Charlton Athletic boss Dean Holden has criticized referee Ben Speedie after their narrow defeat to League One leaders Sheffield Wednesday. Holden was left furious after Owls defender Dominic Iorfa avoided a red card for a tough challenge on Jesurun Rak-Sakyi in the first half of the clash at The Valley.
Iorfa was booked and went on to play a starring role on Wednesday keeping a clean sheet on the 19th. Holden said: “I don’t like to talk about the referee, but there’s an elephant in the room with the entry on Jez in the first half. It’s a shocking challenge and it’s a red card all day.”
“I’m not sure what the referee has seen and why he hasn’t given it. We have to accept it and move on, but I think that’s really bad in-game to target one of our best players like that.”
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On Wednesday they moved one step closer to securing promotion back to the Championship after a hard-earned 1-0 win over the Addicks. Defender Liam Palmer scored his fourth goal of the season to help record a third straight win on Wednesday.
The hosts posed further problems for the Owls’ defense in the second half, but Darren Moore’s men held on to set a new club record of 20 league games unbeaten. Victory pulled away on Wednesday three points clear of second placed Plymouth Argyle with one game to go.
Holden said: “We conceded an early goal – I haven’t seen it yet but I’m not sure how the right-back ghosted into the penalty area without scoring and hit it into our net.
“I didn’t think there was much in the first half, but there were isolated chances for them, which were big chances for them. Nash made some good saves and we made it 1-0 (at half time) and we were still in the game.
“I am satisfied with the display of the second half. We played with much more purpose.
“They (Wednesday) gave us problems when they did that. They didn’t try to play too much. The pitch is tough.
“You still see (Barry) Bannan landing on things and landing on things and playing forward. He’s a really creative player for them.
“They gave us trouble just turning around and getting behind the ball. We did that a lot more in the second half and had some good chances.”
“If Miles Leaburn’s chance is a few inches over the post and who knows then. We have to accept that it’s 20 games unbeaten for them and they’re flying high at the top of the league. It’s not something I want.” say, because that’s where we want to be, but we have to accept that the season we’ve had compared to theirs meant it was always going to be a tough game.”
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