A penalty five minutes from time ensured that Charlton’s U18s kept their unbeaten start to the season going as they shared a 1-1 draw with local rivals Millwall at Sparrows Lane on Saturday.
An end-to-end first half of football saw the Lions miss a glorious chance to take an early lead when their forward was played through one-on-one and rounded keeper Nathan Harvey, only to fire into the side netting.
But the visitors did eventually go ahead with 17 minutes on the clock through their number nine, who burst into the box and saw his shot deflect off a Charlton boot and loop into the net.
The Addicks rallied as they searched for a leveller and Richard Chin came agonisingly close to netting when he latched on to Luca Albon’s smart through-ball and poked past the on-rushing keeper, but he could only watch on as the ball rolled inches past the post.
Richard Afrane-Kesey came even closer shortly after, showing good feet on the edge of the penalty area and good strength to push himself into a position to get away his shot which beat the keeper but came back off the post.
The entertainment continued in the second half and the woodwork was the only thing keeping the scoreline at 1-0 with Millwall’s number 10 crashing a free-kick off the crossbar, while the Addicks continued to probe at the other end, only to be met by a resolute Lions defence.
The hosts’ chance finally came in the 85th minute when a very clumsy challenge from a Millwall defender on Afrane-Kesey resulted in the referee pointing to the spot, leaving Aaron Henry (pictured) to finish the job.
The midfielder stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way to nestle the ball in the bottom right-hand corner to earn his side a point and extend the unbeaten run to seven games.
Charlton U18s: Harvey, Barton, Aidoo, Barker, French, Henry, Chin (Terrell Agyemang 75), Appiah, Albon (Thompson-Fearon 67), Afrane-Kesey, Campbell (Dylan 80).
Subs (not used): Watkins, Buhari.
Goal: Henry (pen) 85