Charlton 0 Huddersfield 0 match report: Chris Powell wins Charlton fans' support over sacking

Poll says 80 per cent are against his dismissal as bottom side draw blank in new boss's first match in charge

the valley

The Charlton Athletic crowd made their support clear for cult hero Chris Powell, who was sacked some 48 hours earlier, as their team found familiar problems with the lack of goals that had cost his job.

In the opening match under the new Belgian head coach Jose Riga, whose appointment is seen in these parts as one more step towards transforming the club into Standard Liege lite, the Championship's bottom club had plenty of possession without capitalising on it. Riga was greeted with isolated boos before kick-off while his predecessor, dismissed after falling out with the new owner Roland Duchatelet over the future direction of the club, received regular vocal backing at intervals through the evening.  

Outside the ground, the Charlton Supporters Trust, conducting a poll on whether Powell should have been sacked, reported 80 per cent against his dismissal. After three minutes' play - in recognition of the former England left-back's squad number - the crowd broke into applause and chanted Powell's name, followed a little later by “We want our Charlton back”.    

Riga stood in the technical area throughout in his grey suit, making “calm down” gestures when the home defence grew edgy following a good opening half-hour. 

After the game he said: “I'm happy with the performance, not so with this result. In the first 25 minutes we had a lot of chances.” As for replacing a local hero, he added: “I have a lot of respect for the ex-manager. I'm here for Charlton and I like a challenge.”

For Sunday's FA Cup tie at Sheffield United, Powell had declined to start with any of the new players brought in almost as a job lot from Duchatelet's five other clubs; which as Charlton lost feebly proved to be either a suicide note or the last nail in his coffin, according to choice of metaphor. So the first point of interest here was Riga's team selection. To nobody's great surprise two of the Liege recruits were brought in, but Reza Ghoochannejhad, the Iranian World Cup striker, and Astrit Ajdarevic, who played with Powell at Leicester City, were obvious choices and both did well.

The most controversial selection would have been if goalkeeper Yohann Thuram-Ulien, a third Liege import, had been selected ahead of Ben Hamer, as it has been rumoured that Duchatelet wanted, but that did not happen. It seemed certain that the new manager and his assistant Karel Fraeye had taken advice from Alex Dyer and Damian Matthew, two of Powell's coaches who remain at the club.

There are areas in which few supporters can have any great argument with the new owner. He has said that developing young players is “the only model” (citing five members of the Belgian national team having come through the Standard Academy), and that Charlton will have to sell from time to time. With a good record of bringing their own players through, from Lee Bowyer and Robert Lee to Scott Parker and Jonjo Shelvey, and then selling them on to bigger clubs, that has long been the way at The Valley. 

In implying that Liege in the Champions League was an obvious destination for the best of them, however, he overstepped the mark for many fans and went far beyond that with alleged interference in who played and, above all, the dismissal of Powell. 

One glance at Charlton's record this season would have made Riga aware of their essential problem - having scored far fewer goals than any other team in the Football League. Neither Simon Church nor Marvin Sordell, brought in free last summer, have been successful and Yann Kermogant, leading scorer this season and last, and therefore a popular figure, was sold in the January transfer window.

Sordell replaced Church but once again Charlton found goals hard to come by. Their best efforts tended to come from set pieces, with Ajdarevic, Ghoochannejhad and Michael Morrison all going close from corners. At the other end Dorian Dervite, one of the four changes from Sunday, cleared off the line from Nahki Wells, before Sordell, sent clear by Diego Poyet's fine pass, was denied by Alex Smithies.

Charlton deserved at least a point but even with at least three games in hand on their relegation rivals, they need to win some, starting against local rivals Millwall, whom they visit on Saturday.

Charlton Athletic (4-2-3-1): Hamer; Wilson, Morrison, Dervite, Wiggins; Poyet, Jackson; Ghoochannejhad (Pritchard, 64), Ajdarevic, Harriott (Cousins, 85); Sordel (Church, 79). Substitutes not used Green, Wood, Thuram-Ulien, Nego.

Huddersfield Town (4-3-3): Smithies; Woods, Wallace, Clarke, Dixon; Clayton, Southern, Hogg; Ward, Scannell (Hammill, 75), Wells (Paterson, 75). Substitutes not used Norwood, Gobern, Bennett, Stead, Smith.

Referee B Malone (Wiltshire).

Arts and Entertainment
books
News
Dr Alice Roberts in front of a
people
Voices
Nigel Farage arrives for a hustings event at The Oddfellows Hall in Ramsgate on Tuesday
voicesA defection that shows who has the most to fear from the rise of Ukip
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Diego Costa
footballEverton 3 Chelsea 6: Diego Costa double has manager purring
Arts and Entertainment
The 'three chords and the truth gal' performing at the Cornbury Music Festival, Oxford, earlier this summer
music... so how did she become country music's hottest new star?
Life and Style
The spy mistress-general: A lecturer in nutritional therapy in her modern life, Heather Rosa favours a Byzantine look topped off with a squid and a schooner
fashionEurope's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln
Voices
Caustic she may be, but Joan Rivers is a feminist hero, whether she likes it or not
voicesShe's an inspiration, whether she likes it or not, says Ellen E Jones
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Star turns: Montacute House
tv
News
i100Steve Carell selling chicken, Tina Fey selling saving accounts and Steve Colbert selling, um...
Arts and Entertainment
Unsettling perspective: Iraq gave Turner a subject and a voice (stock photo)
booksBrian Turner's new book goes back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Some of the key words and phrases to remember
booksA user's guide to weasel words
Life and Style
Brave step: A live collection from Alexander McQueen whose internet show crashed because of high demand
fashionAs the collections start, Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
She's dark, sarcastic, and bashes life in Nowheresville ... so how did Kacey Musgraves become country music's hottest new star?

Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
Aston Villa vs Hull match preview: Villa were not surprised that Ron Vlaar was a World Cup star

Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

Andi Weimann reveals just how good his Dutch teammate really is
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef ekes out his holiday in Italy with divine, simple salads

Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution