Owls duo down Charlton
A magnificent strike from Rhys McCabe and a late hit by Jeremy Helan were enough to beat Charlton and land back to back Championship victories for Wednesday.
Maiden Owls goals for the duo settled an entertaining affair at a rain-sodden Hillsborough and more importantly turned the heat on their rivals at the wrong end of the division.
Having beaten local rivals Barnsley at Oakwell last weekend, Wednesday had the bit between their teeth in pursuit of three more crucial points going into the hectic Christmas calendar.
And Dave Jones shuffled his pack for this clash of last season’s League 1 automatic promotion winners, welcoming Reda Johnson back from injury, which allowed Manchester City loanee Jeremy Helan to push up into a midfield berth.
For their part, the Addicks arrived protecting an impressive more recent record in S6 but they almost fell behind five minutes in.
A loose ball from a corner sat up nicely for David Prutton on the edge of the box and his snapshot was smartly saved by Ben Hamer before Gary Madine flicked the rebound goalwards only for Leon Cort to hook off the line.
Bu there was little the Charlton defence could do about the stunning strike from McCabe that saw the Owls take the lead on 20 minutes.
Miguel Llera’s corner was cleared to the former Rangers ace 20 yards out and the Scot hit a fierce half volley that positively flew into the top corner.
And ten minutes later, the advantage was almost doubled when Chris O’Grady sent Michail Antonio scampering in on goal but the wideman’s strike across Hamer whistled narrowly past the post.
The Addicks looked lively on the counter, though, and Yann Kermergant saw an appeal for a penalty waved away after tangling with Reda Johnson in the area following a swift three-man breakaway.
Danny Haynes then netted from close range but was denied by an offside flag, which appeared to be the correct decision whilst also underlining the attacking threat posed by the Londoners.
Charlton chief Chris Powell was a notable absentee for the second half, seemingly sent to the stands by the referee following protestations for his side’s denied penalty claim.
But the visitors were undaunted and began the second 45 in determined mood, bossing the early bouts of possession, until Wednesday went close at the other end when Anthony Gardner’s header from a Llera free kick flashed just wide of the target.
O’Grady then forced Hamer into a low save as the Owls grew back into the game before Haynes could and should have equalised but the striker completely miskicked six yards from goal.
The contest ebbed and flowed as the clock ticked down, albeit without either goalkeeper being called into any action of note.
And despite Charlton asking more of the questions in the closing stages, it was Wednesday who had the final say as Helan danced past three defenders to slot past Hamer in injury time to secure a valuable victory.
Owls: Kirkland, Buxton, Llera, Gardner, R Johnson, Antonio, McCabe, Prutton (Lines 67), Helan, Madine (Sidibe 86), O’Grady (Lee 75)
Unused substitutes: Bywater, Taylor, J Johnson, Sidibe, Maguire
Charlton: Hamer, Jackson, Morrison, Haynes (Hulse 79), Kerkar (Fuller 63), Kermogant, Solly, Wilson, Seaborne, Frimpong (Green 79), Cort
Unused substitutes: Sullivan, Wright-Phillips, Pritchard, Dervite