U23 REPORT | Charlton 2 Burnley 3

Charlton’s U23s fell to their first defeat of the season on Monday afternoon as Burnley came away with a 3-2 win at Princes Park.

New arrival Adam Matthews gained 90 valuable minutes in a topsy-turvy encounter which saw the Clarets take a first-half lead, before Josh Davison and Johl Powell turned matters around before half-time to put the Addicks ahead.

But a pair of second-half strikes ensured three points for Burnley, condemning the development squad to their first taste of defeat this term.

After a cagey start on a wet afternoon in Dartford, it was the visitors who took the lead through Ali Koiki on 14 minutes.

The Clarets forward performed a stepover before digging out his shot low which flew past Nathan Harness and into the back of the net off the right-hand upright.

Their celebrations had barely died down by the time the Addicks responded, however, with trialist Davison restoring parity less than four minutes later.

Sam Keefe beat Burnley keeper Kai Calderbank-Park to a set-piece pumped into the box and headed against the crossbar, but Davison was on hand to calmly turn the rebound into the empty net.

The equaliser injected some life into the hosts and they came close again shortly after when Ben Dempsey saw a decent effort well blocked in the area, while Kareem Isiaka bent a delightful effort inches past the post from the right-hand edge of the box.

Just after the half-hour mark, the Addicks had a lead which was deserved on the balance of the first-half chanes.

After scoring the winner at Bramall Lane last week, Powell once again got himself on the scoresheet in fine fashion, holding the ball up well at a tight angle inside the box. Remaining patient, he stepped to the right and fizzed in a great finish off the post to give his side in front.

Powell came so close to a brace six minutes before the break, firing another clever effort towards goal from the edge of the box which had the keeper beaten, but not the woodwork, as it came back off the right-hand upright, much to the relief of the Clarets.

The Addicks headed into the break with a slender lead, but it took Burnley just eight minutes to draw level after the restart.

Koiki threw himself at a dangerous left-wing cross to connect with a diving header, getting to the ball before Harness and steering the ball into the net.

The visitors had gained somewhat of a better foothold on the game in the second period and should probably have gone ahead when a corner was punched away, but only as far as a Burnley defender who had most of the goal to aim a header at, but could only divert his effort wide.

At the other end seconds later, the Addicks missed a gilt-edged chance of their own. A brilliant run down the left and into the box saw Charles Clayden square the ball into the danger area for sub Abraham Odoh who just had to hit the target from eight yards, but side-footed his volley well over the bar instead.

It was only a matter of time before the net would burst again with chances being created. Unfortunately, it came the way of Burnley.

A flicked-on header in the box fell to the feet of substitute Mitch George who slammed home a powerful volley from close range which nearly burst the net.

Charlton did all they could to apply some late pressure but could not carve out any clear chances, leaving Burnley to claim the three points.

Charlton U23s: Harness, Matthews, Keefe, Mingi, Stevenson, Powell, Morgan (Vennings 84), Dempsey, Clayden (Ocran 77), Davison, Isiaka (Odoh 59).

Subs (not used): Harvey, Vega.

Goals: Davison 18, Powell 31

(Photos: Kyle Andrews and Tom West)

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