Charlton 1 Sheffield Wednesday 3 – ESI’s Matt Southall in stands as new era is close but Addicks can’t produce a win

BY RICHARD CAWLEY

Charlton fans did not quite get the perfect week as news that a takeover deal is in place could not be topped off by a positive result at a happy Valley.

East Street Investments have agreed to buy the Championship side off of Roland Duchatelet with only EFL approval needed to end the Belgian’s hugely unpopular spell in charge.

Matt Southall, the prospective new chairman, was in the Valley directors’ box alongside head of recruitment Steve Gallen.

The mood before the match was buoyant. Coalition Against Roland Duchatelet [CARD] handed out 1,000 black-and-white scarves – the colours worn during protests – as a symbolic end to their battle to oust Duchatelet. Many of those were tied to the Sam Bartram statue in front of the main entrance.

Charlton’s injury problems deepened as Ben Purrington – initially in the team – dropped out. That saw Alfie Doughty start at left-back and dropped their number of substitutes down to five.

The Addicks were without 14 first-team players with only one of those, Conor Gallagher, due to suspension.

Steven Fletcher produced a double for the Owls – one from the penalty spot – with Atdhe Nuhiu sealing the three points late on.

Macauley Bonne had put Charlton level in the first half.

Charlton Athletic v Sheffield Wednesday SkyBet Championship, The Valley, 30 November 2019
Charlton Athletic v Sheffield Wednesday SkyBet Championship, The Valley, 30 November 2019

Wednesday thought they had gone in front on five minutes when Nuhiu headed in from a Fernando Forestieri free-kick but the assistant referee indicated the big striker was offside.

The visitors did go ahead on 17 minutes. Former Palace midfielder Barry Bannan whipped the ball in from wide and Fletcher climbed above Naby Sarr to guide his header past Dillon Phillips.

It should have been 2-0 on 25 minutes. Phillips denied Fletcher but could only push the ball back into the dangerzone and Forestieri slammed the follow up over.

That let-off proved vital as Bonne collected his sixth goal of the season. Doughty deserved credit for the way he motored down the left before crossing, the striker’s shot taking a deflection past Wednesday keeper Cameron Dawson.

Phillips produced another big save on 41 minutes. Bannan had played a one-two with Fletcher to bear down on goal but the Charlton number one came out to make the block.

Wednesday dominated the opening 15 minutes after the restart and Phillips made important stops from Bannan and Kadeem Harris.

Referee Tim Robinson made two big calls against Charlton. First he did not show Sam Hutchinson a second yellow card for a foul on Erhun Oztumer. And soon after there were big appeals for a penalty – Tom Lockyer going down as he tried to meet debutant James Vennings’ free-kick – but they were ignored by the official.

Wednesday went back in front when Robinson awarded them a penalty. It looked a clear foul by Oztumer on substitute Jacob Murphy but there was a delay before the midfielder was punished for his challenge. Fletcher sent Phillips the wrong way from the spot.

Jonathan Leko and Deji Oshilaja both fizzed shots over the bar.

Charlton huffed and puffed to try and get back on level terms but they lacked the game-changing options off the bench.

And Nuhiu sealed the points moments from the end of stoppage time as he headed in from close range.

Charlton have not won in seven games and have taken two points from a possible 21.

PICTURES BY KEITH GILLARD AND PAUL EDWARDS

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