A young Charlton team brushed aside Leyton Orient with some intelligent passing and confident finishing to win 3-1 at The Valley.
The Addicks had already been eliminated from the Papa John’s Trophy but Lee Bowyer put out a hungry team full of youthful exuberance and veteran quality.
Wassim Aouachria, one of five debutants to play, opened the scoring and Marcus Maddison showed his class with an assist, for Jay Mingi, and a very well-taken goal. Fellow first-teamer Albie Morgan managed two assists in a well-rounded performance.
Bowyer’s young squad included just three players not to come through the club’s esteemed academy – skipper Jason Pearce, Adam Matthews and Maddison. The Charlton Manager sent his side out in a 4-diamond-2 formation, with three debutants starting in the form of Kasim Aidoo, Hady Ghandour and Aouachria.
Ashley Maynard-Brewer, in the Charlton goal, was the first called in to action when he gathered comfortably a Jordan Maguire-Drew shot from outside the area in the fourth minute.
Morgan forced a save from Orient’s Sam Sargeant just three minutes later but the goalkeeper was able to get his body behind the ball and smother at the second attempt.
Charlton took a 12th minute lead through Aouachria and credit must go to his fellow debutant Ghandour, who hassled his defender well and found Morgan, breaking down the left wing, with a neat slide ball. Morgan’s cross/shot to the back post put the ball on a plate for Aouachria sliding in to play the ball into an open net.
Ghandour saw a chance of his own blocked four minutes later, before Maddison dragged wide with the rebound.
The visitors, despite their possession, weren’t making the most of it and Louis Dennis maybe should have done better when he hit wide from a not dissimilar position to the one that Aouachria had scored from. Credit must go to Charlie Barker who did enough, maybe even getting a touch, to make sure the striker was unable to level the scores just before the half-time break
Maynard-Brewer made and excellent 52nd minute save to deny a James Dayton left-footed shot that looked destined for the top corner. The Australian goalkeeper leapt across his goal and palmed the vicious shot away from his net and behind for a corner.
The Addicks struck the woodwork when Aaron Henry spotted an intelligent Morgan run from deep, the midfielder’s pass was perfect for Morgan who controlled well and drilled a low shot across the goal but the ball hit the post and bounced away from goal.
Maddison’s touch of class shone through as the Addicks went 2-0 up in the 65th minute. The attacking midfielder curled a dangerous free kick in from the left wing and substitute Mingi, who had replaced Pearce at half-time, headed in at the back post.
The visitors responded almost immediately when Dayton found Dennis in the box and the striker made no mistake, finding the bottom corner with a well-placed effort.
17-year-old Dylan Gavin became the fourth debutant of the game when he replaced goalscorer Aouacharia and Charlton fan Johl Powell was the fifth debutant replacing James Vennings.
Charlton’s two-goal lead was restored shortly afterwards when Morgan won the ball inside the opposition half. His pass in behind the Orient defence played in Maddison who took a couple of touches before confidently smashing into the goal with his trusted left foot.
With time running out the visitors did hit the crossbar with Maynard-Brewer beaten but were unable to find the net as Charlton comfortably held on.
Charlton: Maynard-Brewer; Matthews, Barker, Pearce (C) (Mingi 46), Aidoo; Morgan, Henry, Vennings (Powell 72); Maddison, Aouachria (Gavin 70), Ghandour
Subs (not used): Osaghae, Wiredu
Goals: Aouachria 12, Mingi 65, Maddison 74
Booked: Aidoo 15, Barker (29, foul on Kyprianou), Aouachria (45+1, kicking the ball away), Morgan (81, foul on Dayton)
Leyton Orient: Sargeant, Ling, Widdowson, Maguire-Drew, Dayton, Thomas, Dennis (Johnson 83), Turley, Sweeney, Kyprianou (Cisse 78), Wright
Subs (not used): Vigouroux, Cisse, Happe, Coulson, Wilkinson, Brophy
Goal: Dennis 67
Booked: Wright 49 (foul on Maddison)
Referee: C Breakspear
Attendance: 0 (Behind-closed-doors)