Charlton 1-3 Sheffield Wednesday: Steven Fletcher scores twice as Owls close on play-off positions
Steven Fletcher scored either side of half-time as Sheffield Wednesday battled back to beat injury-hit Charlton 3-1 at The Valley.
Fletcher got the visitors off and running with a vintage header (17), but Macauley Bonne prodded a deserved equaliser to send Lee Bowyer’s side into half-time on level terms (26).
But the hosts paid the price for their shortcomings in personnel after the break, with Fletcher’s penalty restoring the lead for Wednesday (80) and Atdhe Nuhiu making up for an earlier disallowed goal by sealing the victory in stoppage-time (90+3).
Garry Monk’s Owls move seventh as a result of their first victory in six, while Charlton sit 17th, seven points above the Championship drop zone.
- How the two sides lined up
- Sky Bet Championship table
How Wednesday ended their winless run
Injuries and suspensions have limited Charlton’s progress in recent weeks, leaving them without a win since October 19, and it looked though they would be dealt another blow early on against the Owls when returning frontman Nuhiu glanced Fernando Forestieri’s free-kick over the line.
The Kosovan striker had strayed just offside in the build-up, but just over 10 minutes later Wednesday did nudge ahead when Fletcher made no mistake from a similar position as he headed home Morgan Fox’s cross from the opposite flank.
As Charlton’s injury crisis continued to bite, Lee Bowyer was only able to name five substitutes for the visit of the Owls.
Chelsea loanee Conor Gallagher was suspended, while Chris Solly, Ben Purrington and Jason Pearce also missed out; Erhun Oztumer, Alfie Doughty and Deji Oshilaja and Adam Matthews replaced them.
Meanwhile, Garry Monk made four changes to the side that drew 1-1 with Birmingham in midweek, as Tom Lees, Sam Hutchinson, Atdhe Nuhiu and Fernando Forestieri all started.
Forestieri could have then made it two if he’d pounced a loose ball from a few yards out, but the visitors were left to rue the missed opportunity when Bonne prodded a cross from Alfie Doughty – making his first Championship start – past Cameron Dawson in the blink of an eye.
Charlton ‘keeper Dillon Phillips was called into action by Barry Bannan numerous times throughout the second half, notably getting down low to his left to bravely push Kadeem Harris’ shot round the post.
But though was a major part of his side’s valiant efforts, he could do little to prevent Fletcher coolly tucking home from the spot after Erhun Oztumer had clumsily brought down substitute Jacob Murphy.
A thunderous effort from Deji Oshilaja epitomised the hosts’ attempts to get back on track, but the game was put beyond their reach in the dying second when Adam Reach clipped the ball to the far post for Nuhiu to power in a third.
Man of the match – Barry Bannan
Co-commentator Don Goodman said during the game that he couldn’t believe Bannan is still playing in the Championship, such is his quality.
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