Charlton 1, Spurs 1
Charlton 1, Spurs 1
Lee Barnard's superb header secured a deserved point as our reserves came from a goal down to draw at Charlton on Monday night.
The in-form striker was there again when it mattered to power home the equaliser at the near post in the 75th minute after a wonderful break the full length of the pitch.
It was just reward for Clive Allen's young side as they had to overcome the loss of the experienced Goran Bunjevcevic to injury just before half-time and then went a goal behind just after the hour.
Barnard's equaliser galvanised the lads in the final 15 minutes and the home side, having created the better chances in a cat and mouse affair, were arguably the happier to hear the final whistle.
There was a new look to the line-up with the likes of Phil Ifil, Johnnie Jackson and Mounir El Hamdaoui out on loan and Tom Huddlestone on international duty.
That meant starts for Academy trio Chris Riley, Stuart Lewis and Radwan Hamed - all in action for the Under-18s on Saturday - with Hamed up front with Barnard in a 4-4-2 system. Bunjevcevic and Radek Cerny provided the experience while Charlton had Dean Kiely, Jon Fortune and Gonzalo Sorondo in their line-up.
Lloyd Sam might have done better as he curled couple of yards wide and Barry Fuller had an even better chance in a central position 18 yards out but with time, he also missed the target.
We soon broke up the other end as Barnard turned away from Sorondo and released Hamed, his pace took him away from Fortune but he shot wide as Kiely advanced.
John lashed another half-chance wide after 22 minutes and there was then a lull in the goalmouth action as the game was played out in midfield.
Charlton came closest after 35 minutes when Youga robbed Hallfredsson and struck a sweet shot that Cerny did well to tip onto the crossbar and to safety.
Five minutes later and a blow as Bunjevcevic was stretchered off clutching his foot after going in to block Varney's shot. He was replaced by Leigh Mills and last season's successful FA Youth Cup pairing at the back - Mills and Charlie Lee - were re-united.
The first half-chance after the interval fell to Barnard as he glanced Kieran McKenna's cross at Kiely but the opening exchanges of the half came to little at either end.
Charlton finally broke the deadlock after 63 minutes as Youga swung in a cross from the right and Varney, finally clear of Mills and Lee, swept home a first time volley from 12 yards.
The next 12 minutes were scrappy until the leveller to remember. It started with Cerny taking Brandao's free-kick and bowling the ball straight out to McKie, the full-back hit a fine pass down the touchline to Jamie O'Hara who just beat the ball to the byline to cross superbly at full speed for Barnard to rise above Fortune and power home a classic centre-forward's header.
The goal clearly lifted the lads and the momentum was with them in the final stages. O'Hara hit a lovely clean strike that was always rising, Claude Seanla and Lewis worked an opening only for Seanla's shot to deflect just wide and McKenna curled a free-kick a yard over just before the final whistle.
Line-ups: Charlton: Kiely, Youga, Brandao, Ricketts, Fortune, Sorondo, John, Fuller (Murtagh, 78), Varney, Sam (Wilson, 70), Phillips. Unused subs: Elliot, Clifford, Cottrell.
Spurs: Cerny, Riley, McKie, Bunjevcevic (Mills, 40), Lee, O'Hara, Hallfredsson, McKenna, Lewis, Barnard, Hamed (Seanla, 68). Unused subs: Forecast, Martin, Davis.
12mins: Sam onto Varney's pass, half-chance, left corner of box, curled wide.
14mins: Youga's pass found supporting Fuller with time to pick his spot, central, 18 yards out, curled wide.
17mins: Barney quick feet left Sorondo for dead, pass released Hamed, he sprinted away from Fortune but fired wide as Kiely advanced.
35mins: Youga nicked possession off Hallfredsson, snap shot tipped onto crossbar by Cerny.
40mins: Bunjevcevic stretchered off after blocking Varney's effort. Replaced by Mills.
Half-time: Charlton 0, Spurs 0
63mins: GOAL. Youga's cross met on volley by Varney 12 yards out, leaving Cerny helpless.
Charlton 1, Spurs 0
75mins: GOAL. Superb end-to-end move. Cerny threw out to McKie, he passed down the line to O'Hara who just reached the ball to cross for Barnard to power home header at near post.
Charlton 1, Spurs 1
86mins: Seanla and Lewis worked opening, Seanla half a yard in box but shot deflected just wide.
Full-time: Charlton 1, Spurs 1