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Match Reports

Match Report : 29/12/2013

29 December 2013

Stalemate at The Valley

The Owls gained a point from a close-fought Sky Bet Championship clash with Charlton at The Valley on Sunday.

A Dale Stephens strike at the beginning of the second half gave the home side the advantage but Connor Wickham levelled the game with a close range finish just before the hour.

On the balance of play, the Owls will feel disappointed not to return up north with all three points having created the better chances and edged play over the 90 minutes.

Charlton went into the clash buoyed by their first win in six after their 3-2 win over Brighton at The Valley last time out.

Wednesday, meanwhile, arrived in the capital on the back of successive clean sheets away from home at Watford and Blackburn, where the Owls had yielded four points from their travels.

After an even opening to the game, it was Chris Kirkland who was worked first after 14 minutes.

Glenn Loovens’ attempted clearance took a wicked bobble off the heavy surface and was diverted towards his own goal but Kirkland was on hand to make a comfortable save.

Despite the difficult conditions, Wednesday managed to keep possession well in Charlton territory as Jeremy Helan worked an opening with Reda Johnson but hit over the top from 20 yards.

There was a scare for Charlton on the half hour when Stephen McPhail’s accurate corner landed to Roger Johnson, whose acrobatic effort looped over the Addicks keeper and onto the crossbar.

The Owls finished the first period in strong fashion as Wickham saw his low angled strike parried away by Ben Alnwick before the same man drilled a low free kick on target that the Addicks keeper scooped away from goal with an improvised stop.

Although the Owls had largely edged the first period, it was the Addicks who were quickest out of the blocks after the break, as Stephens fired the home side in front.

The ex-Oldham man showed good skill and composure in the area and thumped home from six yards to blast the Addicks in front.

Wednesday went close to finding a quick leveller twice within the space of a few minutes when Wickham headed over from a Kieran Lee centre and Chris Maguire’s stinging drive flew agonisingly wide.

But the Owls were rewarded for their persistence on 58 minutes as Wickham restored parity in front of the travelling contingent from Sheffield.

Atdhe Nuhiu ,who just moments before was introduced from the bench, was at the heart of a quick Owls break, as the towering striker headed on for the onrushing Maguire.

The Scot had bags of space down the right to pick out Lee in the middle, who managed to divert the ball towards goal and Wickham was on hand at the back stick for the simplest of finishes.

Wednesday were buoyed from that point and had Charlton on the back foot as Alnwick made a crucial stop from a Roger Johnson header.

If any side looked likely to go on and claim victory it was the visitors, who continued to pepper the Addicks goal but without further success, leaving the Owls with another hard-earned point away from Hillsborough.

Charlton: Alnwick, Evina, Jackson(Green 73), Morrison, Stephens, Church, Wood, Kermorgant, Wilson, Cousins, Stewart (Dervite 73)

Owls: Kirkland, Palmer, Roger Johnson, Loovens, Reda Johnson, Lee, McPhail (Maghoma 55) , Semedo, Helan (Nuhiu 55), Maguire, Wickham

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