U18S REPORT | Charlton 1 Sheffield United 3

George Jones reports

Charlton will finish as runners-up in Professional Development League 2 South, after suffering a 3-1 defeat against North Division leaders Sheffield United on Saturday morning.

The Addicks took an early lead at Sparrows Lane through Kareem Isiaka but were pegged back on the stroke of half-time when Keenan Ferguson levelled the scores.

After the break, Alex Brown and Jake Ford struck for the Blades to earn them the points, meaning that Sergei Baltacha’s and Hamza Serrar’s Charlton are now unable to catch Coventry City at the top of the league.

Their second placed finish does guarantee them of a play-off spot, however, which gives them the opportunity to defend the national title that they have won in the last two seasons.

The Addicks went in front against United inside seven minutes when the overlapping Jordan Zemura send in a cross that Albie Morgan met with a firm volley. The visiting goalkeeper made a great save to keep it out but Isiaka was on hand to bury the rebound.

Charlton held their lead until stoppage time at the end of the first period when the Blades levelled. A free-kick into the box was not properly cleared and Ferguson hammered the ball into the roof of the net from close range.

They went ahead three minutes after the hour mark. A deep cross was curled towards the back post, where Brown was positioned, and he guided the ball into the far corner with his head.

And 13 minutes later the visitors doubled their advantage to secure the victory. Again it came from a set-piece. A low ball was half cleared and after Ashley Maynard-Brewer had made a fantastic save from an on-the-turn strike Ford gobbled up the rebound.

The defeat was only the Addicks’ fifth in the league this season and they will soon face the Blades again when they meet in a play-off semi-final, which is likely to be hosted at Bramall Lane.

Charlton U18s: Maynard-Brewer, Bangura-Williams, Pollard, Birch, Zemura (Vennings 82), Dempsey, Sarpong-Wiredu, Morgan, Isiaka, Anderson (Doughty 46), Willis.

Subs (not used): Harvey, Nwosu, Wan.

Goal: Isiaka 7

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