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Wednesday 2 - Charlton Athletic 2

Hillsborough, Sheffield

15/01/11 - 3pm

Attendance: 19,051

Wednesday 2-2 Charlton

It was the proverbial game of two halves at Hillsborough as Wednesday mounted a second-half comeback to take a share of the spoils against npower League One promotion rivals Charlton Athletic.

The Owls' new-look defence, bolstered by the additions of Michael Morrsion, at right-back, and Reda Johnson, at centre-back, collapsed in the opening six minutes to allow the visitors a 2-0 lead thanks to goals from Scott Wagstaff and Johnnie Jackson.

But, following a dour half from Alan Irvine's men, Wednesday came out looking a different side in the second half and levelled matters in a six-minute spell on the resumption thanks to goals from half-time substitute Paul Heffernan and home debutant Reda Johnson.

The Owls were unfortunate not to win the game in the closing stages, Heffernan in particular amazed to see his header brilliantly saved by Addicks goalkeeper Rob Elliot.

Irvine named an unchanged starting eleven for the visit of the Londoners following their superb 3-0 FA Cup success at Bristol City last weekend.

Reda Johnson and Morrison both made their home debuts and received a warm welcome from the Wednesdayites inside Hillsborough.

It was the first game at S6 in almost a month due to postponements over the festive period and the home support were desperate to see the Owls bag three points to get them back on track for an automatic promotion spot.

Those top-two places were at the back of everyone's mind though after a disastrous start for the hosts.

The new-look back four, so impressive at Ashton Gate last weekend, failed to click into place and allowed the visitors a two-goal head-start.

First Wagstaff got free to slot his effort beneath Owls stopper Nicky Weaver and into the back of the net just minutes into the game.

And it was 2-0 to Charlton after just six minutes when Darren Purse hauled down Joe Anyinsah inside the box and Jackson slammed the ball into the back of the net with authority.

Hillsborough was in shock and captain Purse was getting most of the blame, with booing directed at the centre-back from some parts of the Wednesday support following the sloppy opening.

It was a superb start as far as Charlton were concerned and the visitors looked happy to sit on their two-goal cushion, despite being only in the early exchanges of the game.

Wednesday improved - they couldn't get much worse - and they enjoyed plenty of the ball in midfield and in the final third, but they struggled to unlock the visitors' defence.

The Addicks, although sitting back, did still look threatening in attack thanks to the pace of their two forward men on the break, and the fragile confidence of the Owls brittle back-line.

But chances were few and far between and Wednesday looked like a lost cause with most of their play in attack.

The hosts did get the ideal opportunity to get right back in the game though before half-time when they were awarded a penalty.

Alan McCormack was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the box and Tommy Miller was given the responsibility to get the hosts back in the game.

It wasn't to be though, with the normally reliable midfielder missing from the spot for the first time in his career.

Nothing was going right for Wednesday, and the wind that was blowing against them in the first half did little to help their cause.

The Addicks were well in control of the game at half-time, and it looked as though the writing was on the wall at the interval.

Half-Time: Wednesday 0-2 Charlton

Irvine had to make changes at half-time and he did, with Heffernan on to replace Neil Mellor and Jermaine Johnson on to replace Gary Teale, the latter being a somewhat strange decision given the Scot was the only player who looked like creating anything in the first half.

But, they worked, as Wednesday started the second half in blistering fashion to leave Charlton wondering what had hit them.

Irvine's double change got Wednesday immediately back into the game as Johnson's cross found its way to Heffernan, who was well position to drill home from close range at raise the noise level at S6.

The goal lifted the Owls, and the majority of the 19,000-plus crowd, and they went on to level just minutes later.

A spell of pressure in front of the Charlton goal gave the Owls a corner, which Chris Sedgwick delivered and Reda Johnson directed a fine header into the bottom corner to score on his debut and level matters.

The Owls new signing raced away to celebrate with the Kop and Wednesday had the momentum to go on and win the game, especially with the wind now favouring them.

The Addicks struggled to get hold of the ball as Wednesday dominated for long spells of the second half - much like last weekend's cup win in Bristol - and there looked like there was going to be only one winner.

The visitors still posed a minor threat going forward, but the Owls defence looked to have gained a bit of composure and confidence that was drastically lacking in the first 45 minutes.

For all Wednesday's pressure though, the didn't carve out as many chances as they would have liked in the middle spell of the second half and the game looked to be heading for a draw.

That was until the last ten minutes when Wednesday poured forward with wave after wave of attacks as the Addicks goal lived a charmed life.

The winner almost came from the most unlikely of sources when James O'Connor sent a daisy-cutter of a drive just inches wide of Elliot's goal.

Sedgwick should also have done better when he tried to place a low shot into the corner of the goal but saw his effort blocked by a visiting defender.

The chance of the match came for Heffernan though, and he could take little of the blame as his header was brilliantly tipped on to the post by Elliot and the ball was cleared to safety.

Wednesday managed to forced a number of corners in succession late on, but Charlton managed to scramble all the efforts Wednesday had to throw at them late on and the match finished all square.

Full-Time: Wednesday 2-2 Charlton




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The Journalist

Writer: Nick Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday January 15 2011

Time: 7:09PM

Your Comments

start heffernan next game ! reda johnson great player got to start winning games though. glad we got madine and reynold !
milan=owl
not good enough at home
vic mobley
not good enough at home
vic mobley
1st 6 mins i cud not believe wot i was seeing and why purse ad to drag their player down in box i dont know.Anyone notice wen Weaver was warming up he let exactly the same shot in as their 1st goal.I was expecting another drumming as nothing was goin our way and wen Miller missed his 1st ever pen i thought thats it.2nd half was just so unbeleivable,was like they ad cloned the players and sent out some super clones in their places,Heffernan did well and was behind most of our attack and was always there,Clinton needs to stop whinging and just get on with the game,JJ again causing some problems for their defence but agen no end product.How we ended up drawing that game in the last 10 mins or so i dont knw.All in all a better 2nd half performance like last week but we need to be doing that for 90 mins.
ollyowl70
weaver morrison,johnson,reynold,jones jj,miller,coke,teale madine,heffernan(mellor or morrison) team for next game !
milan=owl
Well a game of two halfs i think. First half was so poor i could not believe my eyes. Purse was shocking but i do not agree with with fans booing him regardless of how **** he played. Morrison looks shaky at the back but needs a few games. 9/10 Millers pen would out hit the back of the net. Reda Johnson was superb, my man of the match by far. C Morrison has so much skill but is never going to score with his back to goal.Did not agree with the subs choice but so glad i was proved wrong.Heff needs a chance and he took it well, could of won us the game at the end. How we hit the post at the end i have no idea. JJ played well when he came on but really needs to pull his finger out. Great signings today Milan. Thank you for making this club exciting again.
joseph10
Can't believe how poor we were 1st half what was purse doing anyway delighted for heffernan he now deserves a run in the team he has been patient and has taken his chance hope new plyers can make an impact and lift us up the table quickly come on wednesday.
beverley owl
i find it truely amazing that we had the best squad in this league before the transfer window and yet we find ourselves mid-table and find ourselves having to resort to spending money. our league form has been woefull. 10 wins and 9 defeats just about says it all.
DEZZYP
I think we just have to be very patient and realise we are in a new era and it will take a while for certain players to be moved on. Purse is a great leader but I think he's days are numbered he has cost us so many points with stupid mistakes. I like the idea of signing young players who want to play for a ambitious club. Playoffs at best. Dezzy probabaly is one of the best squads but there are a lot of weaknesses players other clubs didn't want. I am going Orient next Sat it will be only second game this season. Defo need a strong quality midfielder maybe a winger and we be sorted.
jamesc1905
I thought the wind was a strong factor in it being a game of 2 halves. First half Weaver was struggling to clear the ball over the half way line and second half he put one on their 18 yard box. I know the players we brought on changed our tempo but if we had started better with defending we would have won easily. They were poor in a lot of areas and relied on moaning to the ref. Mind you we have our own little moaner in Clinton Morrison. Did he really offer their defender out after the match. The hand signals seemed to suggest so. I know he's passionate but that was a bit OTT. Purse should be taught a lesson from another poor showing. Irvine should be shown the door. I don't like watching big boot football and alot of his game appears to be route one. Huge praise for Reda Johnson who looked slightly shakey first half especially for their penalty as he didn't seem to deal with the problem before captain marvel showed how to really **** things up. He came out second half and was like watching Carlton Palmer(in the way he runs) and Paul Warhurst(with the way he brings the ball out and reads the game) rolled into one. The tackle on their moaning number 7 was fantastic and went on from strength to strength. Praise also for James O'conner who I don't personally like as he is a poor player with the ball but I thought he kept us in it first half and then made one mistake second half trying to control the ball and everybody jumped on his back.
PapsOwl
Purse had a nightmare,particularly 1st half,but booing him is crazy.How is that going to help?Heff looked great when he came on at half time and surely deserves a run in the side.JJ was really dangerous running at their defence but needs to be more consistant.
leons gloves
 

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