Manager Stuart McCall took encouragement from an ‘excellent’ second-half performance as an under-strength Bradford City slid to their third home league defeat of the season against top-six rivals Charlton Athletic at a wet and windy Valley Parade.
A disputed throw-in led to Jake Forster-Caskey scoring the winning goal in the 74th minute. Chris Solly took the ball from the throw and crossed to the far post where Tariqe Fosu headed it back across goal for Forster-Caskey to score from close range.
McCall disputed the throw-in, remonstrating with the linesman, but said: “I don’t want to harp on about it. We switched off when they scored, but I don’t think anyone deserved to lose the game.
“The first half was tight, but in the second half we produced real tempo and put them under pressure and took a lot encouragement from that. But for a couple of outstanding saves from their keeper, we would have taken something from the game if not all three points.”
Charlton goalkeeper Ben Amos, on loan from Bolton, denied Charlie Wyke in the first half and Omari Patrick and defender Matt Kilgallan in the second as City bombarded the visitors’ goal.
Colin Doyle, in the Bradford goal, also made important saves from Ricky Holmes and Forster-Caskey.
Bradford were missing four players with injury and suspended captain Romain Vincelot, but McCall refused to use these absences as an excuse. “You cannot cry about injuries and suspensions,” he said.
Bradford City: Doyle, Hendrie, Knight-Percival, Kilgallon, Field (Hanson 72), Gillead, J Reeves, Law, Dieng (Robinson 82), Wyke, Patrick (McCarten 87). Unused substitutes: Raeder (gk), Thompson, Jones, Devine.
Charlton Athletic: Amos, Solly, Sarr, Bauer, Konsa, Kashi, Forster-Caskey, Clarke (B Reeves 87), Fosu (Dasilva 87), Holmes (Jackson 90), Magennis. Unused substitutes: Phillips, Aribo, Ahearne-Grant, Dodoo.
Referee: D Bond (Lancashire).