Charlton’s U23s came out as the winners in a gripping fixture at Bramall Lane last Monday, beating Sheffield United 4-3.
A brace from Albie Morgan, an own goal, and a superb effort from Johl Powell ensured the young Addicks remain unbeaten this season as Charlton and Sheffield United played out an entertaining seven-goal-thriller.
Charlton went into the game hungry for three points, having to settle for draws in their previous games against Sheffield Wednesday and Birmingham City, and it was clear to see from the opening exchanges with the visitors threatening early on.
However, the hosts would be the first to register a shot on target with Harry Boyes’ shot requiring Nathan Harness to get down to make a smart stop to deny the Blades the opener.
And it was the home side who would once again look to take the lead when the ball dropped into the path of first-teamer Lys Mousset who looked certain to score but for a smart response from Harness to once again keep the score at 0-0. Mousset and Harness would continue their battle of wits shortly afterwards with the former forcing a great save with an acrobatic attempt which was tipped past the post.
United would finally break the deadlock on 21 minutes when a corner caused problems for the Charlton defence and fell kindly for Reece York who was able to prod the ball into the net.
Jason Euell would have been left frustrated at the nature of his side going behind but equally as delighted as to how they responded. Merely three minutes after the restart, Charlton equalised through Morgan with the aid of a fortunate deflection off of United’s goalscorer; York.
With the score level once again, Sheffield United hunted for another opportunity to put themselves back in front only to find themselves being the architects of their own downfall when Ashton Hall was judged to have fouled Kareem Isiaka inside the area. Morgan stepped up and fired home his second of the afternoon despite the best efforts from Blades ‘keeper Jordan Amissah.
Charlton went into the break a goal to the good but were caught short by a seemingly revitalised United side when former Manchester United prospect, Callum Gribbin, showed his pedigree and worked himself into some space before slotting home the equaliser for the Yorkshire side.
The second half was proving itself to be just as lively as the first half after the Addicks once again pulled themselves back on top, albeit through fortuitous circumstances. Charles Clayden displayed his speed when he burst down the right before firing in a searching low cross which was fumbled across the line by Keenan Ferguson for an own goal.
Both teams were fighting tooth and nail, creating a plethora of chances which forced some strong saves from the goalkeepers. But Sheffield United would once again level the scores when Sammy Ompreon, who had looked lively for the Blades, finished off a teasing move for the home side slamming the ball into the roof of the net.
But Charlton weren’t letting up and wanted to mark their first win of the season and they did just that on 66 minutes through Powell. Picking up the ball on the edge of the box, Powell showed great control, skill and composure to wrong-foot the defender and fire home for what would turn out to be the winner.
Going into the last quarter, the hosts frantically searched for a goal to restore parity once more but were kept at arms-length as the Addicks saw the game out for their first win of the season.
The U23s return to action when they host Burnley at Dartford’s Princes Park on Monday, September 9th (2pm). Supporters should note that the game was originally due to take place at The Valley, but has now been switched to Dartford’s Princes Park.
Charlton U23s: Harness, Yao, Keefe, Mingi, Stevenson, Morgan, Powell (Vennings 81), Dempsey, Clayden (Vega 79), Isiaka (Ocran 61), Davison.
Subs (not used): Harvey.
Goals: Morgan 25, 36 (pen), Freeman 52 (og), Powell 66
Sheffield United U23s: Amissah, Freeman, Boyes, Ferguson, Gordon, Hall, Broadbent, Gribbin (Brunt 76), Mousset, Ompreon (Young 62), York (Hoti 64).
Subs (not used): Kelly, Mallon
Goals: York 21, Gribbin 50, Ompreon 60
Photo: Sheffield United Football Club