Early goals from Alfie Doughty and Alex Willis fired Charlton’s U18s into round three of the FA Youth Cup on Tuesday night as they beat Exeter at St James Park.
A 4-1 win against Whitehawk in the first round set up the second-round tie, and it took less than 10 minutes for the Addicks to break the deadlock in Devon.
Some bright play from Doughty down the left meant he managed to break into the box and fire a shot across Grecians goalkeeper Felix Norman and into the back of the net.
It was then 2-0 a minute later when the U18s doubled their lead through Willis, who pinched the ball in midfield to run clear and finish into the bottom corner.
The Grecians responded through Jack Sparkles, who curled an ambitious shot which beat Addicks keeper Ed Harvey but fell just outside the post.
Following half-time, the U18s were looking to hold onto their lead by defending well and managed to hit Exeter on the break when Doughty went through on goal, only to be denied by Norman.
The hosts managed to pull one back with 20 minutes to go, through Jack Randall who, after having his initial shot saved by Harvey, managed to bundle the ball over the line.
The goal led to a nervy last quarter of an hour for the Addicks but despite a few Exeter penalty appeals being waved away they managed to hold on to qualify, booking a date with Queens Park Rangers in the third round of the competition.
Exeter City: Norman, Haynes, O’Loughlin, Thomas, Dyer, Hancock (Williams, 46), Key, Dean, Sparkes, Dodd, Randall.
Subs (not used): White, Parsons, Belsten, Gardner.
Charlton: Harvey, Birch, Zemura, Sarpong-Wiredu (Powell, 75), Pollard, Nwosu, Isiaka (Gody, 58), Dempsey, Willis, Morgan, Doughty.
Subs (not used): Osaghae, Kirunda, Barton.
Goals: Doughty 8, Willis 9
Article by Tom Fisher