Charlton’s U18s booked their place in the third round of the FA Youth Cup with a 4-1 triumph over Northampton Town at Princes Park.
Daniel Kanu opened the scoring midway through the opening period and although the visitors restored parity nine minutes after the restart, the young Addicks responded ruthlessly. Toby Bower, Patrick Casey and substitute Kai Enslin all got themselves on the scoresheet during a dominant second-half performance as Danny Senda’s side eased past the Cobblers.
Charlton opened the scoring within 26 minutes following fantastic work from Ryan Huke down the left. The midfielder breezed past three Northampton players on the touchline before cutting it back for Kanu, who rifled in from close range.
The Addicks almost doubled their lead minutes later through Karoy Anderson, who saw his long-range curler saved by the visiting stopper.
The visitors looked to have grown into the game after the restart and drew level on 54 minutes through Rico Duggan, who poked home from close range.
Despite the setback, the young Addicks responded in fine fashion and, just three minutes later, Toby Bower restored Charlton’s lead with an unstoppable strike from the edge of the box.
Senda’s side yet again pressed from the restart and received their reward as Casey slotted home from close range following great work out on the left-hand side from Bower to play in Kanu, who claimed the assist.
The U18s continued to dominate and claimed their fourth through Kai Enslin with eight minutes remaining. Having been played through, the winger cut inside to send a curling, left-footed effort into the top corner.
Speaking post-match, U18 boss Senda said: “I thought it was the challenge that we expected it to be. Credit to Northampton as they were really physical and direct at times.
“It’s important that we face different styles for our boys’ development. That is one of the beauties of this tournament as that is what it gives. They certainly did that and made it a real game for us but thankfully we came through it.
“We have got real depth within our group,” he added. “One of our biggest challenges that we have at the minute is trying to fit so many players into an 11. We are very lucky with the depth of talent we have got. When we get the opportunity to get the boys on the pitch it’s nice to see that they take that opportunity and Kai certainly did that with a wonderful finish.”
Charlton: Kone; Asiimwe, Mitchell, Gough, Bower (c); Kedwell, Anderson, Huke; Rylah (Enslin 61), Casey, Kanu
Subs (not used): Molyneux, Okwumo, Danso, Hobden, Myers, Yamoah
Goals: Kanu 26, Bower 57, Casey 60, Enslin 82
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(Article by Alex Forrest)