PAPA JOHN'S TROPHY REPORT | Hartlepool United 2 Charlton 2 (Hartlepool win 5-4 on penalties)

It was penalty shootout heartbreak for the Addicks who were eliminated from the Papa John’s Trophy after a thrilling 2-2 quarter-final draw with Hartlepool United. 

Goals from Mason Burstow and Alex Gilbey had put Charlton back on track after conceding an early lead but a late wonderstrike from substitute Luke Molyneux levelled the scores and force spot-kicks in a frantic encounter full of chances.

Elliot Lee was the unfortunate Adddick, his the only one of the 10 excellent penalties that was saved, with Ben Killip getting down well to deny the attacking midfielder. 

The home side took a surprise lead in the seventh minute when Joe Grey sprung the Addicks’ offside trap to get in behind the Charlton defence and on the end of a hopeful ball forward from Martin Smith. The 18-year-old showed composure beyond his years to loop the ball over the onrushing Craig MacGillivray.

Charlton responded well, playing some nice football and in the 13th minute nearly levelled when Conor Washington got on the end of a flowing move from right to left. The Northern Ireland international got in front of his defender to get to a cross from the left by Ben Purrington, but his chested effort went just wide of the post.

Minutes later the Addicks were level and it was Washington’s endeavour that created the opportunity. The striker pressured goalkeeper Killip, and was first to his mishit clearance. Gilbey nodded down Washington’s cross from the left into the path of Burstow. The 18-year-old’s first-time shot was excellently saved by the scrambling Killip but the ball looped back to Burstow, who made no mistake with his header from six yards – his third headed goal in four games.

It was Hartlepool’s turn to respond, Smith played a neat one-two on the edge of Charlton’s area but his shot was straight at MacGillivray. Mark Shelton then forced a save from MacGillivray, with an effort from range, the Addicks’ stopper could only parry but captain Jason Pearce was quickest to react and cleared behind for a corner.

Charlton took the lead just after the half-hour mark through Gilbey. Jonathan Leko made good ground down the right and got to the byline. His chipped cross to the back post came off the head of Purrington, into the path of Gilbey. The midfielder swiveled and finished smartly on the half volley.

Again Hartlepool responded well, with Tom Crawford curling a shot just wide, Olufela Olumola forcing a comfortable save from MacGillivray and Crawford then denied by a parry from the Charlton goalkeeper. 

Just before the break Olumola gave Charlton another scare, seeing his shot from the right go just wide of the Charlton post. 

After the basketball pace of the first half, there were fewer chances to start the second half. Indeed, Albie Morgan saw a 63rd minute shot from inside the box well blocked for a corner, which was Charlton’s best opening of the opening 25 minutes of the second half. 

Mark Cullen forced an excellent save from MacGillivray in the 72nd minute and from the resulting corner after a cleared ball, the home side recycled play, with substitute Luke Molyneux cutting onto his left foot and smashing the ball into the goal with an excellent strike.

Both sides chased a winner but neither were able to get the crucial goal and the game moved on to penalties.

After six excellent penalties, Killip saved from Lee and it was Jamie Sterry that converted the winning penalty to the delight of the home support. 

Hartlepool United: Killip, Sterry, Hendrie, Odusina, Francis-Angol, Smith, Crawford, Shelton, Olomola (Molyneux 70), Grey (Ogle 85), Cullen

Subs (not used): Boyes, Bryne, Liddle, Ferguson, Featherstone

Goals: Grey 7, Molyneux 73

Penalties: Cullen (scored), Crawford (scored), Shelton (scored), Molyneux (scored), Sterry (scored)

Charlton: MacGillivray; Matthews, Pearce (c), Famewo; Leko (Blackett-Taylor 70), Gilbey, Watson (Clare 80), Morgan (Lee 80), Purrington (Castillo 88); Burstow (Aneke 70), Washington

Subs (not used): Henderson, Inniss

Goals: Burstow 17, Gilbey 32

Penalties: Washington (scored), Gilbey (scored), Clare (scored), Lee (saved), Aneke (scored)

Booked: Purrington 51 (foul on Sterry), Aneke 90+3 (handball)

Referee: S Barrott

Attendance: 3,615 (235 from Charlton)

Read Time: 4 mins