Charlton Athletic FA Youth Cup report
Earlier in the month Charlton Athletic's under 18s squad deservedly beat a strong Liverpool team (a Liverpool team aiming for the knockout stages of the UEFA Youth League) 8-1 in the U18s Premier League Cup. Many of those players turned out at Princes Park in Dartford last night to face Kingstonian in the FA Youth Cup First Round, so perhaps you can see right there in these opening sentences the task that the K's had been given by the men at the Football Association.
The game kicked off 15 minutes late as the Dartford Crossing was doing it usual Dartford Crossing things and turning the motorway into a 70 miles a day speed limit road. When the game did kick-off, the Addicks went on the front foot, stayed there for ninety minutes and showed their class throughout the match.
Kingstonian defended very well in the opening stanza against constant Addick pressure, but then Charlton were awarded a penalty for handball in the box, Toby Bower accepted the chance in the 20th minute and put the ball wide left of Jamie Wright's dive.
Goal number two wasn't long in coming, in the 29th minute an Ollie Hobden shot was well blocked by the K's defence, but he received the rebound and he hit a beautiful first-time curler into the top corner. The floodgates were beginning to open as Charlton started to convert their perpetual pressure into goals. Minute number 31 saw goal number three, this time a run and cross from the right by Karoy Anderson found Pat Casey, his shot was brilliantly saved by the excellent Jamie Wright, but Casey netted on the rebound.
Six minutes left in the first half and Charlton added their fourth goal, once again a rebound from a fine save by Jamie Wright, as Daniel Kanu's shot was converted by Ryan Huke. The pain continued in the 42nd minute with probably the best goal of the game when a cross from Anderson on the right was allowed all the way through the penalty area and was spectacularly blasted home from an acute angle by Toby Bower.
Pat Casey then added two goals in the 45th minute, another cross from the right, this time by Henry Rylah, was converted by a fine first time shot from the Charlton number nine, and then he completed his hat-trick just a few seconds later when he finished off a long cross from the left. Once the Addicks started to take their chances, there was no stopping them as they took it in turns to mount wave after wave of attacks.
To Kingstonian's credit, their effort and workrate could not be doubted at any stage of this game. It is very tiring to have to defend for any type of prolonged period of time, and K's had to do it for the vast majority of this contest. The match as a contest was over at half time and the second half would be one of damage limitation, and K's did well to keep the score in single figures.
Charlton added two goals in a less chaotic second half, the first coming in the 66th minute when once again the home side reacted first to a rebound from a Jamie Wright save, this time Toby Bower's shot being put away by Daniel Kanu, before in the 71st minute a through ball from Ryan Huke allowed substitute Kai Enslin the space to finish well with a left-foot shot.
And so it will be Charlton Athletic's name going into the hat for the Second Round of the FA Youth Cup and it will take a very good team indeed to stop them advancing even further in the competition, and we wish them well.
As for Kingstonian, this was a massively positive learning experience and the lads should be very proud of what they did and can hold their heads very high indeed. They won five ties to get to this stage, the whole run was a immense fun to witness and to get this far is a super achievement. And they're only one goal worse than Liverpool were earlier this month, that's something to hang on to! The lads can now prepare for the challenge of playing Leatherhead on Monday night at South Park FC, kick-off at 7.45pm.
Charlton Athletic: Ahmed Kone, Ollie Hobden, Toby Bower, Karoy Anderson, Keenan Gough, Nathan Assimwe, Henry Rylah, Harvey Kedwell, Pat Casey, Ryan Huke, Daniel Kanu.
Subs: Mason Hunter, Henry Molyneux, Harmony Okwumo (for Ollie Hobden, 59m), Ralphy Hand, Brook Byers (for Karoy Anderson, 65m), Kai Enslin (for Pat Casey, 59m), Jason Yamoah.
Kingstonian: Jamie Wright, Omari Osborne, Rivah Bailey, Freddie Bailey, Alex Andreou, Junior Mboglem, Iker Noguera Leon, Freddie Robins, Rocco Ilhan, Marco Haigh, Deniz Ozer.
Subs: Forbes Adam (for Omari Osborne, HT), Fourat Jomaa, Adelino Sampaio (for Freddie Robins, HT), Zac Jervis, Blake Mitchell, Sebastian Greenhalgh (for Rocco Ilhan, HT), Joshua Lohmeier.
Goals: Toby Bower (20m pen, 1-0), Ollie Hobden (29m, 2-0), Pat Casey (31m, 3-0), Ryan Hyke (38m, 4-0), Toby Bower (42m, 5-0), Pat Casey (45m, 6-0), Pat Casey (45+1m, 7-0), Daniel Kanu (64m, 8-0), Kai Enslin (71m, 9-0).