Crawley Town 4 Charlton 3
The Addicks suffered defeat in a seven-goal thriller on Tuesday night, as they were beaten 4-3 by Crawley Town at the Broadfield Stadium in the first of three EFL Trophy group games.
It took just 41 seconds for the hosts to open the scoring. A loose pass from Richard Chin presented Jack Roles with the ball on the edge of the box. His shot was blocked by George Dobson but Harry Forster was on hand to shoot low past Harry Isted at his near post.
Just as they did on the weekend, Charlton would have to come from behind. Thanks to two academy graduates, the Addicks would be ahead before the half-hour mark.
After riding out a good spell from the Red Devils for the first quarter of the game, Chin made amends for the first goal by swinging in an inch-perfect cross for Miles Leaburn, who only needed 23 minutes to mark his first start of the season with an excellent header in off the post.
Four minutes later, Leaburn would turn provider after he deflected a long ball from Charlie Kirk into the path of Tyreece Campbell, who took on Tobi Omole on the right of the box before firing in at Luca Ashby-Hammond’s near post. It had been a difficult start to the game but the Addicks showed their quality and spirit to quickly turn the match on its head.
But then, on the stroke of half-time, it was Crawley’s turn to find a goal from nothing. After good interplay between Ronan Darcy and Klaidi Lolos, Roles sent in a cross from the right where Lolos was unmarked to head past Isted.
Goals change games, and the home side started the second half the better side. Charlton looked like they needed a spark to wrestle back the game. They certainly got one.
In the 57th minute, deadline-day signing Louie Watson picked up the ball on the left and laid off Dobson, who out of nothing hit a screamer from 25 yards which sailed into the top-left corner.
Charlton looked set to dominate, but with 20 minutes remaining, this topsy-turvy game took another turn. Roles’ cross from the right was headed away by Lucas Ness, but only as far as Liam Kelly on the edge of the box. The Irishman played it left to fellow substitute Nick Tsaroulla, whose left-footed shot deflected off debutant Josh Laqeretabua and looped over Isted.
Suddenly, the game had swung back the way of the Red Devils again and 10 minutes later they were ahead for the first time since the 23rd minute. Kelly played a long ball to Lolos and the Greek striker laid the ball right to Rafiq Khaleel. Faced by Jacob Roddy, the winger took it onto his right foot and lashed it past Isted into the roof of the net.
Despite late pressure from the Addicks - including good efforts from substitutes Chem Campbell and Daniel Kanu - they were unable to find an equaliser.
They now have 11 days without a game, returning to action on Saturday, September 16th with a trip to Stevenage.
Charlton: Isted; Chin (Laqeretabua 46), Elerewe, Ness, Edun (Roddy 61); Dobson (c), Taylor, L.Watson (Kanu 61); T.Campbell (C.Campbell 77), Leaburn (Tedić 46), Kirk
Subs (not used): Molyneux, Kedwell
Goals: Leaburn 23, T.Campbell 26, Dobson 57
Assists: Chin 23, Leaburn 26, Watson 57
Booked: Laqeretabua 64 (foul on Tsaroulla)
Crawley Town: Ashby-Hammond; Omole, Ransom (c) (Wright 46), Mukena; Johnson, Darcy (Kelly 46), Roles, Forster (Tsaroulla 46); Simon-Swyer, Lolos, Khaleel
Subs (not used): Addai, Brown, Kastrati
Goals: Forster 1, Lolos 45+4, Tsaroulla 70, Khaleel 81
Assists: Roles 45+4, Kelly 70, Lolos 81
Booked: Omole 29 (foul on T. Campbell)
Attendance: 1,973 (765 from Charlton)
Referee: Aji Ajibola