REPORT | Sheffield Wednesday 1 Charlton 0

Charlton were denied a point at the death thanks to a stoppage-time winner from Stephen Fletcher as Sheffield Wednesday claimed victory at Hillsborough on Wednesday evening.

The game looked destined for a draw but Fletcher made the most of a muddle at the back to head home the winner in the dying moments after a controversial free-kick was awarded to the hosts deep into injury-time.

Lee Bowyer made two changes from the side which beat Luton Town 3-1 at the weekend with Macauley Bonne and Jason Pearce making their way into the starting XI.

On a cold evening, the Addicks were hot off the mark, Lyle Taylor winning an early free kick on the right after a surging run but the visitors failed to make anything of it.

Wednesday did have early chances of their own, Fernando Forestieri letting fly on four minutes but his shot was well over.

With a quarter of an hour played, Wednesday began to turn the screw, putting the Addicks under pressure, but the defence stood tall and kept the Owls at bay.

Charlton were on the end of some arguable officiating decisions with Alfie Doughty and Tom Lockyer ending up in the book and having to endure a number of dubious set-pieces awarded against them. Still the Addicks were holding out.

With 37 minutes played, Wednesday had the chance of the half. A cross-field ball found its way to Forestieri, but the Italian’s shot was just shy of the target being hooked up in the air by a Charlton defender only for Kieran Lee to head over a half-empty goal.

As the game trundled toward half-time, there was little to separate the two sides with both defences doing enough to keep the score tied.

After the break, the hosts once again spurned a glorious chance, Forestieri hitting the side netting after he was fed through inside the box just seconds after the restart.

Sensing they had the bit between their teeth, Wednesday continued to knock on the door forcing a succession of corners.

With 55 minutes gone, Bowyer opted for a change replacing Erhun Oztumer with George Lapslie.

Dillon Phillips was then on hand to pull off an outrageous save to deny Fletcher’s close-range header having also just denied the striker with an excellent save moments earlier.

The save may well have inspired the Addicks who went up the other end and rattled the crossbar. Lapslie won the ball after a midfield scuffle and dinked a ball forward to Taylor who lashed an incredible half-volley from distance only to be denied by the crossbar.

With just over a quarter of an hour to go, Bowyer rolled the dice once again with Andre Green coming on for Bonne as Charlton probed for a goal.

On 83 minutes, Taylor had a brilliant opportunity blocked after Doughty worked his way into the box and turned to lay off the striker but his first time effort was met by a brave Wednesday body.

The visitors could sense a late goal was on the cards and poured forward looking to give the hardcore Charlton contingent in the away stand something to cheer about.

Despite the pressure from the Addicks, though, it was Sheffield Wednesday who would snatch a late winner. After a questionable free-kick was awarded on the far left following a 'foul' on Atdhe Nuhiu, Fletcher made the most of a melee in the box and was able to head home amidst the confusion, gutting for the Addicks who were so close to picking up a vital point in their hunt for league security.

Sheffield Wednesday: Dawson, Palmer, Fox, Lee, Harris (Fletcher 57), Bannan, Borner, Murphy, Lees (C), Wickham (Nuhiu 74), Forestieri (Da Cruz 79)

Subs (Not Used): Wildsmith, Pelupessy, Hunt, Windass 

Booked: Forestieri 67 (Foul on Lapslie) Nuhiu 82 (Foul on Lapslie)

Goal: Fletcher 90+5

Charlton: Phillips; Lockyer, Oshilaja, Pearce; Matthews, Cullen, Oztumer (Lapslie 56), Davis, Doughty; Taylor, Bonne (Green 74)

Subs (Not Used): Amos, Purrington, McGeady, Smith, Hemed

Booked: Doughty 18 (foul), Lockyer 22 (foul)

Attendance: 21,370

Referee: O Langford

Read Time: 4 mins