REPORT: TOWN 5-0 CHARLTON
Town’s good run of performances and results under Head Coach David Wagner was extended comprehensively as the Terriers blitzed Charlton Athletic 5-0 in a game which saw five different players get their name on the scoresheet.
David Wagner made two changes to Saturday's cup stalemate with Reading; Jed Steer getting the nod ahead of Joe Murphy, whereas Sean Scannell sat out due to a knee problem. Emyr Huws slotted back in the holding role to replace Scannell, which saw a shuffled pack up top with Jamie Paterson playing centrally and Harry Bunn and Joe Lolley occupying the flanks behind Nahki Wells – who made his 150th start in English football.
The visitors came into the game looking to end a nine match winless run, as well as coming off the back of an early cup defeat at League 1 Colchester United last time around.
Charlton sat very deep throughout the first half, with all 11 players frequently behind the ball as Town dominated possession but struggled to pick a way through the crowd of players.
On nights like that, set pieces become all the more important – and the first two goals came through corners.
Town's barrage of goals began with a rare Mark Hudson effort; the skipper nodded in his third goal for the Club after Jamie Paterson worked a short corner and chipped a delightful ball to the front post, leaving the central defender with the simple task of nudging Town ahead in the first 20 minutes.
Clear chances were few and far between, with the next one coming when Joe Lolley fed through Nahki Wells, only to find his effort be deflected out for a corner.
Harry Bunn made sure Town kept the chances coming; he couldn't beat Henderson from the edge of the box after the returning Emyr Huws worked the ball out wide.
Shortly after 'The Yorkshire Club' did double the lead through top scorer Wells; he prodded home following a great reaction from Tommy Smith, who kept Joe Lolley's deep corner in play by squaring the ball into the six yard area.
The comfortable advantage held by The Terriers at the break was capitalised upon during the second period.
Charlton had an early let off as again Lolley's corners caused havoc, this time forcing a point blank save from Henderson to deny a diverted effort from his own left-back Morgan Fox.
Jamie Paterson had a major let off himself at the other end after former Town loanee Diego Poyet robbed him of possession deep within the HTAFC half, only to conjure a tame effort which Jed Steer was more than equal to.
That miss would prove to be costly to a side that sat 23rd before proceedings began. Joel Lynch was the next to hit the target for the Terriers, followed closely by a Nahki Wells effort being smothered by the Charlton shot stopper after he was played through by substitute Duane Holmes.
The desired third goal finally came from a drilled low finish by Jamie Paterson as a result of his determined drive at the Addicks' back line.
There was then a moment to remember for Duane Holmes as he netted his first senior goal after tenacious battling from Harry Bunn. Played in by Kyle Dempsey, the 21-year-old Academy graduate prodded a deflected effort into the corner past a stricken Henderson to all but wrap up an important three points.
Town’s players weren't finished there; Holmes, who now had more than a spring in his step, drove at the heart once again, only this time to find his effort thwarted.
Charlton substitute Reza Ghoochannejhad saw red for two quick bookings in succession, and to rub salt in the wounds Australian left-back Jason Davidson rounded off a sterling attacking performance by bundling home from Harry Bunn's centre.
The game was then seen out in relatively calm fashion to send the John Smith's faithful home happy and with the three points duly in the bag.
Town’s team (4-2-3-1):
Jed Steer; Jason Davidson, Joel Lynch, Mark Hudson (Martin Cranie, 78’), Tommy Smith; Emyr Huws (Duane Holmes, 54’), Jonathan Hogg; Joe Lolley (Kyle Dempsey 60’), Jamie Paterson, Harry Bunn; Nahki Wells
Joe Murphy, Ishmael Miller, James Husband, Philip Billing