QPR U18 (2) – Charlton Athletic U18 (1)

U18 Professional Development League 2

Team: Brzozowski, Eales, Fox, Donnellan, Matthews, Arthur, Alfa, Clarke, Adams, Darbyshire, Crichlow

Charlton were the current league leaders and back in August had defeated the R’s 9-0!

In goal for the R’s was Marcin Brzozowski who made his debut last month for Poland’s U18’s and had kept a clean sheet against Serbia. As the QPR players lined up for the kick-off, Alan Barnes pointed out that two centre-backs had reverted to full-back.

The visitors hit the crossbar following a cross, which had been swung in from the right flank.

Danny Darbyshire gave Rangers the lead in the 39th minute when he lobbed the keeper and the ball ended up in the back of the net despite the best efforts of the Addicks defender scrambling back in vain to clear it.

The visitors drew level just before the break after their full-back forced his way through and his cross was deflected in the box. The R’s keeper then hesitated and the loose ball was put away at his near post. Half-time: 1-1.

Paul Furlong made all three changes for the second-half with Anthony Folkes, Romeo Akinola and Rhys Springer-Downes replacing Jake Eales, Ruudi Clarke and Danny Darbyshire respectively.

One of the moments of the match came from a superb move down the left wing when Gianni Crichlow provided a lovely back-flick and the return ball was crossed, but unfortunately it came to nothing as it was placed too near the Charlton keeper.

Rangers gave away a silly foul on the edge of the box and after a lot of pushing and shoving in the wall, the free kick was fired wide of the post.

QPR had a very good opportunity to score a second goal but Brandon Adams couldn’t get enough on his header and his flick from close range went wide of the post.

Ody Alfa slipped into second gear as he cut in from the left into the box but his superb cross was put over the bar by an Addicks defender. Leo Donnellan’s corner was lifted by the prevailing wind and it drifted away long and wide.

Both sides were generally coping very well with the blustery conditions by adjusting much of their play to ground level.

Although Leo Donnellan’s shot was just adrift of the post, it still had the Addicks keeper at full stretch. There was an amusing moment when a Charlton player took a throw and it blew out of play at right angles!

Gianni Crichlow grabbed the winner four minutes from time when he shot low from 20-yards. Ody Alfa was forced off and the R’s had to finish the game with ten men.

This was Charlton’s first defeat in seven games but they still remain top.

On the adjacent pitch, the U16’s lost by the same score-line after conceding a very late goal.

The Saturday Morning Crew also included Alan Barnes, Roger Stokes, Clive Kingham and Ray Marno who had come up from Eastbourne.

Steve Russell