George Jones reports
Charlton’s U18s could move to within one step of defending their Professional Development League 2 national title for a second time when they take on Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on Friday night (7pm).
The young Addicks have won the championship in the last two seasons and, coincidentally, they defeated the Blades in last year’s national final in SE7.
United’s Jordan Hallam opened the scoring in that game but Karlan Ahearne-Grant’s 89th-minute equaliser sent the match to extra-time and then penalties.
Goalkeeper Jordan Beeney performed heroics in the shoot-out, making two saves that saw Charlton win 4-3 on spot-kicks.
This term, Sergei Baltacha and Hamza Serrar’s side sat top of PDL2 South for almost the entire season before being knocked off of it at the last by Coventry City.
Sheffield United, meanwhile, dominated the northern division from start to finish and ended their regular campaign 14 points ahead of their closest competitor, Sheffield Wednesday.
The should not affect Charlton too much, however, given their form over the course of the season, which has seen the Addicks only lose five matches during the whole campaign, with 19 victories in 28 games.
Ahead of Friday’s semi-final, Charlton’s Academy Manager Steve Avory said: “We will be hoping to repeat the feats of last season by eventually going on to win the national title.
“They [Sheffield United] are a strong team and we know the type of game it will be. They are physically tough and it will be a good tactical battle.”
Tickets for the match are priced at £3 adults while U16s are free and they will be available to purchase from outside the turnstiles of the Hualing Stand, using cash only.
If the scores are level after 90 minutes, the match will go to extra-time. Should neither side break the deadlock following 120 minutes, a penalty shootout will decide which club will progress to the final.
The club's media team will be in attendance at Bramall Lane and will be providing full coverage of the match across our social media channels
U18S PLAY-OFF SEMI-FINAL PREVIEW | Sheffield United v Charlton
April 20th, 2017
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