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#U18 #MatchReport #Charlton

Big win sends Under-18s into League Cup last eight

Charlton Athletic 1-5 Spurs (Under-18 Premier League Cup)

Sat 05 November 2022, 15:01|Tottenham Hotspur

Our youngsters marched on into the quarter-finals of the Under-18 Premier League Cup with a convincing win at Charlton Athletic on Saturday.

Three goals to the good by half-time thanks to Jamie Donley, Will Lankshear and Mikey Moore, the latter two players doubled their tallies in the second half, with Keenan Gough subsequently netting a consolation for the hosts as we registered a 5-1 victory that took us through to the next stage as winners of Group F.

Charlton had led the standings going into the final group game with two wins from two, but we were the superior side for large parts of the contest at their training ground and having beaten Liverpool on matchday one and then recovered from 3-0 down to draw with Wolves last time out, we leapt ahead of them to progress to the last eight with seven points overall.

The hosts threatened in the opening moments with goalkeeper Luca Gunter blocking Ryan Huke’s effort behind for a corner but we were aggressive in attack, constantly winning the ball in midfield and driving forward with purpose, and that showed as we began creating chances in abundance. Moore’s shot was saved by Ahmed Kone, Jaden Williams had a penalty shout waved away following a challenge by Harvey Kedwell after collecting the rebound and Lankshear tested Kone with an angled shot before we took a 17th-minute lead when Donley picked up possession and lashed high into the net from 18 yards out.

Donley and Williams were frequently pinching the ball in the middle of the pitch and from one such intervention by Williams on the left flank, Lankshear collected his short pass before slotting in from the left angle to double our advantage on 21 minutes. Our third goal also originated from that side – after Lankshear won a free-kick, Donley’s delivery caused a scramble in Charlton’s box and Moore was on hand to latch onto the loose ball and force it past Kone from close range with five minutes of the first half still to play.

There was no let-up after the restart as George Abbott fed the excellent Moore in the centre, who glided through Charlton’s back line before slipping the ball nonchalantly past the goalkeeper for 4-0 on 52 minutes, with Moore and Damola Ajayi subsequently going close as we kept the pressure on. The home side still carried a threat, Kai Enslin firing a left-footed shot over the bar, but when Moore squeezed the ball forward to Lankshear on 65 minutes, the striker coolly rolled it past Kone and into the far corner to take his tally to four goals in two games in this competition.

Max McKnight, enjoying a useful outing at right-back, hit the base of the post with a drive from Moore’s pass shortly after that, but the plucky hosts, who had beaten Liverpool 8-1 in their last match in the tournament, pulled a goal back with 20 minutes left when Gough forced the ball home from close range after Gunter had saved Nathan Asiimwe’s flicked effort from Brook Myers’ right-sided cross.

Substitutes Riley Owen and Yusuf Akhamrich had shots blocked and saved respectively as we brushed off that setback, but our best chance to score a sixth goal slipped away in the first minute of stoppage time when Moore sent his Under-16s comrade Callum Olusesi storming through the middle and into the box, but Charlton skipper Toby Bower intervened with a good sliding tackle to deny him at the expense of a corner.

‘The standard of goals was a real joy to watch’

Under-18s Coach Stuart Lewis said: “I thought it was an excellent collective performance, some great individual displays and it’s really positive to get through into the quarter-finals. The standard of some of the goals was a real joy to watch with some top finishing and good team goals in there as well – a real variation – but as a collective, we knew what Charlton would look to do, they’d beaten Liverpool earlier on in the group so we knew it would be a tough game, but we earned the right to play and we produced a really dominant performance.

“We’re always underlining the importance of making sure we try to get clean sheets and having that mentality to defend and suffer at certain moments, and that probably shows the improvement being made by the players in the sense that they were really disappointed to concede that goal in the second half. It’s a great mentality to have, of course it’s a little bit disappointing that we did concede because I didn’t think we deserved that on the balance of play, but overall it was a really positive day.”

Charlton Athletic 1-5 Spurs (Under-18 Premier League Cup)

Spurs: Gunter (c), McKnight, Linton, Chaplin, Morgan (King 60), Abbott (Olusesi 60), Ajayi (Akhamrich 84), Donley (Owen 70), Lankshear (Irow 70), Moore, Williams.