Strikes from Jason Adigun and Mack Reilly in extra-time secured Charlton U18s’ passage into the third round of the FA Youth Cup as the young Addicks prevailed against AFC Wimbledon at Princes Park on Friday evening.
Hamza Serrar’s side enjoyed the lion’s share of the opening exchanges and administered the first opportunity when Daniel Kanu latched onto Tyreece Campbell’s pinpoint sprayed ball, though the former could only skew a left-footed effort wide of Aaron Jones’ right upright.
Campbell was in the thick of the action again soon after, this time racing onto Joshua Laqeretabua’s diagonal ball forward before gliding past visiting captain Ben Mason. His pull back found the marauding Harvey Kedwell on the edge of the 18-yard box, but the midfielder’s first-time drive whistled just over Jones’ bar.
Toby Bower then showcased his anticipation and athleticism to nip in ahead of Quaine Bartley to intercept Jones’ long throw forward. And the left-back had the composure to match, sending a slide rule pass through to Kanu, who drew a superb stop from the visiting goalkeeper.
Ryan Huke bravely stretched for the rebound, only to be foiled by the outstretched Reuben Mason.
The visitors’ primary attacking threat was posed by Bartley, who drove past Bower down the right flank to flash a dangerous centre across the Addicks’ six-yard box, though, thankfully, Nathan Asiimwe was on hand to scramble the ball clear.
Moments later at the other end of the pitch, Asiimwe cut back for Kanu, though Jones was again equal to the forward’s venomous angled drive.
The young Addicks continued on the front foot after the interval, Asiimwe driving past Paris Lock before standing up a deep cross for Adigun. Charlton’s skipper nodded back down for Miles Leaburn, but he could only volley over from eight yards.
Just minutes later, Adigun himself sent a powerful effort narrowly wide of Jones’ left upright from range after capitalising on a loose ball.
Charlton did have hearts in mouths on 71 minutes when a Dons set piece prompted a flurry of openings. R.Mason’s initial header was nodded clear by Adigun but only as far as B. Mason, forcing Beadle into a fine double save. First, the England youth international thwarted B.Mason, then he foiled Bartley’s effort with the rebound.
Another opportunity went begging for the visitors soon after, Marcell Campbell heading wastefully wide after meeting substitute Archie Stevens’ centre.
Only Abdi Ali’s heroics prevented Joseph Ladapo from breaking the deadlock on 82 minutes, the Dons midfielder performing an excellent last-ditch tackle to deny the substitute with the goal at his mercy.
The young Addicks would enjoy one more opening deep into stoppage time, though Adigun could only glance wide from Asiimwe’s inswinging delivery as the tie was forced into extra time.
Intricate build-up play from the Dons saw Ali feed Campbell who, in turn, played through Remi Onabanjo, though the substitute could only roll an effort agonisingly wide of Beadle’s right upright.
The visitors were left to rue that gilt-edged chance when, just two minutes later, Campbell raced in behind the Dons’ backline to latch onto Ladapo’s threaded pass before showcasing composure in abundance to square for the onrushing Adigun, who instinctively poked past a helpless Jones.
Substitute Reilly almost added to the Addicks’ advantage moments before the extra-time interval, only for the forward to see his low drive turned around the post by the outstretched Jones.
No matter, Reilly was on hand to settle the tie three minutes from time, meeting Asiimwe’s centre at the far post to nod past Jones.
Serrar’s young Addicks will now face Northampton Town away from home in the third round, with clubs having until Saturday, December 11th to play their ties.
Charlton: Beadle; Asiimwe, Mitchell, Laqeretabua, Bower; Huke (Kamara 74), Kedwell, Adigun (c); Kanu (Okechukwu 105+5), Leaburn (Ladapo 65), Campbell (Reilly 103)
Subs (not used): Kone, Hobden, Dench
Goals: Adigun 98, Reilly 117
Booked: Beadle 16 (foul on Lock), Kedwell 87 (foul on Onabanjo), Mitchell 112 (foul on Onabanjo)
AFC Wimbledon: Jones; B.Mason (c), Sutcliffe, R.Mason, Hallard; Williams (Bendle 53), Ali, Campbell (Bangura 106); Sasu (Onabanjo 62), Bartley, Lock (Stevens 68)
Subs (not used): Griffiths, Jennings, Morgan
Booked: Bendle 54 (foul on Kanu), Onabanjo 108 (simulation)
Referee: Kane Dempster