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Bradford City 0
Charlton Athletic 1 (Forster-Caskey 74)
Saturday saw Valley Parade play host to a hard-fought encounter between two sides aiming to close in the automatic promotion spots. With the Yorkshire weather out in full force, Charlton secured all three points thanks to a second half effort from Forster-Caskey and some goalkeeping heroics from Ben Amos.
The first real opportunity of the game came Charlton’s way in the opening 10 minutes. An effort from Holmes was almost carried into the Bradford net with help from the wind, only for Doyle in goal to make an excellent save to keep the score 0-0.
With Bradford struggling to find players in the box following some good build up play, Holmes continued his fine start to the game by contributing to numerous chances that Charlton were unable to capitalise on.
As the elements continued to disrupt the game, another excellent chance came Charlton’s way when Clarke characteristically burst into the Bradford box to lash an effort only narrowly wide of the bottom corner of the goal.
Only a few minutes later and Bradford had their first real opportunity to grab the first goal. A free-kick on the edge of the Charlton box by Field found Knight-Percival in the box who headed the ball into the path of Wyke only for the striker’s subsequent effort to be kept out well by Amos.
The final chance of the first half came Charlton’s way after they were awarded a free-kick in a dangerous position on the edge of the Bradford box. However, the curled effort from Holmes failed to trouble Doyle as it sailed over the crossbar to the chorus of ironic cheers from the Bradford fans behind the goal.
Charlton were quick off the mark in the second half with another opportunity, only for Knight-Percival to prevent any further danger to the Bradford goal. Bradford’s first real effort on goal in the second half was a rather wild effort from distance by Reeves, which failed to trouble Amos.
Bradford were presented with another good chance to break the deadlock when Gilliead played the ball to Patrick only for the winger’s effort to be deflected off target. The end to end second half continued when Knight-Percival was again called upon to make a terrific tackle in the box to prevent Charlton taking the lead.
Doyle then continued his strong afternoon in the Bradford goal with another fine safe from a Forster-Caskey effort which looked destined for the goal. Forster-Caskey was not to be denied, however, when he gave Charlton the lead with only 15 minutes to play. A cross from the right was played into the Bradford penalty area with Forster-Caskey running in to scramble the ball into the net. Bradford players and fans alike, however, were instantly furious with the awarding of a goal after a throwing in the run up to the goal was wrongly awarded to Charlton.
Amos then had an inspired end to the game for Charlton after making two superb saves with five minutes left to help his team secure all three points. The first was a fine save from a Wyke effort, while the second was an astonishing save from an almost point-blank effort on goal from Kilgallon.
The final whistle from the referee confirmed all three points for Charlton with the result moving them up to 4th in the league one table and level on points with Bradford in 3rd place. Charlton will no doubt be pleased with a fantastic three points away from home, especially with the superb performance by Amos as well as the wind and rain making it a very challenging game.
Although still sitting 3rd in the table, Bradford will be disappointed with the result, particularly considering the numerous chances to at least draw level with Charlton, albeit, playing against a keeper in inspired form. No win in three games will be a slight concern considering that teams are now beginning to close the gap in the league, but Bradford will still be encouraged by their relatively strong start to what is a long season.
Bradford: Doyle, Hendrie, Knight-Percival, Kilgallon, Field (Hanson 73), Reeves, Dieng (Robinson 83), Gilliead, Patrick (McCartan 88), Law, Wyke. Subs: Raeder, Thompson, Hanson, Devine, Robinson, McCartan, Jones.
Charlton: Amos, Solly, Konsa, Bauer, Sarr, Forster-Caskey, Kashi, Holmes (Jackson 93), Fosu (Dasilva 87), Clarke (Reeves 87), Magennis. Subs: Philips, Aribo, Ahearne-Grant, Dodoo, Jackson, Dasilva, Reeves.
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