Charlton’s U18s were held to a 1-1 draw with Watford on Saturday afternoon as Luca Albon’s early penalty was cancelled out by a well-placed effort from distance by Jordan Harrison.
After weathering some early pressure from the hosts, the Addicks mounted an attack which caught Watford by surprise and ended with Charlton being awarded a penalty with less than a quarter of an hour played.
Albon stepped up and sent Watford’s keeper the wrong way to give the visiting side the advantage.
With their tails up, Charlton hunted for a second, Billy French causing problems for the Hornets, but their defence did enough to ensure the deficit remained at one.
As time ticked away in the first period, Watford began to grow into the game and after some neat play on the left wing Hornets skipper Dom Hutchinson was teed up but couldn’t keep his header down.
After the break, Watford continued to dominate and were rewarded just four minutes into the second half when full-back Harrison was allowed room on the right and curled a fine effort beyond the reach of Nathan Harvey.
The goal rattled the Addicks who perked up going forward, forming a number of in the end fruitless, chances. But the cracks in the defence were still visible with Watford forming chance after chance.
The hosts were unfortunate not to take the lead when a ball in from the right-wing evaded everyone in a red shirt and fell kindly to a Watford player who only had the ‘keeper to beat. He fluffed his lines, though, and headed wide of the target.
Moments later, another chance went begging after a poor pass out from defence was snapped up, only for Watford’s forward to, perhaps, overthink his effort as he smashed it high and wide of Harvey’s near post.
Charlton had chances of their own but the Hornets stopper James Hoskins wasn’t to be beaten.
On 75 minutes, Watford could have very nearly snatched it when Sonny Blu Lo-Everton was able to pick out Hutchinson but he saw his headed effort crash off the upright.
The result now leaves the Addicks a single point behind Bristol City, though the Robins have played two more games than Charlton, Watford remain in second place.
Charlton U18: Harvey, Barton, Aidoo (Garande 76), Barker, French, Agyemang, Albon, Henry, Williams, Afrane-Kesey (Santos 65), Campbell.
Subs (not used): Watkins, Buhari, Anderson.
Goal: Albon 14 (pen)
Photo: Charlton Athletic