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Match Reports

CITY SUFFER CHARLTON DEFEAT DESPITE ENCOURAGING SHOWING

15 September 2018

Despite an encouraging showing from City, particularly in the second period, David Hopkin's men suffered defeat at the hands of Charlton Athletic in the Head Coach's first home match in charge.

Following an early chance for Eoin Doyle, Charlton took a third-minute lead through Karlan Grant.

Hopkin's men pushed hard for an equaliser after the break, but Charlton secured a 2-0 victory when Lyle Taylor netted against the run of play roughly ten minutes from the end.

With a large number of injuries affecting Hopkin's plans going into the Charlton encounter, the City chief made four changes to the side that began at Blackpool last weekend.

Recent signings Lewis O'Brien, David Ball and Jim O'Brien all started the game, while the fit-again Sean Scannell also featured in Bantams' line-up.

Skipper Josh Wright was one of at least ten senior players unavailable to Hopkin for the visit of Charlton, meaning Eoin Doyle was handed the captain's armband.

The new captain was actually nearly on the scoresheet as soon as the second minute.

Scannell, who featured as a right wing-back in the game, crossed low into the box, Doyle was in the right place to connect but his well-struck drive was somehow turned over via a great reaction save from Jed Steer.

Charlton unfortunately made City paid for their near miss virtually sixty seconds later.

As Grant was played into space inside the area, the attacker cut inside past Ryan McGowan before curling a strike in away from the clutches of Richard O'Donnell.

The Bantams tried to hit back soon after following that early blow, but Scannell dragged a shot wide from just inside the box from a City counter-attack.

Connor Wood, who caught the eye with his endeavour up and down the left flank in a wing back role, crossed into the path of Jack Payne soon after but his scuffed shot inside the box was cleared by Patrick Bauer.

As the half wore on, Charlton's presence in the game grew, but with Jim O'Brien and his namesake Lewis showing commendable effort in midfield on their home debuts, City were remaining competitive.

Taylor fired narrowly wide for Charlton from one chance just before the half hour mark with a first time shot from just outside the box.

Charlton then threatened again soon after but an unmarked Grant fired over in the box following Joe Aribo's low centre.

Not for the first time during the afternoon, Wood sent over an inviting cross at the other end of the pitch minutes later, but Scannell headed over after Doyle in front had narrowly missed out on making contact with the ball himself.

The final noteworthy chance of the opening half saw Jamie Ward curling over from outside the box, but City will have felt they were still very much in the contest going into the interval.

Clearly buoyed by Hopkin's half time teamtalk, City began the second period at some pace as they looked for a way back into the game.

Anthony O'Connor narrowly missed out on contacting with a wide free-kick from Payne into the box just minutes after the restart.

The Bantams kept the pressure on as the minutes ticked by in the second period, with Ball denied from a close range scramble from a half-cleared Payne corner just before the hour.

Just six minutes later, City's home support were left disappointed when referee Jeremy Simpson turned down Bantams penalty appeals.

McGowan appeared to be pulled back in the box by Jason Pearce from another Payne corner delivery but the match official waved away City protests.

Hopkin was fuming by the decision, leading to the Head Coach receiving a caution from Mr Simpson.

With City still looking the dominant force in the game as the match moved into the final quarter, Hopkin introduced Kai Bruenker for Ball, who showed some nice touches on his first start in Bradford colours.

Despite City's pressing and probing after the break, though, Charlton managed to put themselves in the driving seat in the game when they netted against the run of play nine minutes from the end of normal time.

Positioned just inside the box, Taylor managed to find the far top corner of City's goal with an impressive rising strike from an angle.

After putting so much into the game, especially following the restart, Charlton's second goal naturally took some of the wind out of City's sails.

Hopkin's men can take plenty of encouragement from their display, however, considering the amount of changes made to the team following recent recruits and injuries.

 

Match updates, line-ups and stats from the Charlton game can be found - HERE.


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