HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 1 CHARLTON ATHLETIC 1
Ten man Town denied first home league win
A last gasp equaliser from Charlton striker Igor Vetokele denied Huddersfield Town their first home league win of the season.
Vetokele’s strike, deep in injury time, cancelled out Nahki Well’s 50th minute opener, after Town had defended stoutly.
The victory would have been made even more impressive considering the fact that Town played the entire second half with just ten men, after Murray Wallace was harshly sent off on the stroke of half time.
As it was, Charlton’s pressure eventually told with Vetokele prodding home from close range.
With Jonathan Hogg unavailable with a calf injury, Lee Peltier’s return from a groin injury was particularly timely.
Town’s Captain showed his versatility to take Hogg’s place in midfield alongside Conor Coady and Jacob Butterfield.
The Terriers, buoyed by their victory in midweek, started with intensity and purpose and should have been ahead after two minutes. Charlton’s stand-in ‘keeper Nick Pope, who had a nervy opening, failed to clear a long ball, allowing Nahki Wells to steal in and finish; however referee Robinson had harshly deemed the striker to have fouled.
Wells and Pope tangled again in the 16th minute when the striker intercepted a short back pass and rounded the ‘keeper. The goal was at Wells’ mercy, but Chris Solly took advantage of a heavy touch and cleared the danger.
At the other end, the Addicks’ £2m signing, Igor Vetokele, was giving Joel Lynch and Murray Wallace a tough afternoon.
Lynch had to be at his very best to deny the striker advancing on goal in the 20th minute before Vetokele got the better of the Town defence a minute later to chip home, but his effort was chalked off by the linesman.
With both teams coming into the game on the back of victories, the attackers were certainly getting the better of the defenders. Harry Bunn and Nahki Wells both produced efforts whilst at the other end Vetokele’s pace took him past Smithies, but he was denied a shot at goal by Paul Dixon, who mopped up superbly.
The Terriers’ best effort of the half came in the 35th minute when Tuesday night’s match winner, Bunn, forced Pope into an excellent save. The striker drove at Chris Solly with pace before cutting inside and curling an effort towards the far post, which was expertly tipped wide by Charlton’s stopper.
Bunn was in the action again three minutes later, leaving Tal Ben Haim behind before forcing Pope into a near post save.
However, whenever Town switched off defensively Vetokele was there to take advantage and as the first half closed out he did just that.
In the 39th minute he left Lynch for dead with two fantastic touches before forcing Smithies into an excellent reaction save and then, with just a few seconds of the half remaining, he forced Murray Wallace into an act which would see him red carded.
George Tucudean’s ball over the Scotsman caught him cold and set Vetokele free, the defender hauled the striker to the ground 20 yards from goal and despite the covering Lynch, referee Robinson showed him a straight red card.
That didn’t deter Town though, and in the 50th minute they took an unlikely lead. Right-back Tommy Smith got forward well, cut inside Jordan Cousins, and found Wells with a low cross who has left with an easy tap in.
Luck was hardly on Town’s though, and within five minutes of taking the lead, Captain Lee Peltier hobbled off with a recurrence of his groin injury. Conor Coady went into centre back with Radoslaw Majewski entering the fray in central midfield. James Vaughan also made his return from injury to a great reception when he replaced goalscorer Wells a few minutes later.
Despite Charlton’s numerical advantage, they weren’t taking advantage of matters on the pitch as they struggled to break down Town’s two banks of four.
Johnnie Jackson flashed a shot wide in the 66th minute and there were a few penalty box scrambles, but on the whole Town looked comfortable.
And in truth, it was Pope who was the busier of the two ‘keepers. In slick conditions the 22 year-old showed good reactions to palm clear Vaughan’s rocket of a shot.
The striker was also refused what looked like a stone wall penalty with just a few minutes remaining and that would come back to haunt Town deep into injury time.
The Terriers failed to deal with a long ball and the dangerous Vetokele secured a point for the Addicks from close range.
It was harsh on Town, but in the end probably a fair result.
Town’s team (4-3-3):
Alex Smithies; Paul Dixon, Joel Lynch, Murray Wallace, Tommy Smith; Lee Peltier (c) (Radoslaw Majewski, 60), Conor Coady, Jacob Butterfield; Harry Bunn, Nahki Wells (James Vaughan, 64), Sean Scannell (Adam Hammill, 85)
Joe Murphy, Danny Ward, Jon Stead, Matt Crooks
Bookings Town: Peltier 44, Bunn 81, Vaughan 90
Red card Town: Wallace 45
Bookings Charlton: Wiggins 28