TOWN 2 CHARLTON 1
Lynch screamer returns Town to winning ways
Joel Lynch put his name in the frame for the goal of the season award with a 35 yard thunderbolt in Town’s 2-1 victory over Charlton.
The defender’s goal, his second of the season, came after James Vaughan had scored his ninth on the stroke of half-time.
Charlton gave Town a scare, though, when Cameron Stewart fired a sweet strike past Alex Smithies; thankfully for Town they held firm to maintain their unbeaten start to the season on home soil.
Sean Scannell and Jon Stead were rewarded with starts by Mark Robins for the visit of Charlton following their impressive impact during the second-half of Saturday’s match against Doncaster.
Scottish international Paul Dixon was also recalled to the side in place of Calum Woods while Jazz Richards was named on the bench after being granted international clearance.
The meeting was the fourth between the sides during 2013 with Charlton needing a victory to level at two wins apiece.
Town started the better, though, with Jon Stead firing wide in the fourth minute after scramble in the box.
Sean Scannell was celebrating his birthday playing in an unfamiliar central midfield role for the Terriers, but despite his lack of experience in the position, he caused the Addicks problems during the opening exchanges.
He twice used his power to bundle through two Charlton defenders and fire wide before he later crossed for James Vaughan to head the wrong side of Ben Hamer’s upright.
Chris Powell’s men enjoyed as much, if not more of the ball during the first half, but with danger man Yann Kermorgant out injured they struggled to hold the ball up in the final third.
Town had the last act of the half, though, and what an act it was with Vaughan flicking home to score his ninth of the season. Town’s two Jonathan’s (Hogg and Stead) combined in the build-up, but it was Adam Hammill who claimed the assist with a delicate chip into the box, which Vaughan guided past Hamer with his head.
Marvin Sordell slashed a half chance over Alex Smithies’ crossbar as the Addicks started the second half on top.
On the hour mark Johnnie Jackson crashed a goal bound shot into Anthony Gerrard as the Addicks’ momentum began to mount.
That momentum was well and truly crushed with 25 minutes to play, though, when Joel Lynch scored what could prove to be the goal of the season. The defender had already scored against Charlton this season in the Capital One Cup, but this effort beat that one with ease. The Welsh international strode onto an inside pass and unleashed an unstoppable 35 yard drive, which flew past Hamer and into his net via the underside of the crossbar.
Chris Powell’s men showed no signs of given up and after Bradley Pritchard had forced a low save from Smithies, substitute Cameron Stewart earned his side a lifeline with a goal of equal quality and likeness to Lynch’s.
Dale Stephens saw a shot blocked wide and Town had to defend manfully against a number of Charlton corners, but they held firm to return to winning ways.
Town’s team (3-5-2):
Alex Smithies; Joel Lynch, Anthony Gerrard, Peter Clarke (c); Paul Dixon, Jonathan Hogg (Oscar Gobern, 51), Oliver Norwood, Adam Clayton, Sean Scannell (Jazz Richards, 71), Adam Hammill (Oliver Norwood, 79); Jonathan Stead, James Vaughan
Ian Bennett, Calum Woods, Martin Paterson, Daniel Carr
Town bookings: Adam Clayton 90+4
Charlton bookings: Dorian Dervite 32, Simon Church 57, Dale Stephens 90