BY LOUIS MENDEZ
Charlton suffered a morale-sapping thumping at Huddersfield Town as they fell to a second away defeat within the space of four days.
The 1-0 loss at Sheffield Wednesday was followed up with another reverse as fellow relegation-threatened outfit Huddersfield Town earned all three points at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Former Addick Karlan Grant opened the scoring midway through the first-period after a defensive foul-up involving George Lapslie and Deji Oshilaja gifted the striker possession.
The South Londoners showed some fight after the restart but were unable to make one of their opportunities count before Steve Mounie finished the game off fifteen minutes from time.
Grant added a third in the dying embers as Charlton suffered a miserable afternoon in west Yorkshire – made even worse as Juninho Bacuna added a spectacular fourth in added-time.
The result sees Danny Cowley’s side leapfrog the Addicks – who remain just two points above the drop-zone.
Charlton’s wretched away form continues – they’ve taken just six points from a possible 45 on the road since the end of August.
The Addicks seemed to have weathered an early storm as Town forced a flurry of corners in the opening exchanges – but they gifted Danny Cowley’s side a lead just beyond the halfway point of the first-period.
George Lapslie, awarded a start after impressive cameos off the bench in the last two games, played the ball back to Deji Oshilaja inside his own area despite the close attention of Grant.
The former Addick pounced on Oshilaja’s ball out and had the simple task of finishing beyond Dillon Phillips with the goal at his mercy.
That lapse in concentration knocked the stuffing out of the visitors after they had reacted well from a difficult spell – and Town nearly helped themselves to a second as Arsenal loanee Chris Willock blazed wide from the edge of the area.
Aidan McGeady had sent a curler off-target as Charlton went in futile search of an equaliser before Phillips made a smart save from another Arsenal loanee as Emile Smith Rowe fired towards the bottom corner. Grant hit the upright as he tried to turn the rebound in from an impossible angle and the Addicks academy graduate again came close as he was unable to direct a header at goal from a dangerous Danny Simpson cross.
Lee Bowyer needed to inject some life into his side and decided to introduce the returning Jonny Williams at the break – Erhun Oztumer making way.
The South Londoners immediately looked livelier after the restart. Andre Green’s header from a McGeady cross was comfortably claimed by Jonas Lossl before he then saw an effort charged down from a low-cross. Adam Matthews was also denied from the rebound before Phillips kept his side in the contest at the other end.
The Terriers broke from a Charlton corner but the Addicks stopper was off his line quickly to deny Willock as he went through one-on-one.
Charlton continued to prober for a leveller. Lyle Taylor wasn’t quite able to connect with a Matthews knock-down from a set-piece, with Josh Cullen lifting over the bar from inside the area after good work from Oshilaja down the right created the opening.
The visitors were made to pay for the missed opportunities as Huddersfield doubled their lead with fifteen minutes left to play.
Oshilaja slipped on the ball inside the Charlton half and the Addicks never recovered before substitute Mounie made the most of a dangerous cross to chest the ball home. Appeals for handball from the Charlton defence went unanswered.
Grant cut in to score his second and Huddersfield’s third as we entered the 90thminute with the fans in the away end left to face a long journey home with their side in deep, deep trouble – Bacuna’s long-range fourth in added-time merely added to their disappointment.
PHOTOS: KYLE ANDREWS/ SEAN GOSLING
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