U23 Professional Development League
Team: Lumley, Kakay, Hamalainen, Hall, Phillips, Wallen, Smyth, Cousins, Grego-Cox, Akinola, Shodipo
Sub Not Used: Herdman
I met up with Alan Barnes and Keith Davies at Charing Cross and despite some earlier disruption, due to over-running engineering works we arrived at the stadium in plenty of time.
After a few minutes, a solid challenge on Olamide Shodipo resulted in the ball going behind. His superbly taken corner found a well-placed Grant Hall, whose header was cleared off the line by Aaron Barnes.
It was the Addicks who took the lead in the 13th minute when a good through ball found Terrique Anderson, who continued with pace into the box and then placed his shot into the corner of the net.
The R’s captain, Josh Wallen, was booked for a strong challenge, which didn’t satisfy some of the home fans around us who were screaming for a red?
Rangers were forcing a number of corners and Grant Hall’s goal-bound header, was smothered by Jordan Beeney.
The visitors went close when a deep cross, floated over from the right-wing, bounced off the crossbar.
But on 34 minutes it was the home side who went 2-0 up after Josh Wallen had given the ball away. A low cross from the left flank was cleanly hit first time by Hackett-Fairchild from eight yards.
Two minutes later, Aaron Barnes was booked for kicking the ball away.
The hosts scored a third just before the break. Joe Lumley saved magnificently from point-blank range, but there was Anderson to belt the ball in the net.
As the Charlton players made their way back, I noticed that Giles Phillips was still down receiving treatment. Thankfully, he eventually was able to walk round the pitch perimeter and Chris Paul replaced him. Half-time: 0-3.
Some of the lights came on as the skies began to darken significantly. Eventually the officials called for the full compliment of lighting.
As the two sides walked out, Alan Barnes confidently remarked: “Get an early goal and we’ll win this”. Not long after Shodipo slotted the ball in the net at the far post, following a lovely cross from Paul Smyth.
Mr Atkin pointed to the spot on 52 minutes, after Reece Grego-Cox was shoved in the box. Olamide Shodipo stepped up and cheekily scooped the ball into the net.
Romeo Akinola equalised for the R’s less than a minute later, but Jamie Mascoll soon gave the Addicks the lead again after Joe Lumley had saved the first effort with his feet.
More drama soon followed when Shodipo scored the R’s fourth goal, and his third, at the far post from Smyth’s corner.
Incredibly, Rangers achieved a fifth goal, and the lead for the first time, after Shodipo had made a good run to the bye-line and Grego-Cox finished from close range.
Paul Hall made two changes when he introduced Danny Darbyshire and a trialist, Deshane Dalling, at the expense of Grant Hall and Jordan Cousins respectively, with Romeo Akinola dropping to midfield.
Described as an attacking midfielder, 19-year-old Dalling was previously on the books of Huddersfield Town.
Terrique Anderson bombed down the left and then menacingly into the box, but Josh Wallen made a superb challenge to avert the danger.
Akinola was booked for a pull-back and the resulting free kick was blazed high over the crossbar. With Charlton still looking for an equaliser, Joe Lumley did well to keep the ball out with his one-footed save.
At the other end Josh Wallen headed just wide from yet another superb corner from my MOM – Paul Smyth.
Well done to Paul Hall and his players for such a spirited fightback.