Charlton had barely been in the game as we led 1-0 through Rodrigo Defendi.
But everthing changed with two Charlton goals in quick sucession just before the break and then, three minutes into the second half, Defendi sent off for a foul in the box - Charlton converted the penalty and it was suddenly 3-1 down with 10 men.
"It was an excellent game and I thought it would be," reflected development coach Clive. "Charlton are a good side, they won the league last year and we knew we were in for a game.
"I was delighted with 40 minutes from the start, it was a high-level game in terms of the way the lads went about it. It was a good, solid start getting in front but a minute of madness has cost us dearly.
"We would have gone in 1-0 up if we had done it right but we went in 2-1 down.
"I said to them at half-time that they were definitely still in the game. We went out looking to pick it up but, once the penalty decision was given, it cost us against a good side and it was always going to be very difficult to get back into the game.
"I felt it was a big game for us, a chance to see how far we've come. It was always going to be a tough game and it was unfortunate that we were very good for 40 minutes then the game changed dramatically."
You can't legislate for it, you hope they are few and far between. I've spoken to Rodrigo and I think he understands the situation, the higher he goes the less of those he has to make if he is going to progress.
Clive Allen believes Michael Carrick has come a long way in with two reserve outings this week.
The midfielder got an hour under his belt and scored on his return in a private friendly against Leyton Orient last week before a 90-minute stint against Charlton at Stevanage on Monday night.
After a month on the sidelines, Michael is now hoping to return to the squad for Monday night's Premiership clash against Portsmouth.
"He's had a good week," reported development coach Clive. "He was obviously bitterly disappointed to pick up the injury when he did, but he now has one full game and the hour at Orient under his belt. He'll be all the better for it.
"This week has been very important for him and he has come a long way. Certainly fitness-wise and it was a good game for him - one that he needed."
Clive Allen was delighted with the reserves for 40 minutes against high-flying Charlton on Monday night - before, in his words, a 'minute of madness' changed everything.