U23s boss Jason Euell “disappointed but proud”

George Jones reports

Jason Euell was left disappointed but proud, following his side’s heart-breaking penalty-shootout defeat against Hull City on Monday night.

Following a goalless 90 minutes at The Valley, the Tigers raced into a two-goal lead in extra-time, only for the never-say-die Addicks to score twice in a minute to level the scores at 2-2.

A stunning strike from substitute Regan Charles-Cook completed the turnaround on 109 minutes but Jonathan Edwards’ last-gasp header forced the tie to penalties.

After five spot-kicks apiece, Hull ran out 5-4 victors - with Josh Clackstone netting the winner - and afterwards Euell praised his side for the way they fought throughout the 120 minutes.

“I’m disappointed but proud in the same breath,” he said. “The disappointment is because we were that close to the final; 30 seconds away.

“We needed to go that extra yard to affect the player that was crossing the ball and we needed to dig in to manage the game that little bit better.

“We worked so hard to get back into the game and it is a very hard one to take. Penalties are always a lottery but, in terms of what we put in, we should have got more out of the game.

“I’m proud, in terms of what we showed at 2-0 down. It shouldn’t have taken us going 2-0 behind to get going but the way we reacted and responded to go 3-2 up was fantastic.”

It was another successful campaign for the club at U23 level, with Euell’s squad lifting the Professional Development League 2 South title and coming within a whisker of progressing to the national play-off final.

They were a penalty shootout away from reaching the Kent Senior Cup final and also held their own in a challenging Premier League Cup group stage and Euell says that, next term, the targets will remain the same for his squad.

He said: “This season is finished now and next season the objectives won’t change, as always. We want to go and win the four competitions that we enter and I’ve told the boys to think about what they have achieved.

“Some of them have won the league four years in a row, twice at U18 level and two at this level, and some of them have the national championship with the U18s too.

“They haven’t done that [won the national title] at this level and next year we’ll be looking to fulfil that objective.”

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