TOWN 0 CHARLTON 1
Church strikes to knock out Town
Former Terrier Simon Church provided the all-important finish to knock Town out of the FA Cup.
Church spent three months with Town last season and showed his former teammates how it was done with a smart finish just after half-time.
The Terriers had passed up a number of good openings prior to the Addicks’ goal, with Ben Alnwick in fine form for the visitors.
Danny Ward, Oliver Norwood and Duane Holmes all had good sights of goal, but failed to deliver as Town drew a blank for the first time in six games.
Town welcomed James Vaughan and Oscar Gobern into the starting line-up for the visit of Charlton, with both Nahki Wells (cup-tied) and Jonathan Hogg (injured) unavailable.
The Terriers were hoping to make it into Round Five for the second time in successive seasons and at the same time record their third win over Charlton of the season.
They began in the right manner, testing Ben Alnick on a flurry of occasions during the opening half an hour.
Town’s first sight of goal fell to Danny Ward following good work from Oliver Norwood, but despite trying to make space the attacker’s shot was well blocked inside the area.
The same players combined a minute later, but this time it was Ward to Norwood, who fired low at Alnwick.
At the other end, former Terrier Simon Church worked space down the right and found Marvin Sordell at the near post, but Alex Smithies wasn’t troubled by his effort.
Wingback’s Paul Dixon and Adam Hammill were Town’s most prominent attacking threats during the opening stages and Dorian Dervite had to be at his best to prevent Ward from connecting with Dixon’s low cross as the half progressed.
On the right flank, Adam Hammill’s deep crosses were causing the Addicks problems and had Oliver Norwood’s aim been slightly better, he may have headed past Alnwick at the back post in the 20th minute.
Charlton were struggling to contain Town and had Alnwick to thank for keeping the tie level. Dixon’s inside pass found Ward who turned away from his man expertly, it gave him time to steady and set his sights, but his effort was well saved by the onrushing Charlton stopper.
The Addicks’ had tried for 25 minutes to legally keep Dixon and Hammill at bay, but with that failing, Dale Stephens took matters into his own hands and floored the latter with an ugly looking challenge. Stephens survived with a booking, while Hammill limped off, bringing an end to Town’s dominance in the match.
Half-time arrived with Town’s only opening since the challenge falling to Tommy Smith, who failed to find Vaughan and Ward in the box when well placed.
Smith was in the action again earlier in the second half, forcing Alnwick into a low save with low effort, but it was the Addicks who went on to strike first.
Wilson received the ball wide on the right before cutting in and finding Church in acres of room behind Town’s defence, who proceeded in calmly sliding the ball past Smithies to give his side the lead.
The double act of Duane Holmes and Sean Scannell were introduced after the goal and immediately went to work to try and drag Town back into the game.
Scannell’s first contribution was to get behind Callum Harriott and tee up Ward, but he failed to find the target from ten yards. The former Crystal Palace winger then took matters into his own hands, turning Harry Lennon with ease before firing at Alnwick, who parried wide.
Holmes almost found Vaughan with a cross as Town’s pressure grew, but again Alnwick was more than a match.
The final chance of the match fell to Holmes, who after racing on to a through ball and cutting back on himself, prodded wide from 12 yards.
Town’s team (3-5-2):
Alex Smithies (c); Murray Wallace, Anthony Gerrard, Tommy Smith; Paul Dixon, Oliver Norwood, Adam Clayton, Oscar Gobern (Duane Holmes, 64), Adam Hammill (Jordan Sinnott, 35; Sean Scannell, 56); Danny Ward, James Vaughan
Ian Bennett, Calum Woods, Jonathan Stead, Harry Bunn
Town bookings: Anthony Gerrard 30,
Charlton bookings: Dale Stephens 30, Michael Morrison 30,