Date: 28th September 2008 at 1:28pm
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TWO goals in three first-half minutes gave Wednesday their first away win of the season in impressive style against Charlton Athletic at The Valley on Saturday.

A superb individual effort from Wade Small was quickly followed by another impressive strike from in-form Marcus Tudgay minutes before the break after Luke Varney had given the hosts the advantage on 20 minutes.

But, although Charlton will have been baffled as to how they went in to the half-time break behind, Wednesday did more than just hold on to their victory with an impressive second-half showing that moved them up to eighth in the Championship.

Mark Beevers was still out on the sidelines through injury, but Laws shuffled his pack in attack with Small making his first start of the season following set-backs with a hamstring injury, replacing Etienne Esajas.

Wednesdayite and fellow loanee Nicky Weaver started in goal for the Addicks, while another former Owls loanee in Lloyd Sam also started for the hosts.

Wednesday made a fast-paced start, keen to make amends for their last game on their travels – the 6-0 drubbing at Reading last week – and showed Alan Pardew and his troops they were in for a tough afternoon.

But after the initial burst from Wednesday, Charlton soon found their feet and started to dominate proceedings, threatening Lee Grant’s goal on more than one occasion in the early exchanges.

Grant had the post to thank after just seven minutes as Linvoy Primus, brought in to the side for the clash by Pardew, saw his bullet header come crashing back off the woodwork as the hosts fired their first warning shot at the Wednesday goal.

The first, and best, chance for Wednesday came just a few minutes later as Steve Watson fired a free-kick comfortably in to the arms of Weaver.

But his opposite number was picking the ball out of the back of the net on 20 minutes as the hosts opened the scoring, Luke Varney firing the ball home from close range after Wednesday failed to clear a Nicky Bailey free-kick.

And the Charlton faithful will have been left wondering just how their men hadn’t doubled their lead minutes later.

Former Blades, and Owls, usually come back to haunt Wednesday, but this time former United striker Andy Gray was left wondering how he missed with an open goal at his mercy after Varney had seen his initial effort come back off the post.

The Addicks were well on top, but to Wednesday’s credit they managed to hold out on any further onslaughts from the hosts, and it paid dividends with half-time fast approaching.

Laws will have no doubt have been happy going in to the half-time break just a goal down after Charlton’s domination, but instead he had a very different team-talk to the one he was expecting to have with his men in the dressing room as goals from Small and Tudgay turned the game on its head.

First, Small was allowed to weave in and out of the Charlton midfield and defence as he ran from the half-way line and sneaked his effort in to the back of the net via the near post, bagging a goal that would have the Match of the Day team waxing lyrical over had it been from a player from one of the Premier League’s top four.

And just three minutes later the Addicks’ defence allowed Tudgay to cut in from the wing and fire a powerful effort in to the back of Weaver’s goal from the edge of the box to put Wednesday 2-1 up and send the travelling barmy army wild behind the goal.

Half-Time: Charlton 1-2 Wednesday

Charlton boss Pardew will no doubt have had words for his men at the break, especially with the defence, and Charlton came out to show their intentions as Varney fired a powerful effort just wide of Grant’s goal just a minute after the restart.

But Wednesday were giving as good as they got, and more than matched their hosts in the second half.

Steve Watson was left unmarked to fire a long-range effort that was parried to safety by Weaver, and Wednesday could have even made things easier by bagging a third as Charlton looked to struggle throughout.

Despite Wednesday looking impressive, Laws made two changes in quick succession with Deon Burton coming on to replace Jermaine Johnson just ten minutes after the restart, while Esajas replaced Small, Jimmy Smith replacing Watson not long after.

Half-chances came for the hosts from Bouazza and Sam as Charlton enjoyed their best spell of pressure in the second half as they looked for a way back in to the game with the clock ticking.

Wednesday’s defence was holding firm though, and chances for Varney, Bouzza and Ambrose all came and went for the hosts as the hard-working Wednesday side held on to bag a crucial win.

Full-Time: Charlton 1-2 Wednesday

Charlton: Weaver, Cranie, Youga, Hudson, Primus (Ambrose 68); Sam, Holland, Bailey, Bouazza; Gray (Todorov 68) , Varney. Subs (not used): Elliot, Semedo, Basey.

Wednesday: Grant; McMahon, Gilbert, Spurr, Wood; Johnson (Burton 55), O’Connor, McCallister, Watson (Smith 68), Small (Esajas 63); Tudgay. Subs (not used): Clarke, Jeffers.