Huddersfield in stalemate as Riga is denied winning start

Town boss Mark Robins
Town boss Mark Robins
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Huddersfield Town denied new Charlton boss Jose Riga a winning start after a goalless draw at The Valley.

Riga appeared to be on a hiding to nothing in front of a Valley faithful unhappy that controversial owner Roland Duchatelet had sacked club legend Chris Powell and replaced him with the unknown Belgian.

Powell was axed on Tuesday morning having clashed with Duchatelet over the club’s recruitment policy – namely bringing in a host of players from Standard Liege and other clubs he owns.

Tellingly Powell did not name one of those players in his starting line-up for what proved to be his final game in charge, Sunday’s FA Cup defeat at Sheffield United.

But Riga, a former coach at Standard, immediately called up two of them, midfielder Astrit Ajdarevic and striker Reza Ghoochannejhad.

Ajdarevic almost opened the scoring for the hosts with a long-range drive which had Alex Smithies diving at full stretch.

In the second half Marvin Sordell was twice sent clean through but scuffed his first effort wide and was denied by Smithies with the second.

So goalscoring remains a problem, but Charlton did manage to restrict Huddersfield to a few chances from long range, with Ben Hamer keeping out Nahki Wells’ effort and also denying Danny Ward and Jonathan Hogg.

And when Wells did manage to take the ball round Hamer early in the second half, Dorian Dervite had got back in time to clear his angled shot off the line.

Charlton: Hamer, Wilson, Morrison, Dervite, Wiggins, Poyet, Harriott (Cousins 85), Jackson, Ajdarevic, Ghoochannejhad (Pritchard 64), Sordell (Church 79). Unused substitutes: Green, Wood, Thuram-Ulien, Nego.

Huddersfield: Smithies, Woods, Clarke, Wallace, Dixon, Scannell (Hammill 75), Southern, Hogg, Ward, Clayton, Wells (Paterson 75). Unused substitutes: Norwood, Gobern, Bennett, Stead, Smith.

Referee: B Malone (Wiltshire).