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Happy Valley

John Bostock's wonder strike paved the way for an impressive 3-0 win for our Under-18s in the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup at Charlton on Wednesday night.

John Bostock's wonder strike paved the way for an impressive 3-0 win for our Under-18s in the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup at Charlton on Wednesday night.

The midfielder - our youngest-ever first team player - arrowed home a goal that would have graced any game and in doing so, provided the crucial breakthrough at the end of a competitive first half at The Valley.

Bostock's goal was simple, clinical and breathtaking. Picking up the ball in a central position 40 yards out, he strode forward a couple of yards before hitting a shot so sweetly it appeared to fly into the top corner almost in slow motion.

It was a key moment after we'd enjoyed the lion's share of possession in the first half but simply couldn't shake off the spirited home side.

Bostock, 17 on Thursday, repeated the trick to double the lead just before the hour to finally end Charlton's resistance and it was one-way traffic from there with Jon Obika adding the third 13 minutes from time.

It could have been a different story though and the lads were indebted to keeper Oscar Jansson for a couple of important saves, the best just a matter of minutes before Bostock's opener when he flung himself to make a block from Ben Godfrey, who was one-on-one, central and 12 yards out. Callum Butcher also cleared off the line in the early exchanges.

Alex Inglethorpe opted for an attacking 4-5-1 formation with Obika leading the line on his own, Paul-Jose M'poku and Andros Townsend encouraged to get at their respective full-backs and Bostock pushed forward to support Obika. Dean Parrett and Yaser Kasim patrolled the central areas.

With those players on show, it was no surprise to see the ball being zipped about confidently in the early stages.

However, Charlton countered well to create the game's first opening when Chris Solly fired a long pass forward that caught us square and allowed Sam Long to skip away from the advancing Jansson only to find Butcher on the line to clear away.

We responded quicky via Bostock's measured shot that cannoned back off the foot of the post and Caulker's header kept out by Christie.

The moments that really mattered soon arrived as Jansson saved from Godfrey in what turned out to be Charlton's best chance only for Bostock to smash spectacular opener home minutes later.

The lads took complete control in the second half and Christie had already saved well from Townsend when Bostock struck again.

He picked up the ball in a similar position to his first goal, central, about 35 yards out but this time used Obika's run across the defence to open up a bit of space and, dribbling from right to left, drilled a shot back across Christie from the left egde of the box into the far corner.

Townsend hit the underside of the bar and Obika was thwarted twice by Christie in quick succession but the hat-trick hero of round three wasn't going to be denied a third time and rounded the performance off in style with the third in the 78th minute.

This time Parrett was the instigator, cutting in from the right before delivering an inch-perfect pass between defenders for Obika to control and despatch into the bottom corner.

The win sets up a trip to Plymouth in the fifth round in a tie to be played before January 31. Plymouth beat Millwall 3-2 in round four on Tuesday night.

Teams: Charlton: Callum Christie, Chris Solly, Jack Clark, Alexander Stavrinou (C), Yado Mambo, Carl Jenkinson, Sam Long (Liam Bellamy, 64), Harry Pell, Ben Godfrey, Lewis Perkins (Tamer Tuna, 75), Steve Lozano-Calderon. Subs: Taylor Sinfield, Ben Davisson, Harry Lee (GK).

Spurs: Oscar Jansson, Adam Smith, Sam Cox, Yaser Kasim, Steven Caulker, Callum Butcher, Paul-Jose M'poku (Kudos Oyenuga, 88), Dean Parrett (C), Jon Obika, John Bostock (Coskun Ekim, 83), Andros Townsend. Subs: Jamie Butler (GK), Nathan Byrne, Jake Nicholson.