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Postby Forever Blue » Tue Jun 30, 2020 8:43 pm

Cardiff City's Championship play-off push lost some of its momentum as they were held to a goalless draw at home by relegation-threatened Charlton Athletic.


Although both sides entered this fixture with a perfect record since the season's resumption, neither could muster a shot on target in a lifeless first half.

The second period was better, with Cardiff's on-loan winger Albert Adomah forcing Charlton goalkeeper Dillon Phillips into a fine save.

Junior Hoilett then blasted over for the hosts, who always looked likeliest to force a breakthrough, but the visitors dug in for a point.

Cardiff keep hold of the final play-off spot as they remain sixth in the table, though their four-point cushion could be reduced when seventh-placed Preston host Derby on Wednesday.

For Charlton, meanwhile, a third game without defeat edges them further away from the relegation zone, with the Addicks now four points clear of the bottom three.

This point at Cardiff City Stadium could prove useful for Lee Bowyer's side in their fight for survival, whereas his counterpart Neil Harris will undoubtedly view it as a squandered opportunity.

And unlike November's dramatic 2-2 draw at the Valley in this season's reverse fixture - Harris' first game in charge of Cardiff - this was a match which never set pulses racing.

It might have been a different story, as both sides had resumed their campaigns in excellent form.

Cardiff climbed into the play-off places with wins over leaders Leeds and Preston, while Charlton clawed their way out of the relegation zone thanks to victories against Hull and Queens Park Rangers.

Robert Glatzel had scored as a substitute in each of Cardiff's wins and the tall German striker's reward was a return to the starting line-up as one of three changes - but his evening was cut short by a head injury.

With fixtures beginning to pile up, Charlton went further with their rotation as Bowyer made seven changes from the QPR victory.

Those wholesale alterations might have been a contributing factor to this game's disjointed nature.

The visitors created a couple of early half-openings for Andre Green but home goalkeeper Alex Smithies was not called into action.

The same was true for his opposite number Dillon Phillips, even if there were glimpses of attacking threat from Bluebirds wingers Nathaniel Mendez-Laing - another who came off the bench to score at Preston - and Adomah.

Any hope either side had of generating momentum was then halted by a long stoppage as Glatzel and Charlton's Sam Field clashed heads and received lengthy treatment before both being forced off the field.

The first half drifted to its goalless conclusion, and the second was similarly short on excitement.

Charlton had the first chance of sorts after an hour as their Wales international centre-back Tom Lockyer fired a dangerous low cross inside the Cardiff penalty area, but it was well blocked by Curtis Nelson.

Then on 67 minutes, the game finally had its first shot on target as Joe Ralls' through ball found Adomah, whose low left-footed effort across goal was well palmed away by Phillips.

Adomah then found Hoilett with an excellent pass, but the substitute winger rushed his shot and fired it over.

That was the last of Cardiff's scoring opportunities on a frustrating evening for the hosts and their play-off aspirations, but one which could prove valuable to Charlton's hopes of avoiding an instant return to League One.
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