Clash of titans: the owls missed their big opportunity
After three consecutive victories, including a very important one last Sunday in the 3rd round of the FA CUP against West Ham; Sheffield Wednesday suffered their first home defeated of the season against the League 1 leaders. Before the match the difference between the two teams was reduced to 5 points, which if the Owls had won could have definitely brought them closer to the rivals for the direct promotion places. The Opportunity missed was missed because of Johnnie Jacksonʼs first half goal.The Owls were only able to create a goal that was disallowed and just a few clear chances to change the previous rhythm of the match. They did this in the second half. Madine started the match after a two month injury lay-off. The striker is a fundamental player for Sheffield Wednesday but today it was clear that he could not have done more than what he has showed due to his long absence. What is definitely true is that Gary Madine will be the first among the squad to bet on producing the goods because he always shows passion for the colours, faith for the victory and he never stops battling throughout every game.
The new player signed by Wednesday during the week Mike Jones immediately received a good opportunity from coach Gary Megson and with Ben Marshall formed a two-pronged attack down the channels. Both wide-men played well, showing good touches and the new recruit did not show any hesitation due to his debut in a massive game with a big crowd (today the attendance was 26,759). The first shot on target was made by Bradley Wright-Phillips with a good save from ex- Charlton keeper Nicky Weaver. For Sheffield Wednesday, the first opportunity came after 15 minutes, when Chris OʼGrady slipped his marker down the left and played a cross ball into Chris Lined, whose shot was deflected to safety. After that the goal for Charlton arrived at the 28th minute: the Londoners won a free kick 20 yards out and up stepped skipper Jackson to curl a wonderful angled drive beyond the reach of Weaver and into the top corner.
The Owls reacted creating a strong piece of action just before the half time when Gary Madine that did manage to beat Hamer in first half stoppage time but not the linesmanʼs flag. In the second half, everyone was waiting on the reaction of Wednesdayʼs players, but the first opportunity was for Charlton when Wright-Phillips ( by far the best player for Charlton) burst through on goal but Weaver made a great save after advancing swiftly from his line. The shock was repeated a few minutes when Rob Jones was close twice to score from Marshall corners. As mentioned at the beginning, in the second half the Owls were not able to create clear chances except when there was confusion in the oppositions box. The last shot was created by Clinton Morrison due to some of this defensive confusion. As said this was a big opportunity missed by the Owls that have now moved down two positions in the League due to the victories of Sheffield United ( away against Bury 0-3) and Huddersfield ( home against Oldham 1-0) but with a game less to play. At the end of the game I spoke with Vitor Semedo and Reda Johnson who said the supporters do not have to be worried because the players are strong and as they have already shown in previous months, they will immediately come back and reach a higher league position because this year they all want to gain promotion to the Championship.
Wednesday: Weaver, Otsemobor, R Jones, Batth, R Johnson, M Jones (Lowe64), Semedo, Lines, Marshall (Morrison 74), O'Grady, Madine (Llera 64) Unused substitutes: Bywater, Prutton
Charlton: Hamer, Jackson, Morrison, Taylor, Green (Russell 72), Wright-Phillips (Clarke 75), Wiggins, Pritchard (Cort 90), Solly, Hollands, Kermorgant Unused substitutes: Sullivan, Stephens