Charlton’s U18s moved up to third place in Professional Development League 2 – South, two points behind second and with two games in hand following a 4-1 victory over Watford at Sparrows Lane on Saturday.
A brace apiece from Richard Afrane-Kesey and Aaron Henry was enough to defeat the Hornets as the Addicks leap-frogged them in the table with all three points.
The hosts had the ball in the net early on when a corner resulted in the ball being scrambled over the line, only to be chalked off by the linesman’s flag, while an outstanding Freddy Barton block prevented an almost-certain goal at the other end while the net was unguarded.
With 25 minutes played, Charlton took the lead thanks to a brilliant header from Afrane-Kesey. Kasim Aidoo provided the assist from the left and the striker improvised with his back to goal, spinning a backwards header into the net, leaving the goalkeeper with no chance.
That lead would only last two minutes, however, with the Hornets responding almost immediately – their big number five placing a side-footed finish past Nathan Harvey at the far post from a corner.
But it would not be long before the Addicks regained their lead. Three minutes later, on the half-hour mark, Henry picked up possession just outside the box and leathered a powerful shot towards goal which took a nick off a defender and went in off the crossbar.
The Addicks took control after the break and extended their lead with 16 minutes remaining thanks to an excellently-worked team goal. 24 passes were strung together as the hosts made their way upfield and the brilliant move was rounded off by Tyreece Campbell teeing up Afrane-Kesey who slotted home for 3-1.
Just four minutes later, Henry put the cherry on top with his second of the afternoon and Charlton’s fourth. The midfielder stepped up to a free-kick 22 yards from goal, and stuck it straight into the top left-hand corner, leaving the Watford stopper with absolutely no chance.
Charlton U18s: Harvey, Barton, Aidoo, Barker, French, Henry, Agyemang, Albon (Semalua 85), Williams (Santos 80), Campbell (Gavin 81), Afrane-Kesey.
Subs (not used): Watkins, Chin.
Goals: Afrane-Kesey 25, 74, Henry 30, 78