Town draw a blank at the Valley
Huddersfield Town and Charlton Athletic ended their mini-season with a stalemate at the Valley.
The meeting, on a cold Wednesday night in London, was the fourth between the sides of the 2013/14 campaign.
With Charlton looking to lift themselves from bottom spot in the Championship and Town aiming to return to winning ways; both ‘keepers worked hard to preserve clean sheets.
Ben Hamer showed good reactions in the first half to deny Nahki Wells, whilst in the second half Alex Smithies showed good reactions to thwart Marvin Sordell.
In the end, neither side could find a way through and a point each was a probably a fair result.
Jonathan Hogg returned from injury and Sean Scannell made his first start in 22 games in two of Mark Robins’ three changes for the trip to the Valley.
The other came in defence with Club Captain Peter Clarke replacing the injured Anthony Gerrard.
With Jose Riga in the home technical dugout following the sacking of Chris Powell, Charlton featured on loan Standard Liege players Reza Ghoochannejhad and Astrit Ajdarevic.
Both looked lively throughout the first half at the Valley, but it was the latter causing Town the most problems.
He twice forced Alex Smithies into relatively comfortable saves and could possibly have done better with his head from a Johnnie Jackson corner.
It was from Jackson’s set-pieces that Charlton looked the most likely to score. The left-footer’s deliveries were always on the money and both Michael Morrison and Reza were culpable of missing the target when they could possibly have done better.
Town’s best effort of the half came inside the first ten minutes and the returning Scannell had a hand in the move. The winger neatly found Nahki Wells in the box whose touch and shot stung the palms of Ben Halmer.
Hamer was called into more comfortable saves as the half progressed from Hogg and again from Wells after good work from Murray Wallace.
After starting slow Town finished the half on top and after Danny Ward had used his strength to hold off the combined challenge from Rhoys Wiggins and Callum Harriot, he unleashed a shot into Hamer’s midriff.
The second half almost got off to the worst possible start for the Terriers when Callum Harriott intercepted Hogg’s pass and set Marvin Sordell away. The on loan Bolton man took the ball on his left and drove into the box before flashing a shot just wide of Smithies’ upright.
It was a let off for Town and one they almost immediately took advantage off.
Calum Woods’ innocuous high ball into the box should have been easy for Hamer and Lawrie Wilson to deal with it, but both showed signs of hesitancy, which allowed Scannell to steal in and head just wide.
Town continued on the offence and had it not been for the good positioning of Dorian Dervite, Wells’ effort would have crept home after rounding Hamer from Adam Clayton’s pass.
Riga’s men always looked a threat on the break though, and in Ajdarevic they had an attacker who was willing to shoot from range. His effort in the 71st minute almost caught Smithies off guard, but the ‘keeper reacted sharply to turn the ball around the post at the second opportunity.
Smithies’ was called upon again five minutes later to make an even better save. The stopper rushed off his line to deflect wide Sordell’s effort after Poyet had clipped the striker clear.
With ten minutes remaining Charlton did see the ball cross Town’s line; however they had done so illegally according to referee Keith Hill. Morrison was deemed the guilty party for a foul on Smithies.
Town's team (4-2-3-1):
Alex Smithies; Paul Dixon, Murray Wallace, Peter Clarke (c), Calum Woods; Keith Southern, Adam Clayton; Danny Ward, Jonathan Hogg, Sean Scannell (Adam Hammill, 75); Nahki Wells (Martin Paterson, 75)
Ian Bennett, Tommy Smith, Oliver Norwood, Oscar Gobern, Jon Stead
Bookings Charlton: Diego Poyet 57