The Owls snatched their first victory and goal at Hillsborough this decade with Fletcher in the right place at the right time.
Garry Monk made two changes from The Owls’ thrilling 3-3 stalemate against Birmingham City at St Andrews, as Morgan Fox and Connor Wickham replaced Dominic Iorfa and Joey Pelupessy. Meanwhile, Lee Bowyer also made two alterations from his side’s 3-1 win against Luton Town which saw Andy Pearce replace Naby Sarr, Macauley Bonne also stepped in for Andre Green.
The first chance of an uninspiring opening half came in the 19thminute, Charlton were dispossessed on the edge of their own penalty area, and Forestieri saw his strike parried behind by Dillon Phillips, which was to become a regular occurrence.
Then, on the 38-minute mark, Wednesday created the best opportunity of the opening 45 minutes.
Jacob Murphy’s cross was headed down by Wickham at the back post to Forestieri. His wild effort was met by the head of Kieran Lee who could only divert his improvised header over the crossbar.
The Owls should have taken the lead immediately after the interval. Bannan made the defence-splitting pass to Fernando Forestieri who despite being through on goal was unable to beat Charlton’s number one, as he fired into the side netting.
Steven Fletcher was introduced after 56 minutes and was instantly in the thick of the action, first he latched onto a ball from Barry Bannan before seeing his volley blocked by the on-rushing Phillips.
Seconds later, Phillips superbly palmed the Scotsman’s bullet header clear of goal, denying him his 13thgoal of the campaign.
Charlton then almost snatched the lead against the run of play. Lyle Taylor, looking for his 12thgoal this term, set his sights and rasped a volley off the crossbar with Cameron Dawson grasping at thin air.
Taylor went close again as the game entered the final ten minutes, his effort from point-blank range was expertly blocked by Wednesday skipper Tom Lees.
Then, on 90+5 Fletcher grabbed his 13thgoal after almost two months on the side-lines. Liam Palmer’s searching free kick led to a scramble in the 18-yard box and Wednesday’s leading goal scorer was on hand to force the ball over the line at the death.
This made a pleasant change for Garry Monk who has seen his side drop 22 points from winning positions this season: “Well it’s a happier one, just pleased to say something different!
“Of course, I’m very pleased, the main thing is we deserved to win that game, but as the seconds tick down, you’re thinking I’m going to be saying we’ve done everything but put the ball in the back of the net.
“We had some glorious chances but felt like they were never going to go in.”
In contrast, Lee Bowyer was crestfallen after late heartbreak for his side who slip closer to the drop zone with this defeat: “I’m disappointed, frustrated, angry because my players gave absolutely everything and didn’t deserve not to come away with anything tonight.
“It wasn’t a foul for their goal. It wasn’t a foul, one hundred per cent it wasn’t a foul.
“It’s a contact sport, I’m sure it’s still a contact sport and there was minimal contact and then he gave a foul, it was never a foul, it was a metre in front of me.”
Sheffield Wednesday: Dawson, Palmer, Lees, Börner, Fox, Lee, Bannan, Murphy, Harris (56’ Fletcher), Forestieri (78’ De Cruz), Wickham (75’ Nuhiu).
Charlton Athletic: Phillips, Matthews, Oshilaja, Lockyer, Pearce, Taylor, Bonne (75’ Green), Cullen, Davis, Oztumer (56’ Lapslie), Doughty.
Referee: Oliver Langford
Sheffield Wednesday: Forestieri 67’, Nuhiu 82’
Charlton Atheltic: Doughty 19’, Lockyer 22’, Lapslie 90+4’
Scorers: Fletcher 90+5’