Charlton Athletic 1-3 Sheffield Wednesday
Charlton Athletic 1-3 Sheffield Wednesday

Injury and illness ravaged Charlton went down 3-1 to Sheffield‎ Wednesday at The Valley on Saturday despite a really brave performance.

Lee Bowyer’s already depleted squad lost Ben Purrington and Ashley Maynard-Brewer to illness on the morning of the match.

Albie Morgan played despite being sick in the dressing room before the game and at half-time. Tom Lockyer’s late booking for dissent was his fifth of the season, and he will be suspended for the game at Middlesbrough next Saturday.

‎But nothing could quell the good feeling around the ground. Chairman-in-waiting, Matt Southall was at the game and chatted with fans in Crossbars before kick-off.

He assured them securing Lee Bowyer and Lyle Taylor was the priority. He also wants to sign Josh Cullen and Jonathan‎ Leko on permanent deals and there will be money available in January.

Wednesday had the ball in the net after just five minutes but Atdhe Nuhiu had strayed‎ offside before turning in Fernando Forestieri’s cross. However Gary Monk’s side did go ahead after 17 minutes when Steven Fletcher noddded home Barry Bannan’s pinpoint cross.

Forestieri should have doubled Wednesday’s lead late on in the half, but inexplicably missed from three yards after Dillon Phillips made a great save.

The Owls paid a hefty price as a minute later Macauley Bonne converted Alfie Doughty’s cross via a deflection off Tom Lees.

The Addicks were on the back foot for large chunks of the second-half, but held on until ten minutes from time howeverSteven Fletcher’s penalty, and a stoppage time header from Nuhiu won the three points for the Owls.

Oztumer had to be taken off with a hamstring pull, and to add further to Bowyer’s woes, Tom Lockyer picked up a late booking for dissent his fifth of the season. He will now be suspended for the trip to Middlesbrough.

The result was a disappointing ‎but noting could take away the fans’ joy.

Lee Bowyer added in his post match thoughts:

“The players, I can’t say how proud of them I am. They give absolutely everything. We’ve got a depleted squad with injuries, then this morning we wake up with illnesses and two lads had to go home this morning.

“Albie Morgan is then sick here before the game and at half time….There’s a bug going around, and they’re still going out and putting out performances.

“I just said to the players: ‘I’m so proud of you’. How were we even in the game? How are we trying to get a point in the 75th minute and we’re still in the game?’ 

“We were just as good as them, they were no better than us up until the penalty I thought. I thought that it was even, and we’ve got all these people out. 

“We just need some bodies back, that’s all we need and the sooner they come back the better and we’ll start competing again and it will give everyone a lift, I have no doubt.

‎”We had to leave ourselves short at the back because there’s no point saying ‘we only lost 2-1 and we didn’t try to get the equaliser’ we had to push.

” That (Nuhiu’s late goal) was always going to be the danger, but I’d rather lose 3-1 than not be going for it. That’s just the way that I am.

“I can’t praise the players and the fans enough. Today, when they were singing in the second half, the atmosphere was unreal, the place was electric, and it was great to see.

“I love seeing it and I thought that the fans and the players were outstanding today.”

But the big talking point was the impending takeover. Bowyer confirmed he was excited by the deal and that he had already spoken to Matt Southall:

“I’ve spoken to him (Southall). He’s said some nice things and some positive things, so if it does get over the line and they get the green light I can only see it being positive news for us.

“He wants to stabilise us, which is important. To stabilise us and make sure that we stay in the league. There would be some help in January. That’s what we need as a football club. I said that at the start of the season, and nothing has changed.

“We need to just become an established Championship side. Then, you can build on that but, at the moment, nothing has changed for us and we still have the lowest budget and it is difficult.

“But now hopefully this is going to be positive and things will change in the right way. “The fans deserve it. They clearly love their club and rightly so. There’s been some good news that they’ve obviously wanted for a while now and they’ve finally got it.”

Charlton: Phillips; Matthews, Lockyer, Sarr, Doughty; Oshilaja, Pratley, Morgan (Vennings 61), Oztumer (David 81); Leko, Bonne‎.

Subs (not used): Harness, Solly, Pearce.‎

Goal: Bonne 26.

Sheffield Wednesday: Dawson; Obubajo, Iorfa, Lees, Fox; Forestieri (Murphy 46), Hutchinson (Luongo 77), Bannan, Harris (Reach 80); Fletcher, Nuhiu.  ‎

Subs (not used): Jones, Lee, Pelupessy, Winnall, Reach, Luongo‎

Goals: Fletcher 17, 79 (pen), Nuhiu 90.‎

Referee: Tim Robinson‎

Attn: 18,338 (2,680  Sheffield Wednesday).‎