Aaron Henry’s penalty was enough to earn Charlton’s U18s all three points at Millwall last Saturday as the youngsters returned to winning ways against the table-topping Lions.
Having lost only their first game in 13 to Bristol City last time out, the Addicks were hoping to bounce back and cut their hosts’ lead at the top to just two points with victory but, after an even half with few chances for either side, it was the home team who came close to opening the scoring after the break when a fine effort from distance was plucked out of the top right-hand corner by Nathan Harvey’s impressive save.
In what was an extremely cagey affair, the Addicks had a pair of opportunities to convert from set-pieces, but missed the target on both, while Richard Afrane-Kesey’s excellent run into the box was not matched by the finish as he sliced wide from a good scoring position.
The Addicks began to turn the screw as the second period wore on, but could not find a way through the Lions’ defence until the 75th minute when Terrell Agyemang and Afrane-Kesey exchanged passes before the latter was felled by a clumsy challenge in the box, giving the referee no choice but to point to the spot.
Henry, who has been clinical from the spot this term, made no mistake, sending the keeper the wrong way to net what would prove to be the winner, giving Charlton a big three points over their local rivals – the perfect way to prepare for Friday evening’s FA Youth Cup third-round clash with West Ham United.
Charlton U18s: Harvey, Barton, Garande (Aidoo 86), Buhari, French, Henry, Agyemang, Chin (Toure 90), Albon (Gavin 72), Santos, Afrane-Kesey.
Subs (not used): Beadle, Thompson-Fearon.
Goal: Henry (pen) 75
Photo: Tom West