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Instant impact

26 January 2013


A remarkable late comeback at The Valley saw the Owls come from one goal down to win 2-1 on Saturday.

Johnnie Jackson’s early second half strike looked to be sending the Owls home empty-handed but Reda Johnson levelled late to seemingly rescue a point.

But Leroy Lita, who was making his first Owls appearance, netted a last minute winner to turn the game on its head as Wednesday posted three valuable Championship points.

There was a place in the starting line up for debutant Danny Pugh who penned a loan deal at Hillsborough until the end of the season earlier in the week.

With both sides keen to keep up their good run of form, there was an early edge to the contest, highlighted by a firm Giles Coke challenge on Dale Stephens that saw the midfielder pick up an early yellow card.

Wednesday were first to pose a meaningful threat on goal after 20 minutes when Pugh picked out an unmarked Antony Gardner from a corner but the defender’s header was cleared off the line by Cedric Evina.

The Addicks, though, had a golden chance to take the lead through ex-Owl Michael Morrison ten minutes before the break.

Matt Taylor headed back into the danger zone for Morrison, who launched himself at the ball from six yards out – only to see his effort cannon back off the crossbar.

Moments before the interval, Reda Johnson almost made Ben Hamer pay for failing to gather a long punt forward by Lewis Buxton but his stabbed effort at goal trickled the wrong side of the upright.

The Addicks came out of the blocks fast in the second half and quickly got their noses in front through skipper Jackson.

The midfielder neatly controlled in the area from Scott Wagstaff’s lay off before tucking his shot out of Kirkland’s reach into the bottom corner.

Wednesday almost responded with the next attack as Michail Antonio jinked inside from the left and curled inches past the post.

Owls boss Dave Jones then introduced loan recruit Lita into the action on 55 minutes as Wednesday looked to up the ante in the final third.

Jermaine Johnson sent a low arrowed drive wide after a pacey burst down the middle before Lita tested Hamer with a firm low strike that the Addicks keeper managed to push away from danger.

The width of the upright was all that prevented Wagstaff from strengthening Charlton’s grip on the game just past the hour.

The lively winger raced inside from the right, struck hard and low and as the ball looked destined for the back of Kirkland’s net, back it came off the post as one goal remained the difference.

With the clock against Wednesday, there was to be a late twist in the tail as Reda Johnson popped up with a crucial strike to haul the Owls level.

Buxton was the provider from the right and Reda Johnson rose high to loop his header over Hamer and into the far corner.

With the contest heading for a 1-1 draw – up stepped debut striker and ex-Addick Lita, who struck first time from a Jermaine Johnson feed into the back of the net, via a deflection, to stun the home side as Wednesday posted a huge three points from a highly entertaining meeting at The Valley.

Charlton: Hamer, Evina (Green 90), Jackson, Morrison, Taylor, Stephens (Wright-Phillips 90), Wagstaff, Pritchard, Kermorgant, Solly, Wilson (Fuller 90)

Unused substitutes: Button, Cort, Harriott, Dervite

Owls: Kirkland, Buxton, Gardner, Llera, R Johnson, Pugh (Madine 67), Prutton, Coke, Lee (Lita 55), Antonio, J Johnson (Semedo 90)

Unued substitutes: Bywater, Taylor, Mattock, McCabe

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