REPORT | Charlton 0 Fulham 0

A battling Charlton earned an important point against promotion chasers Fulham in a tense 0-0 draw at The Valley.

The Addicks matched the competitive spirit exuded by manager Lee Bowyer, who earlier in the day signed a new three-year contract with the club, keeping a first clean sheet since October in the process.

Bowyer made six changes with Josh Cullen starting for the first time since suffering an ankle injury against Cardiff City in November. The change in personnel also meant a change in shape with the Addicks beginning the game in a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Charlton started the quicker of the two teams and gave the visitors an early scare when a driven Albie Morgan cross deflected into the arms of Fulham goalkeeper Marek Rodak.

Alfie Doughty then saw a deflected cross loop into the side netting for a Charlton corner.

Fulham managed to work their way into the game and Dillon Phillips tipped wide a Bobby Decordova-Reid effort before stopping a more straight forward shot that was straight at him from the visitors’ striker.

The Addicks were conceding possession to third-placed Fulham but with Doughty’s pace caused the visitors' defence headaches on the counter attack in a bustling first half.

Joe Bryan came closest in the opening 45 for Fulham but his low shot went just wide of the Charlton post. 

The Addicks were lucky not to concede in the 51st minute when Michael Hector found himself unmarked at the back post from a Fulham corner. The defender, signed this month from Chelsea, headed wide when he should have at least hit the target. 

Jason Pearce made a block befitting of his captaincy status to deny Decordova-Reid just before the hour mark, while at the other end Doughty got on the end of a swift counter attack but his left-footed skimming effort was straight at the grateful Rodak. 

The Addicks had a penalty appeal when Hemed went down chasing a ball at the hands of Hector but referee Steve Martin was unmoved.

Charlton created another shooting opportunity when Doughty cut back from the right to Oztumer just outside the area. The midfield wizard took a touch to control but hit his left-footed shot went high and wide. 

The two sides chased an equaliser but both goalkeepers remained relatively untested in the final half hour of the game as Charlton kept a first clean sheet since October.

Charlton: Phillips; Matthews, Lockyer, Pearce (C), Purrington; Pratley, Cullen; Morgan (Williams 63), Oztumer (Green 82), Doughty, Hemed (Taylor 70)

Subs (not used): Maynard-Brewer, Sarr, Oshilaja, Dempsey

Booked: Cullen 86 (foul on Onomah)

Fulham: Rodak, Hector, Odoi, McDonald, Cairney (C) (Johansen 77), Ream, Decordova-Reid, Arter (Christie 72), Cavaleiro, Bryan, Onomah (Stansfield 88)

Subs (not used): Bettinelli, Kongolo, De La Torre, Sessognon

Booked: Ream 90 + 4 (foul on Taylor)

Referee: S Martin 

Attendance: 16,424 (2,337 from Fulham)

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