Sheffield Wednesday 0-1 Charlton Athletic
Sheffield Wednesday lost ground at the top of League One following a narrow 1-0 defeat at home to an impressive Charlton side. Johnnie Jackson scored a stunning free kick for the travelling Addicks as Wednesday lost at home for the first time this season.
Wednesday began the brighter side in front of a crowd of over 26,000 with new signing Mike Jones and Ben Marshall seeing lots of the ball out wide. Good work by Chris O’Grady down the left created the first clear cut chance after 20 minutes as O’Grady turned his man and squared for Chris Lines but his shot was palmed away by Charlton ‘keeper Ben Hamer.
Once Charlton got a foothold on the game it didn’t take them long to get on the score sheet. First Bradley Wright-Phillips had a shot saved by Owls goalkeeper Nicky Weaver and then Reda Johnson upended Bradley Pritchard 20 yards from goal after 28 minutes, allowing Jackson a sight at goal. He needed no more invitation as he curled an exquisite free kick over the wall and into the top left of Weaver’s goal.
Gary Madine, returning from a broken toe that kept him out for two months, had a goal disallowed for offside on the stroke of half time but Charlton deserved their lead heading into the break.
The second half began with Wednesday pushing for an equaliser but Charlton almost doubled their advantage on the break as Wright-Phillips outpaced Rob Jones and went through on goal but he could only find the arms of Weaver.
Wednesday huffed and puffed but the excellent Charlton back four never really looked threatened despite the barrage of long balls and Hamer was hardly troubled.
Clinton Morrison was thrown on as Wednesday went to three at back and although Morrison had a header cleared off the line, Charlton were comfortable.
Gary Megson said after the game, ‘I’m disappointed, I think everybody is disappointed not just with the result, but with the way that we played. It’s nowhere near like how we’ve been playing and not just in the last few weeks but all season.’
Megson must pick his men up now for their home game against Hartlepool at the weekend. He must cope without the excellent Ben Marshall, however, as his loan spell has ended and he has gone back to Stoke.