Michael Appleton was pleased with his side’s performance as they progressed to the second round of the Emirates FA Cup with a 6-1 triumph against Cray Valley PM.
“A lot will be said about the second half and the quality of the goals but I was really happy with the first half if I’m being honest,” the Head Coach told CharltonTV. “The only thing that was missing was that last little bit at the end. Their attitude was spot on - they were on the front foot and they pressed really well.
“What I thought we did tonight better than the first game was to take less touches of the ball, especially in and around the edge of the box,” he added. “One of the things I said to the players before the game was that the harder you work, the more you enjoy it. I’m a big believer in that and I thought we worked our socks off tonight and got the rewards for it.”
The teams went in level at the break after Sam Walker conceded a penalty after bringing down Kyrell Lisbie.
“It was just a communication [error]," explained Appleton. "Fair play to Sam, he walked through the door at half-time and just said, ‘look, my bad’. He shouted and thought the ball was going to come through to him. What I said to the two centre-halves is don’t take chances and just deal with it."
Despite the scoreline, Appleton’s half-time words to his players were fairly relaxed. “It was very calm at half-time,” he said. “It was one of the quickest half-time team talks I’ve had in a long, long time. We were ready to go about seven minutes before the whistle went because the lads were itching to get back out.”
Charlton showed their class in the second half, which gave Appleton the opportunity to introduce youngsters Harvey Kedwell and Micah Mbick, the latter of which rounded off the scoring just five minutes into his debut.
“They deserved that reward,” said Appleton. “Keds has earned his opportunity. He came on against Villa in the last round of the EFL Trophy and he’s come and trained with us a few times. He’s not far away. He could be with us on a regular basis if he continues to develop.
“I watched [Micah] come on against Ipswich the other day for the U21s and he impressed me. I like what he’s about. He’s prepared to run away from the ball which is big for me, so well done to both of them.”