May 21 2013 Latest news:
By Nick Wright at The Valley
Saturday, January 26, 2013
Championship: Charlton 1 Sheffield Wednesday 2
Leroy Lita struck a late winner for Sheffield Wednesday just 24 hours after joining the club on loan from Swansea as Charlton suffered a late collapse at The Valley.
The home side went in front through captain Johnnie Jackson just after half time but they surrendered the points in a thrilling finale despite dominating much of the contest and twice striking the woodwork.
Defender Reda Johnson equalised with a looping header six minutes from time before substitute Lita, who had a loan spell at Charlton back in 2008, made it a dream debut with a deflected 89th-minute winner.
The loss halts a run of three consecutive Championship wins in 2013 for Charlton, who had looked comfortable until Johnson’s leveller.
Boss Chris Powell named an unchanged side from the 2-1 win at Blackburn last weekend as the Valley side looked to continue their strong start to the year.
It was a scrappy first half, with the muddy playing surface doing neither side any favours.
It might have been a different game though, after Giles Coke got off with only a booking for a late studs-up challenge on Addicks’ midfielder Dale Stephens after just five minutes.
Scott Wagstaff made Charlton’s first chance in the tentative opening stages after cutting inside from the left flank hitting a low shot was straight at Chris Kirkland.
The Owls had their best chance of the half after 22 minutes, when a goal-bound header from captain Anthony Gardner was inadvertently blocked by team-mate Michail Antonio.
Then, after 36 minutes, the Addicks came within inches of going in front.
Stephens swung in a free kick from the left and Matt Taylor’s header back across goal was met by Michael Morrison, whose point-blank header rattled against the crossbar.
The defender should have found the net and would have relished scoring against his former club Wednesday, where he spent six months before joining Charlton in the summer of 2011.
Wednesday defender Reda Johnson was spared embarrassment just before half time when he was mercifully flagged offside after dragging his shot wide of Charlton’s open goal.
But the scrappy opening 45 minutes was quickly forgotten as the second half started in explosive style with the Addicks’ opener.
Right back Chris Solly sent a teasing cross to the far post, where Bradley Pritchard kept a cool head to take the ball down and find the unmarked Jackson, whose low effort bounced in off the post.
It was an excellent team goal and lifted the mood at The Valley, but the home side were given a scare not long afterwards when Antonio’s diagonal shot flew narrowly wide.
Wednesday threw on Lita for his debut in a bid to get back on level terms but they struggled to create clear chances.
In one comical incident, Jermaine Johnson’s wild effort from 35 yards brought raucous cheers from the home fans as it cleared the top of the Jimmy Seed Stand.
Indeed it was Charlton who came closer to scoring, with the dangerous Wagstaff cutting in from the left again and seeing his well-struck drive bounce off the inside of Kirkland’s near post and away from danger.
After 70 minutes Stephens should have down better when he blasted over in acres of space 20 yards from goal.
The Addicks would pay for their missed chances and Wednesday had their equaliser seven minutes from time, when Reda Johnson atoned for his earlier miss with a looping header over Ben Hamer from Lewis Buxton’s cross.
Then, with time ticking away, Lita popped up with Sheffield Wednesday’s winner.
Stephens shot over again in stoppage time but it was too late for the Addicks.
Charlton: Hamer, Evina, Morrison, Taylor, Solly, Wagstaff, Stephens (Wright-Phillips 90), Jackson, Pritchard, Wilson (Green 90), Kermorgant. Subs not used: Button, Fuller, Cort, Harriott, Dervite.
Sheffield Wednesday: Kirkland, Buxton, R Johnson, Gardner, Antonio, J Johnson (Semedo 90), Pugh (Madine 67), Lee (Lita 55), Prutton, Coke, Llera. Subs not used: Bywater, Taylor, Semedo, Mattock, McCabe.
Referee: G Salisbury