 

Good football down the right resulted in Stevie May dinking a ball to the far post where the unmarked forward stood two yards out, but he somehow diverted his header well wide of the post much to the disbelief of the home crowd with many heading straight for the exit. 

The Addicks could have enjoyed one final chance at the death, but for the good sportsmanship of Watt who called for play to stop after Jeremy Helan received a blow to the head with Vetokele in a good position in the penalty area. 

On reflection, however, the draw was a fair result with both sides enjoying the better of a half each and the draw ensures that Charlton continue their impressive form, with just three defeats in their last 12. 

Charlton: Henderson; Solly, Fox, Gomez, Johnson; Gudmundsson, Buyens, Cousins, Eagles (Diarra 81); Church (Watt 58), Vetokele.

Subs (not used): Dmitrovic, Wiggins, Bulot, Lennon, Lepoint.

Goal: Gudmundsson 75

Booked: Solly 85 (foul on Isgrove) , Buyens 90+1 (foul on Isgrove)

Sheffield Wednesday: Westwood, Buxton, Hutchinson, Maguire, Lavery (May 79), Lees, Helan, Zayatte, Isgrove, Bus (Nuhiu 71), McGugan ( Lee 71).

Subs (not used): Kirkland, Maghoma, Vermijl, Kelhar.

Booked: Hutchinson 52 (foul on Gudmundsson), Helan 60 (foul on Gudmundsson)

Goal: Lavery 41

Referee: D. Bond

Att: 23,257 (828 from Charlton)

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