QPR U18 (2) – Charlton Athletic U18 (4)

U18 Professional Development League 2

Team: Herdman, Arthur, Kakay, Williams, Garnett, Matthews, Komodikis, Butler, Grego-Cox, Darbyshire, Shodipo.

Subs: O’Sullivan, Bowles, Mitford, Adams, Donnellan.

Paul Furlong’s U18’s side had come into this match at the Concorde Club on the back of a 0-2 home defeat to Sheffield United the previous week.

It was the Addicks who came closest to scoring in the opening stages when Martin Herdman was forced down to block a shot from the visitors after they had cut through the Rangers defence.

At the other end, following a dangerous corner, a Tom Matthews header was finger-tipped to safety by Callum Thomas. However Lee Brennan harshly adjudged that a foul had been committed and signalled a free kick to the visitors.

Rangers had been much the better side, but it was Charlton who took the lead after 21 minutes when the QPR custodian had somehow delivered the ball straight to the Addicks No.11. He then had the easy task of squaring the ball across the six-yard box for George Lapslie to tap home.

The visitors nearly doubled their lead minutes later after a shot went under Herdman and on towards the Rangers goal, but a defender was on hand to recover the ball near the back post and clear it to safety.

As the game approached the half-hour mark, Charlton doubled their lead after their No.11 cut in virtually unchallenged from the left. Ademola Lookman’s powerful shot hit the back of the net via the underside of the bar.

Reece Grego-Cox went on a superb run, beating two defenders, but he screwed the ball just wide of the far post. Charlton were still looking dangerous and as they counter-attacked, Brandon Hanlon’s effort was smothered by the Rangers keeper.

The R’s were still looking to pull a goal back and Grego-Cox’s shot from outside the box ended up just wide of the post. Half-time: QPR 0 – Charlton Athletic 2.

There was some concern over Jeremy Arthur who eventually had to be stretchered off during the interval. Leo Donnellan later emerged as his replacement and the QPR captain George Butler switched to right-back.

Within a minute or so the Addicks extended their lead after Rangers had lost possession. Charlton counter attacked and Lookman set-up Umerah to finish from 12 yards.

As Rangers endeavoured to pull a goal back, Osman Kakay turned nicely to get into a good position outside the box, but this resulted in the ball clearing the bar. Then it was Olamide Shodipo who pulled the trigger which the Charlton keeper just managed to get his fingers to before directing the ball on to the crossbar.

This was a good period for the R’s and the next Rangers chance came after 55 minutes when Shodipo tried to beat Thomas at the near post but he managed to turn the ball round the post for a corner. From the corner, Grego-Cox’s header was deflected in I think by Shodipo, to make the score-line 1-3.

The next goal was the decisive one and it went to the visitors after 68 minutes. Brandon Hanlon fired the ball into the top corner despite Martin Herdman’s best efforts to keep it out. He did deny the visitors later, saving well with his legs when one-on-one.

Rangers went down to ten men after George Butler was forced off with an injury which he had picked up earlier and had also resulted in him receiving a booking! Prior to this, Paul Furlong had made two changes with Trey Williams and Reece Grego-Cox leaving the field and Tyrell Mitford and Callum O’Sullivan replacing them. Grego-Cox had been struggling for a while and had moved out to the left-wing, presumably to try and help run it off?

Martin Herdman made a superb double save and the R’s did manage to get a second goal near the end. With the ball loose and the Charlton keeper down after a collision, Leo Donnellan looked up and lifted the ball from distance straight into an empty net. Final Score: QPR 2 – Charlton Athletic 4.

The Saturday Morning Crew also included; Alan Barnes, Robbie Bennett, Roger Stokes, Clive Kingham and Swedish R, Simon Staal.

Steve Russell