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HIGH FIVES FOR THE ACADEMY

Clive Allen was full of praise for the Academy players involved in last night's reserve draw at reigning champions Charlton.

Clive Allen was full of praise for the Academy players involved in last night's reserve draw at reigning champions Charlton.

Five players from our Under-18 side made the step up to the second string at the Valley with Radwan Hamed, Stuart Lewis and Chris Riley all starting, Leigh Mills and Claude Seanla coming off the bench. All five played in the Under-18s 2-0 win against Birmingham City on Saturday.

In a tight affair between two unbeaten sides, Charlton took the lead just after the hour but the lads responded in fine style with Lee Barnard's excellent header securing a 1-1 draw.

The nucleus of the side was very young and for some of those lads it might have been the toughest game of their careers to date. In that respect they've acquitted themselves well

"It was a big ask for the Academy lads. Chris Riley at right-back got forward more and more as the game went on and Stuart Lewis did an excellent job on the right side of midfield, giving us width when he could, tucking inside when we were under pressure and working tirelessly.

Leigh Mills came on for Goran after 40 minutes and did well against more experienced players.

"Up front Radwan Hamed did well alongside Barney but just ran out of steam in the end and he was replaced by Claude Seanla, who was strong, powerful and gave us an edge in the last quarter."