Despite a valiant effort, Charlton's U18s were left empty-handed at The Valley on Wednesday night as Brighton & Hove Albion ran out 2-0 victors to advance to the quarter-finals of the FA Youth Cup.
Hamza Serrar’s side got off to an unfortunate start as Evan Ferguson raced onto Marcus Ifill's through ball before finishing clinically past Ahmed Kone on four minutes.
The young Addicks aimed to quickly shake off that setback, though, as they enjoyed a flurry of great chances.
Tyreece Campbell confidently picked up the ball near the halfway line and charged rapidly towards the Seagulls' goal, beating the last defender but seeing his shot strike the post. The deflected ball fell to the feet of Harvey Kedwell who set up Daniel Kanu, but his attempt went agonisingly wide.
Moments later, at the other end, Zach Mitchell threw himself into Ferguson's shot to clear the forward's effort off the line and avoid the deficit doubling.
The rest of the first-half saw a lot of back and forth as the Addicks controlled possession, though Kone proved to be Charlton’s hero during that phase, frustrating Brighton's forwards on several occasions with his outstanding reflexes.
After the break, the first-half fireworks somewhat died down as both teams struggled to create any substantial attacking opportunities, until Zak Sturge found a way into the Addicks’ box before calmly laying off for Andrew Moran to double the Seagulls’ advantage on 57 minutes.
Soon after the hour-mark, Campbell was sent through once more by an incisive pass into the box and upon slight contact fell, but referee Stephen Parkinson remained unmoved.
Minutes later, the ball found Mitchell in space who sent a sharp shot towards the target, though Reid was on hand to deny the defender.
Serrar’s side continued to create further trouble for the visitors’ defence as Kanu - who has already scored 31 goals this season - laid the ball off beautifully for substitute Oliver Hobden, whose powerful strike was once again repelled by Reid as the Addicks bowed out of the FA Youth Cup.
Charlton: Kone, Asiimwe, Bower, Kedwell (Kamara 72), Mitchell, Laqeretabua, Kanu, Adigun, Leaburn, Anderson (c) (Hobden 62), Campbell (Huke 85)
Subs (not used): Whitling, Reilly, Ladapo, Dench
Booked: Bower 50 (foul on Ifill)
Brighton & Hove Albion: Reid, Nilsson (Jenks 55), Sturge, McConville, Jackson, Hinshelwood, Ifill, Chouchane, Ferguson (Duffus 72), Moran, Emmerson (Qureshi 81)
Subs (not used): Cahill, Gee, Kavanagh, Barker-Boaitey
Goals: Ferguson 4, Moran 57
Referee: Stephen Parkinson
Attendance: 1,066 (121 away supporters)
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Article by Yannick Stay
(Photos: Tom West)