Monday, 5 September 2011

Poor performance but still unbeaten

Charlton failed to capitalise on a good start against Sheffield Wednesday and had to be satisfied with a 1-1 draw at The Valley tonight. Despite going a goal up inside 4 minutes with Bradley Wright-Phillips grabbing his fourth of the season, the Addicks once again squandered the lead in a home match. Wednesday found their equaliser from a corner when an unmarked Clinton Morrison, a substitute for the injured Ryan Lowe, headed the ball home.

I was desperate for us to get off to a good start tonight, and things couldn't have gone any better. Bradley Wright-Phillips opened the scoring with a low drive that unsighted Wednesday keeper Richard O'Donnell. Charlton looked in control and were playing some decent football. Dale Stephens had a chance to make it 2-0 after the ball was played back to him inside the box but he put it over from 8 yards.

Wednesday had a miserable first half. Gary Megson played it safe by starting with a 4-5-1 formation which had Gary Madine playing the lone striker role. Clearly it wasn't working, Charlton were carving the Owls open with relative ease and Wednesday were struggling to retain the ball and create anything of note themselves.

After 20 minutes, Megson decided to make a change bringing on Ryan Lowe to replace the largely ineffective Chris Sedgwick and switching to a 4-4-2 formation. The new shape clearly suited the Owls and they started to work their way back into the game, although they still failed to create a single shot on goal in the opening 45 minutes.

Ryan Lowe had to go off just after the break after a clash of heads ruined his night, and Clinton Morrison made his ominous appearance. As soon as he stripped off I had this feeling he would find the back of the net at some point, particularly as he came on to the field to a chorus of boos. Why does everyone we boo score against us?

Anyway, three minutes after coming on he grabbed the equaliser. It was more or less their first chance of the game and no surprise it came from a set-piece because in open play, they hardly got near our goal. The ball was floated in and Morrison headed on to the underside of the bar and the ball bounced down and into the goal.

After their goal Wednesday started to add a bit more pressure, but in all honesty they didn't look too threatening except with their set pieces. Charlton's game had also deteriorated into a lot of long balls looking for the run of Wright-Phillips or Wagstaff. When we got into more advanced positions instead of playing our probing passing game we were hitting crosses into the box which towering Wednesday defender Rob Jones was clearing away with little effort.

We looked a bit bereft of ideas towards the end and I thought we needed to bring on a couple of players to try to change things a bit to maybe give us more impetus. Unfortunately Powell only introduced Euell in a straight swap for Paul Hayes which did nothing at all to improve us. The closest we came to a winner was when Matt Taylor headed on to a post, but their keeper was quickly there to claim.

Overall I was disappointed with the game. Both sides were pretty average, and although I think we had the better of the chances, we certainly didn't do enough to win the game. We really need to pick up our performances at home. Although it's great that we are still unbeaten, our home form hasn't been the best. Hopefully we can put that right with the visit of Exeter on Saturday.

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