Charlton's nemesis Jay Bothroyd was prominent in early exchanges at The Valley tonight, writes Philippa Nicholson. Some fifteen minutes in Bailey whipped in the ball from the left, Burton connected and the Cardiff City goalkeeper had to come off his line, possibly incurring an injury. This was really the first serious effort by Charlton who had not looked as if they were at the races. The nominal home attendance was just over 19,300, the lowest of the season, on a mild evening.
The ball was whipped across the front of the Charlton goal, but went wide and out of play for a throw in. Cardiff won another corner to be taken by Parry. Burton tracked back and got the tackle in near the halfway line.
Charlton won a free kick 25 yards out on the left-hand side of the 'D'. Bailey's effort went over the crossbar and into the Jimmy Seed Stand. Lloyd Sam was not very evident in the game, as is so often the case.
Racon tried to combine with Burton, but a Cardiff defender put it over for a corner.
Charlton kept possession, but were forced up the field.
Youga lost possession, Chopra was given all the space in the world but Rob Elliott made a great save at the expense of a corner. Chopra tried another shot which caught Hudson in the face. He went down and the referee blew up immediately. While the game was halted, Parkinson told Sam to get his act together.
Bothroyd had a free kick awarded against him for handball and then said something to the referee which earned him a yellow card for dissent.
An effort by Youga earned Charlton a corner. Heaton punched the ball into the air. Charlton continued to attack and with first class positioning Shelvey put the ball in the net with an assist from Lloyd Sam.
Ledley put in a volleyed shot from 30 yards out and drew a super save from Elliot. A chorus of Valley Floyd Road started up.
A shove on Burton gave Charlton a free kick square to the 'D' some 35 yards out. Charlton won a corner off the free kick, but it was unproductive.
Two minutes of time was added on. Zheng Zhi took the ball off Bothroyd. McCormack dived for a free kick, but was not booked. Some Cardiff players surrounded the referee after the whistle blew to explain that he was not getting the result right and the yellow card was shown to Ledley.
Half time: Addicks 1, Bluebirds 0
Charlton won an early corner, but it was easily collected by Heaton. Butterfield was booked for a challenge. Cardiff received a free kick on the touchline, but Bailey headed it away and then a second time. Charlton broke, but Zheng Zhi's right footed effort hit the post to deny the Chinese captain.
Youga advanced well, but ran out of space. Chopra was taken off by Cardiff and replaced by Burke who is essentially a left midfield player. Bothroyd was allocated more of a striking role.
Zheng Zhi was booked for a tug on Scottish charm merchant McCormack who made the most of it. Burton was taken off and was replaced by Kandol whom Parkinson hopes to keep next season. Kandol is a Charlton fan who used to live the other side of the Blackwall Tunnel.
Charlton were possibly starting to defend too deep. Butterfield blocked twice. Burke was making himself troublesome. Kandol got away as lone ranger, but Comminges was with him and he ran into the advertising holdings.
Cardiff maintained pressure and they got a free kick near the corner flag in front of their own fans in the Jimmy Seed. A Gyepes header went over to the disappointment of the visiting Taffs.
Cardiff won a corner as Spring prepared to come on. McCormack's corner went out of play for a goal kick and the lacklustre Lloyd Sam was pulled off. Shelvey went out on the right with Zheng Zhi in the hole behind Kandol.
Bothroyd felt that he had scored from a long ball but the flag had gone up. The Addickted started a chant of 'England'. Bailey put in a challenge on Burke and received a yellow card from Mr Williamson. Rae went down under a challenge from Spring and Cardiff got a free kick for Bothroyd to display his talents from the right-hand side of the 'D'. McCormack was given the opportunity and it was rubbish.
Cardiff were awarded a free kick against Racon. The ball went through the wall, Elliot pushed it away and Charlton broke and won a corner. Bailey scored the second from Shelvey's corner which the Bluebirds failed to clear.
Cardiff then got a goal back on 81 minutes after Burke ran on to a ball down the middle, having faced no challenge. Shelvey came off to be replaced by Matt Holland. American international Eddie Johnson, on loan from Fulham, came on for the visitors in place of Paul Parry.
Cardiff won a free kick on the touchline. Bailey fouled Roger Johnson on the edge of the 'D', giving the visitors a free kick. The ball from Bothroyd was blocked by the wall and it was cleared. Another free kick was given away to the right hand side of the 'D' by a needless foul. City won a corner taken by Burke and they got an equaliser on 89 minutes through Gyepes. Once again Charlton had blown a 2-0 lead for the second time in four days and large numbers of the Addickted start to leave. Parkinson looked disconsolate.
Three minutes of time were added on. Roger Johnson was taken off and Darren Purse came on. Butterfield conceded a corner which was taken quickly. A shot from McCormack brought down Matt Holland. Kandol tried a shot and Charlton won a last gasp corner.