Charlton’s U21s were forced to settle for a 2-2 draw with Wigan Athletic following late drama at The Valley on Monday afternoon.
The young Addicks fell behind against the run of play on 71 minutes when Youssef Chentouf fired home, but fought back valiantly with two goals in as many minutes from Deji Elerewe and Patrick Casey in the final moments of regulation time.
But Harry McHugh’s effort in the seventh minute of injury time meant the spoils were shared in SE7 following a dramatic closing period.
Trialist Fankaty Dabo, who has recently been training with Dean Holden's squad, was named in the starting XI alongside first team trio Conor McGrandles, Diallang Jaiyesimi and Charlie Kirk. Former Chelsea goalkeeper Prince Adegoke also started having joined the club earlier on Monday following a successful trial period.
Chris Lock’s side made a bright start to proceedings and would have taken an early lead but for Latics stopper Tom Watson, who produced a fine double stop to deny both Jaiyesimi and McGrandles.
Moments later, Dabo’s fancy footwork took the full-back past two visiting defenders and he showed great composure to pull back for McGrandles, who fired over the crossbar.
Luke Brennan, who bagged a brace when the two sides last met, went closest at the other end in the opening period.
The young Addicks’ domination continued after the restart, as McGrandles retrieved possession and fed Kirk, though the winger could only find the side-netting.
The lively Henry Rylah rifled over at the far post on the hour mark, when Dabo and Jaiyesimi made way for Ollie Hobden and Casey.
It was Wigan, however, who broke the deadlock when Chentouf fired beyond Adegoke on 71 minutes.
Charlton very nearly restored parity immediately as Watson gave possession to Kirk, who played the ball square but neither Casey nor Rylah could convert.
Captain Elerewe headed his side level two minutes from time and, quite literally moments later, the prolific Casey was on hand to complete the young Addicks’ turnaround.
Further drama was to follow though as McHugh found the back of the net in the dying embers to earn the Latics a point.
The U21s are next in action on Tuesday, August 29th, when they travel to Coventry City.
Charlton: Adegoke; Dabo (Hobden 60), Elerewe (c) Bakrin (90+3), Mitchell, Roddy; Kedwell, Adigun, McGrandles; Rylah, Jaiyesimi (Casey 60), Kirk (Ladapo 76)
Subs (not used): Sadler
Goals: Elerewe 88, Casey 89
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