Charlton’s U18s took their winning streak into double figures with a dramatic injury-time victory at Wigan Athletic on Saturday.
The young Addicks battled on with 10 men for much of the game following Jason Adigun’s first-half dismissal, but despite the one-man disadvantage, Aaron Henry’s 91st-minute strike earned his side a 10th straight win.
Henry opened the scoring with 23 minutes gone from the penalty spot after Tyreece Campbell had been felled in the box and one of two trialists lining up for the Londoners doubled the scoring just after the half-hour mark with an excellent glancing header to put the visitors in command.
The Latics were given a glimmer of hope before the break, however, when Adigun was given his marching orders following a second yellow card and eight minutes into the second half, they pulled a goal back with a shot from close range.
Charlton would be next to score, however, with Campbell restoring the two-goal lead just four minutes later. The winger capitalised on some hesitant Wigan defending to roll his effort calmly into the bottom left-hand corner.
It looked as if the extra man was to make a difference as the hosts hit back with a header straight away, setting up a nervy finish.
With five minutes left, another Latics header was sent looping into the back of the net, making it 3-3 and an apparent comeback was complete by the home side, who sit top of the north division.
But the south division table-toppers would not lie down and the Addicks had their winner come the first minute of injury time.
After an attempted Wigan clearance was closed down, the ball was squared to Henry on the edge of the box who picked his spot and arrowed a first-timer into the bottom left-hand corner to spark scenes of wild celebration.
With a play-off berth already confirmed, all eyes are now set on sealing the regional title. The Addicks sit top of Professional Development League 2 – South, seven points clear of Ipswich Town who have one game in hand, while Charlton have three league games still to play.
Charlton U18s: Beadle, Asiimwe, Trialist, Elerewe, Bakrin, Henry, Chin, Adigun, Santos (Ladapo 88), Campbell (Mitchell 90+2), Trialist.
Subs (not used): Dench, Reilly, Leaburn.
Sent off: Adigun 38 (second-bookable offence)
Goals: Henry 23, 90+1, Trialist 33, Campbell 57