REPORT | Cardiff City 0 Charlton 0

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Charlton kept their third consecutive clean sheet since the return of the Championship as both sides struggled for clear-cut opportunities in Tuesday’s 0-0 draw at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Faced with three games in six days Lee Bowyer shuffled the pack, making seven changes from the side that beat QPR 1-0 on Saturday.

A switch in formation saw Charlton start with three at the back, Naby Sarr joining Tom Lockyer and Jason Pearce at the heart of the Addicks defence while Alfie Doughty and George Lapslie began on the flanks.

In the middle of the park Sam Field and Jake Forster-Caskey returned for their first starts since October while Josh Cullen retained his place from the weekend’s victory.

Up front, Andre Green and Chuks Aneke replaced Macauley Bonne and Tomer Hemed, with Green also occupying a wide role in a 5-4-1 at times.

After starting on the back foot, Charlton countered at pace to create their first chance of the match in the fourth minute, Aneke crossing to Cullen at the back-post before the midfielder’s shot was blocked. 

Charlton steadily grew into the match and Green flashed a header over the bar after meeting Lapslie’s cross at the near post.

Cullen was next to try his luck, firing wide from distance after a patient spell of possession set him up with time and space 25 yards from goal. 

Filled with confidence in his first Championship start of the season, Aneke looked dangerous each time he got the ball. The striker broke into the box in the 16th minute before laying the ball off to Green, whose effort was blocked with a last-ditch tackle.

Following a quick start, the match developed into an even affair with neither side able to create much in the way of clear-cut chances. Field was forced off with a head injury just after the half-hour mark as repeated stoppages stemmed the flow of the match and ensured seven additional minutes at the end of a scoreless first half.

The first 15 minutes of the second half quickly became categorized by misplaced passes and heavy touches, but Charlton nearly broke through with a barrage of set-pieces. First, Forster-Caskey was denied a tap-in by a terrific block before Sarr was centimetres from connecting with the ensuing corner. 

Despite enjoying a quiet afternoon, Dillon Phillips was needed at his very best to keep the score level prior to the second-half drinks break. Albert Adomah arrowed a low shot towards the far corner, but Phillips managed to push it out with his fingertips.

Cardiff again went close just a few minutes later when Junior Hoilett found himself in space six yards from goal, but a poor turn and shot ended with the ball high in the stands behind Charlton’s goal.

The visitors breathed a sigh of relief with three minutes of normal time to spare when Curtis Nelson headed wide from a free-kick as the match remained scoreless heading into four minutes of stoppage time.

A scrappy end to the game saw neither side able to force a winner as Charlton moved onto 46 points with the 0-0 draw in south Wales.

Cardiff City: Smithies, Bennett, Nelson, Morrison, Sanderson, Mendez-Laing (Hoilett 65), Bacuna (Tomlin 65), Ralls, Pack, Adomah, Glatzel (Paterson 45)

Subs (not used): Etheridge, Flint, Vaulks, Whyte, Bamba, Smith

Booked: Sanderson 74 (foul on Doughty)

Charlton: Phillips; Lapslie (Oshilaja 63), Lockyer, Pearce (C), Sarr, Doughty; Forster-Caskey (Morgan 80), Cullen, Field (Pratley 36) Green (Purrington 80); Aneke (Bonne 63)

Subs (not used): Amos, Williams, McGeady, Davison

Booked: Purrington 83’ (foul on Adomah)

Referee: Steve Martin

Attendance: 0 {Behind closed doors)

Report by Benjy Nurick

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