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Pritchard relieved to get first Valley goal
CHARLTON engine roomer Bradley Pritchard marked the club’s 20-year anniversary since returning to The Valley with his first league goal for the club against Brighton.
Pritchard had put the Addicks 2-1 ahead with 20 minutes remaining only for substitute Kazenga LuaLua to earn the impressive Seagulls a share of the spoils five minutes later.
But the tireless midfielder admitted it was pleasing to extend their unbeaten run on a historic afternoon for the Addicks.
Pritchard said: “We knew it was a very special day for the fans and for the club in general.
“We knew we had to put on a good performance and try to represent the club as best we could because it was a very special day.
“In the seventh minute when everyone started applauding and there was a standing ovation I think it just added to the atmosphere.
“I thought it was a very special moment.
“You build a lot more ties and bonds with the club and you feel that you're part of something special.
“I think it’s good for the fans to know the players have taken on board the situation and the sense of togetherness an occasion like this can bring.
“But we just had to focus on the game ourselves.
“There was no point in adding more pressure by building up the occasion.
“We knew as well that it was a kind-of derby in the sense it was two teams from the south-east, so we really just wanted to put in a good performance.”
He added: ”It was more important for us to continue the run.
“We worked hard and defended well.
“They had a lot more possession, which we knew they’d do, so we knew we had to stay tight defensively and concentrate a lot.
“A lot of our work was going to be off the ball, so it was just a matter of taking our chances if and when they came.
“But for us to continue the run was the main thing.”
Pritchard’s only other goal for the Addicks came in the FA Cup last season away at non-league Halifax Town.
When the ball hit the back of the net on Saturday, he conceded he did not really know what to do with himself.
Pritchard said: “I was very happy to finally break the duck and relieved I could score and help the team.
“When the gaffer first signed me I had been scoring quite a few goals for Hayes & Yeading, so to finally get one after so long I was just relieved really.
“I couldn’t really see the ball go in because there were so many players in the way, but when I did I just thought: ‘Yes, thank you!’”
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