Charlton Athletic 1-1 Sheffield Wednesday
Charlton were left frustrated on their own patch, as they only managed a point against fellow strugglers Sheffield Wednesday, in a sometimes scrappy affair that unfolded on a terrible pitch at The Valley. Wednesday had the majority of possession and created numerous chances, particularly in the second period, although the Addicks didn’t go without missing a few opportunities themselves either.
Roger Johnson came close to giving the visitors the breakthrough early on, as his hopeful hook from a McPhail corner cannoned off the top of the crossbar. A well-struck free-kick from returning star Connor Wickham was pushed away by ex-Barnsley keeper Ben Alnwick, as Stuart Gray’s men created the only two chances of note in the first period.
However, Charlton began the second half with a bang, as they drew first blood after some magnificent play from the out-of-position Dale Stephens. Stephens, who was playing on the right wing, managed to ghost in behind the away side’s backline to receive the ball from a Lawrie Wilson throw. The former Oldham playmaker took the bouncing ball past Roger Johnson in the six yard area, before stabbing the ball past Chris Kirkland from point-blank range.
Wednesday responded very well from the setback, and were nearly level when Kieran Lee’s cross was headed over by Reda Johnson, who rose highest in a ruck of bodies.
Visiting caretaker manager Stuart Gray then opted to bring on Adthe Nuhiu and Jacques Maghoma, and it immediately paid dividends. Nuhiu’s flick on released dangerous forward Chris Maguire down the right channel, whose deflected cross found Kieran Lee, who looked like he had converted from close range until the suspiciously offside Connor Wickham tapped in at the back post, and the South Yorkshire outfit, somewhat controversially, were level.
After that, the away side controlled the game and should have maybe come out with all three points. Again Roger Johnson could have converted from a corner but his effort was saved by the feet of Alnwick. The ball then fell to Maguire, who drove the ball across goal, but agonizingly for Wednesday, no-one could connect.
Despite their dominance of the closing exchanges, Charlton will feel that they could have nicked a winner, when Simon Church blazed his shot over the bar, after turning Glenn Loovens and smartly nutmegging Reda Johnson.
The Owls stay in the danger zone following a good performance on the road, whereas The Addicks, despite failing to register back-to-back wins after their boxing day success against Brighton, are starting to build a small gap between themselves and the bottom three.
|Ben Alnwick – Poor distribution with his feet, although he made a couple of decent saves.||6.0|
|Lawrie Wilson – Comfortable in possession, offered an attacking threat and started a lot of Charlton’s attacks. Defensively sound also, even though most of the Owls forward play came from the other side.||7.5|
|Michael Morrison – Solid, won almost every header, and played some nice passes. Looked comfortable.||7.5|
|Richard Wood – Looked dodgy at times with a few lapses in concentration.||6.0|
|Cedric Evina – After an okay first half, the Frenchman was continuously exposed by Chris Maguire in the second period. Poor distribution and couldn’t handle Maguire.||4.5|
|Dale Stephens – Showed moments of class; neat touches and good passing, capped off with a goal. When playing out wide he struggled to make an impact, a lot more effective in the centre.||7.5|
|Johnnie Jackson – Ineffective and anonymous. Didn’t notice he was playing.||5.0|
|Jordan Cousins – Battled well in the engine room, won tackles and made interceptions. The youngsters’ passing was also reliable.||7.5|
|Cameron Stewart – Didn’t contribute at all, his touch was poor and he wasn’t in the game.||5.0|
|Simon Church – Worked hard but had nothing to show for it. Missed a good chance at the end, couldn’t really hold the ball up either.||5.5|
|Yann Kermorgant – Held the ball up better than his partner, and received little service.||6.5|
|Dorian Dervite – Replaced Cameron Stewart and played as a midfield anchor-man/3rd centre-back, and he was solid and won his aerial duels.||6.5|
|Danny Green – Poor in possession, made little impact.||5.5|
|Chris Kirkland – Untroubled and showed good distribution.||6.5|
|Liam Palmer – Defended with ease and was comfortable on the ball. Offered an attacking outlet, but his crossing was disappointing. Had Stewart in his back pocket.||7.0|
|Glenn Loovens – Partly responsible for The Addick’s goal and his passing was poor, although it wasn’t helped by the diabolical surface.||5.5|
|Roger Johnson – His aerial ability showed in both boxes. Solid at the back and kept the forward two quiet.||7.0|
|Reda Johnson – Poor on the floor, good in the air. The towering Beninese defender was caught out a couple of times with his lack of positional sense. Again, his passing was poor.||6.0|
|Chris Maguire – Came alive in the second half and tore Evina apart with his pace and dribbling ability. Maguire was like a new signing after being recalled from a recent loan spell at Coventry.||8.0|
|Keiran Lee – Solid and sensible in the middle of the park. Kept his passing simple and should have had a goal.||7.0|
|Jose Semedo – Bossed the midfield, won tackles and protected the back for extremely well. Kept the ball for his team.||8.5|
|Stephen McPhail – Comfortable on the ball, at the heart of Wednesday’s keep ball. Switched off for the goal however, as he didn’t look over his shoulder and track Stephens when he ran in behind.||6.5|
|Jeremy Helan – Embarked on a few mazy runs which worried Wilson, but the ex-Manchester City man didn’t really create much.||6.5|
|Connor Wickham – Showed moments of premier league quality, his passing and ball retention was generally good. Lucky to tap home Kieran Lee’s goal bound shot as he was offside.||7.5|
|Adthe Nuhiu – Helped changed the game by making it harder for Morrison and Wood to win their headers.||6.5|
|Jacques Maghoma – Didn’t make too much of an impact as most of Wednesday’s play came down the opposite flank.||6.0|
Man of the Match
|Jose Semedo – Bossed the midfield with a battling performance. The Portugese midfielder has really come into his own in the past few weeks, partly because he is now more comfortable on the ball and looks for a pass. The dire pitch was made for Semedo and his battling prowess.||8.5|