Academy Notes: Matthew Dench

Charlton Athletic U18s midfielder Matthew Dench spoke to Valley Gold for Academy Notes after the recent 3-0 win at Queens Park Rangers.

The young Australian signed for the Addicks at the age of 16 and lists his strengths as his technical attributes on the ball, his versatility and his good knowledge and understanding of the game. Speaking about the win over QPR, he told Valley Gold:

“QPR were fast off the mark, gaining an early control of the game and were able to have a decent spell of possession. After the initial fifteen minutes, we started to dominate the ball more which allowed us to start playing football, get some sequences together and get at them.

“They were very lazy on the opposite side to the ball and the same in tracking back. We were able to exploit this and take advantage of that and find our opposite midfielder, winger or fullback and attack quickly. Twenty minutes into the game I turned and found Reilly who slipped in Bower on the overlapping run, which was then crossed, dropped by the keeper and fell to Ladapo at the back post who was able to pass it into the net to make it 1-0.

“After the goal, QPR responded well and were able to have a few good threatening spells of possession that caused us a bit of damage out wide and centrally where they were either able to get a shot off from outside the box or put a cross in for them to try and attack. Ten minutes after the goal Ladapo was isolated against their full back and was able to beat him, get to the touchline and deliver a cross to Leaburn, which was blocked by the defender but fell to me and I was able to slot it in to make it 2-0. Five minutes later we were awarded a free kick, which Kedwell whipped into the top right hand corner to make it 3-0.

“The opening twenty minutes of the second half were even regarding possession and sequences with the ball, but after the hour we regained possession to find Huke who was able to turn and lay it off to Reilly resulting in their keeper making an excellent reactive save.

“After this, we couldn’t get our foot on it and maintain the ball. In the 67th minute QPR had a free kick from 25 yards out which their captain took. Fortunately for us it went over the bar and didn’t test the keeper, and the next 20 minutes for us was poor with us struggling to keep the ball. There was also a few stray passes from our players that led to QPR chances but fortunately they couldn’t capitalise on them. We defended extremely well putting our bodies on the line to stop them from ruining our 3-0 advantage. The game ended 3-0 and the win takes us 15 points clear in the league.”

Valley Gold enables supporters to play a pivotal role in the future of Charlton Athletic by helping the club to unearth talented footballers through its youth system. Valley Gold is entirely supporter-funded, with membership costing £120 per year. As a member of Valley Gold, you will also have the opportunity to scoop up to £5,000 in regular cash prizes. To learn more about the scheme or to become a Valley Gold member, please click here.