A second half penalty from Luca Albon ensured that Charlton U18s remain unbeaten as they shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw at London rivals Crystal Palace.
The Addicks started well, as was shown by the dominance in possession but found themselves 1-0 down going into the break.
The hosts took the lead on the stroke of half time, against the run of play. A floated cross was met by the head of Fionn Mooney in the box and his looping header found the back of the net from 12 yards out.
Charlton’s youngsters had it all to do in the second half but remained confident throughout.
The equaliser came from the penalty spot after a decisive counter attack. Goalkeeper Nathan Harvey made a comfortable safe before leading the charge. His pass found Jeremy Santos, who picked the ball up and ran towards goal before being brought down in the box. Midfielder Albon [pictured] stepped up to smash the penalty home and level the scores at 1-1.
The goal had given the Addicks newfound momentum but despite this, Palace still threatened.
With 15 minutes left on the clock, Crystal Palace were reduced to ten men, when Dylan Thiseton was given is marching orders, and Charlton started to apply the pressure.
Goalscorer Albon saw his show saved from the edge of the box before Kazeem Aidoo had the best chance of the game. Running in on goal with seconds to go, Aidoo was, however, unable to convert, meaning that the points would be split.
Manager Anthony Hayes believed that despite the missed chances, a draw was a fair result. He said: “We were wasteful with our chances and had to settle for a draw. Overall, I’d say that was a fair result. We’re now three points off the top with a game in hand, and still unbeaten so I can’t complain!”
Charlton U18s: Harvey, Barton, Attoo, Henry, Parker, French, Albon, Agyemang, Santos, Campbell, Aframe- Kesey (Thompson, 75)
Subs (not used): Fuhari, Watkins, Garande, Latato
Photo: Ben Peters