Charlton’s U23s ran out as convincing 4-1 winners against Colchester United on a breezy afternoon in Dartford.
A hat-trick from Josh Davison and a fine penalty from James Vennings ensured that Jake Hutchinson’s strike after the break was merely a consolation for the hosts.
The result means that Jason Euell’s side have now qualified to the knockout stages of the Premier League Cup with a game in hand.
Colchester started the game off well and could have very nearly scored when Hutchinson took advantage of a loose ball in Charlton’s half and had a clear run at goal, but, bizarrely, he tried to take it round the last defender and in the end only managed a tame effort which Nathan Harness was down to comfortably.
The visitors were moving the ball quickly and were asking plenty of questions of the hosts’ defence in the opening 10 minutes.
But the Addicks grew into the game and took the lead on 13 minutes. A fine run into the box from the left from Junior Quitirna was capped off by Davison who fired a pinpoint strike into the corner beyond Bailey Vose.
Six minutes later and Charlton would double up on the scoring. Picking the ball up on the right hand side of the box, Quitirna unleashed a fine strike which was well saved by Vose but the arriving Davison was able to power home on the follow up despite Vose getting fingertips to it.
Charlton could well have had a third moments later when George Lapslie dinked a well-weighted pass out to Morgan but his effort was met well by the ‘keeper who was doing his best to even give his side the chance to get back into the game.
But, with the game well and truly in Charlton’s grasp, a third goal came soon after. With 24 minutes gone, one of the trialists was met with a hard tackle in the area which left the referee with no option but to point to the spot. Vennings stepped up and fired a brilliant penalty into the top left of the goal.
Taylor Maloney was introduced at half-time for George Lapslie with Euell looking to ensure his side had some fresh legs in midfield as they looked to see out the game.
With just over 50 minutes gone, tempers began to flare as the Essex side began to grow frustrated with the hosts’ almost constant attacking ventures.
Hutchinson was able to claw one back for Colchester with a well-placed finish beyond the reach of Harness. The foothold seemed to inspire the U’s as they began to grow in confidence soon after.
But the Addicks’ three-goal-cushion was soon restored when Johl Powell broke down the right and burst into the box and was pushed. Davison stepped up to clinch his hat-trick and slotted his penalty coolly into the bottom left.
Charlton were looking to see out the game and Sam Keefe’s introduction 15 minutes from time was an indication of the Addicks’ plans to shut up shop. Even down to the last minutes, the home side continued to remain professional and didn’t take their foot off the gas as they saw the game out as comfortable victors, securing their passage into the last 16 of the competition.
Charlton: Harness, Yao, Trialist, Stevenson, Powell, Vennings, Morgan, Lapslie (Maloney 45), Quitirna (Keefe 75), Davison (Isiaka 83), Trialist
Subs (Not Used): Harvey, Wiredu, Isiaka
Goals: Davison 13, 19, 68 (pen), Vennings 24 (pen)
Booked: Stevenson 36’ (late challenge)
Photo: Kyle Andrews