TOWN 0 CHARLTON 1
Early Harriott strike proves winner
Town’s unbeaten start to 2013 on home soil came to an abrupt end against Charlton.
Callum Harriott’s early strike from the edge of the area proved the different between the sides as Town looked a shadow of the team that beat Middlesbrough in midweek.
Theo Robinson spurned the Terriers’ one and only Town when his glancing header was well saved by David Button.
Town Manager Mark Robins named an unchanged side as the Terriers looked to continue their unbeaten home league record in 2013.
However, Charlton took the lead from a free-kick in the third minute. Chris Solly laid the ball off to Callum Harriott on the edge of the area who rifled a low shot beyond the reach of Alex Smithies.
Town responded right away from an Oliver Norwood corner. The Northern Ireland international found skipper Peter Clarke at the near post as his looping header forced Charlton custodian David Button to back pedal and stretch to tip the ball over the crossbar.
The Terriers were starting to find their rhythm as Neil Danns pressed forward and earned another corner. Norwood’s high ball in fell onto the head of Oscar Gobern, but he was unable to direct his header on target.
In the 24th minute, Danns produced an excellent ball into the middle of the box but the ball had just too much height and pace for Lee Novak to connect with.
Moments later, Theo Robinson had the best chance of the half to draw the sides level. Left-back Paul Dixon whipped a brilliant ball in and as Robinson’s bullet header flicked the ball towards goal, Charlton keeper Button made a great reaction save to parry the ball over.
Dixon and Robinson linked up again on the half hour mark. Dixon placed the ball into the feet of Robinson who managed to get a shot off on the turn. The ball fell into the path of Novak whose powerful strike was blocked by the last ditch efforts of Rhoys Wiggins.
Charlton began to cause Town some problems as they created a few chances to double their lead as half-time approached. Lawrie Wilson’s high cross was met by Danny Haynes whose downward header bounced wide of the mark.
Haynes was through on goal minutes later after a well-timed pass from Harriott. Haynes tried to round Smithies as he looked to double the Addicks lead, but his chipped effort went nowhere near the goal.
Norwood had the final say of the half as his long range drive curled towards the top corner forcing Button to leap and produce a fine save.
Clayton had the first chance of the second half with his free kick within the first few minutes of the restart. His powerful drive was too much for Button to keep hold off as he pushed the ball into the air but the Charlton defence managed to clear the ball away from danger.
There was little between the two sides until the hour mark when Charlton were on the break. Ricardo Fuller supplied a pass to Harriott but the Addicks goal scorer poked the ball wide with his outstretched leg.
In the final quarter, Danny Ward produced some good balls into the box to try and find an equaliser for Town but no one could get on the end of them to try and level the scores.
The Terriers continued to press for an equaliser, but unlike Tuesday night nothing was forthcoming.
Alex Smithies; Paul Dixon, Anthony Gerrard, Peter Clarke (c), Jack Hunt; Oliver Norwood(Danny Ward, 55), Oscar Gobern (Scott Arfield, 80), Neil Danns, Adam Clayton; Theo Robinson (Alan Lee, 55), Lee Novak
Ian Bennett, Calum Woods, Murray Wallace, Chris Atkinson
Bookings Town: Alan Lee 87, Neil Danns 90+4
Bookings Charlton: Callum Harriott 18, Matt Taylor 48, Rhoys Wiggins 76