BY LOUIS MENDEZ
Charlton’s winning run was extended to three games as they came away victors from a difficult encounter at Bradford City.
An early goal from Karlan Grant had the visitors off and running, but they had to soak up a spirited fightback from the Bantams before Lyle Taylor’s superb strike secured the points late on in the second-half.
Jed Steer had already denied Eoin Doyle early on with a stunning save from close-range but the Addicks almost immediately edged ahead at the other end.
Just three minutes were on the clock when former Bradford man Josh Cullen measured a superb ball through for Grant to latch onto. The Addicks academy graduate still had plenty to do – cutting inside onto his right foot before rifling into the top corner from eight yards out to claim his third goal of the campaign.
The hosts had their fair share of possession as they looked for a way back into the contest but only had former Crystal Palace man Sean Scannell’s horribly skewed wide effort to show for it.
The Addicks somehow failed to double their lead in a remarkably dominant spell around the half-hour mark.
Goal-scorer Grant’s flick-on was sent spinning just past the far-post by the outside of strike-partner Lyle Taylor’s right boot. Grant himself then blazed over from eight yards as he was found unmarked by Joe Aribo’s cute ball inside.
Jamie Ward, on his Addicks debut, then saw an effort from the edge of the area hit his own man as Lyle Taylor inadvertently deflected it behind for a goal-kick.
The hosts forced a flurry of corners in the opening exchanges after the interval but Bowyer’s men continued to hold them at bay.
Penalty shouts were waved away as the home crowd accused an Addicks man of pulling a shirt in the area as David Hopkin’s side continued to press for a leveller.
Charlton forays forward were rare in the second-period but Cullen’s dangerous free-kick flew just past the far-stick as they looked for a killer-second goal with 13 minutes to play.
Introduced as a second-half substitute, Igor Vetokele came close to doubling the lead when he turned well in the area – his low-drive well held by Richard – but the South Londoners would have that vital second goal moments later.
Taylor picked it up on the corner of the Bantams box before cutting in and unleashing an unstoppable curler that crept in between the angle of post and bar – an stretch the Addicks’ unbeaten run to four league games.
Photos: Kyle Andrews