Team: Lumley, Downes, Buck, Hubble, Wise, Kpekawa, Comley, Mitchell, Petrasso, Skapetis, Fitzpatrick.
The temperature was still rising at Harlington as the R’s first match in the U18’s Professional Development League 2 (South) got underway. David Fitzpatrick captained the side and the match officials wore florescent bibs in contrast to Charlton’s black away kit.
Rangers got off to a slow start as the visitors took the initiative, but Aaron Mitchell went close with a header just over the crossbar. Around 15 minutes into the game, Charlton took the lead. The R’s lost possession in midfield which resulted in a low ball delivered into the box and was put away from close range. It looked as though Joe Lumley had got something on it, but he was unable to keep it out.
The Charlton keeper was forced into making a very good save when Petros Skapetis, in space, belted the ball which went out for a corner. Conor Hubble swung in a well taken corner which the keeper punched away. However, the away side went further ahead in the 25th minute after a mistake in the Rangers defence which allowed the Charlton player the simple task of tapping the ball into the back of the net.
Rangers were still creating chances and Brandon Comley’s low drive was smothered by the Addicks custodian. At the other end, Joe Lumley had to dive full-length to deny the visitors a third goal. Charlton’s third goal came after 30 minutes when a long range shot was fumbled and as Joe Lumley tried to recover, the ball was already over the line. Later, Conor Hubble’s free kick hit the Addicks wall and skied out for a corner. Charlton had punished every mistake and they went off at half-time 3-0 up.
Darnell Furlong and Manny Monthe were introduced after the break. On the hour mark, the R’s were awarded a penalty. The penalty should of been awarded when Brandon Comley was clipped in the box, but the referee eventually gave it after the ball was hit straight at the Charlton defender who was harshly adjudged to have deliberately handled. Anyway, Rangers got the penalty they deserved as Comley was helped off the pitch for treatment to his head. Substitute Manny Monthe was determined to take the spot-kick, but unfortunately he blasted the ball over the bar. Brandon Comley eventually returned with his head bandaged.
With the Rangers defence hesitating, the Addicks almost scored a fourth, but Joe Lumley managed to push the ball onto the post and the threat was averted. Rangers pulled a goal back after a nice ball in from the right from Darnell Furlong, The Charlton keeper made two fine successive saves, but he couldn’t prevent Aaron Mitchell finishing with a third effort.
A word for the linesman who, from time to time during the 2nd half, explained some of his decisions in earshot rather coherently I have to say ! The referee booked a Charlton player following a foul on Brandon Comley. The booking was actually for the second player to kick the ball away as Rangers prepared to take the free kick.
The Addicks keeper had to make a big punch to clear a dangerous ball from a corner following good play by Brandon Comley. Aaron Mitchell scored his and Rangers’ second after the ball was headed back across goal. His shot was driven low and the ball actually went through the back of the net. Toby Adekunle came on for the closing stages and the score remained 2-3 to the visitors.
Behind us the U16’s won 3-1 and a rather depleted Saturday Morning Crew also included; Alan Barnes, Roger Stokes and Rob Bennett.