Lita goal helps Wednesday end Charlton's run

By Rob Virtue on January 26, 2013 5:14 PM |

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Sheffield Wednesday snatched a late goal to ruin Charlton's three game winning run on Saturday.

In front of a crowd of over 20,000 at The Valley, former Addick Leroy Lita scored the winner after Reda Johnson cancelled out Johnnie Jackson's opener.

It wasn't until 36 minutes into the game that either goal was truly threatened. A deep free-kick from Dale Stephens was nodded back across by Matt Taylor and Lewis Buxton headed the ball against his own crossbar.

At the other end, Wednesday's Johnson then found himself with an open goal after Ben Hamer dropped the ball under pressure, but the big defender dragged his effort wide.

In contrast to a stilted first half, the second started with a bang. Just a minute in, Chris Solly's cross found Bradley Pritchard at the far post who pulled it back for captain Jackson to fire the Addicks in front.

In response, substitute Lita, playing his debut for the Yorkshire side, then brought a diving save from Hamer, as Wednesday turned up the pressure.

At the other end Scott Wagstaff rattled the inside of the post with an effort from the edge of the box.

But as Charlton seemed to be dealing with the pressure, Wednesday hit the equaliser.

With just seven minutes left Buxton angled in a cross from deep and Johnson jumped to head the ball into the top corner.

Then with just two minutes to go Lita picked up the ball 12 yards out and his shot was deflected past Hamer to give Wednesday the points.

Afterwards, Charlton manager Chris Powell said: "It's just one of those days that hasn't gone for us in a real positive month.

"We were in a terrific position and maybe the turning point was when we hit the post because that could have really sealed the game.

"Sadly for us we couldn't see it out."

Powell defended his decision not to make substitutions before his side went behind.

"People say I could have made changes at 1-0 but the players were doing the job," he said.

However, Wednesday boss Dave Jones said he thought his own side were worthy of the points. "I think we deserved it," he said. "It was a poor goal to give away and after that we went for it.

"We dominated the game in the first half. We wasn't in any danger. And in the second-half it was one-way traffic."

Jones said he was delighted for Lita, who he has been chasing all season but only signed on loan from Swansea on Friday.

"We only met Leroy at the hotel at 8pm last night. It's nice for a player to come in and score on his debut. He'll be a hero now."