Reeco Hackett-Fairchild and Karlan Ahearne-Grant scored for Charlton’s U23s as they lost out in a six-goal thriller against Fulham in the Premier League Cup on Friday evening.
Hackett-Fairchild fired the Addicks in front at Motspur Park before strikes from Daniel O’Reilly and George Williams turned the game around for the hosts.
Williams’ second of the night made it 3-1 after the break but Ahearne-Grant brought Jason Euell’s side back into contention with 17 minutes to play.
Elijah Adebayo made it four for Fulham, though, and the Addicks will have to equal or better Middlesbrough’s result in their final Group F match in order to progress to the next round.
Fulham made a bright start to the contest and came close when Jon Dagur Thorsteinsson was put through on goal, but Dimitar Mitov made a good save to deny him.
The Addicks stopper kept out an angled drive from Josh Smile on 10 minutes and Adebayo was next to go close when his header smacked the crossbar.
At the other end, Hackett-Fairchild fired off target, after the hosts failed to properly clear a corner, and he then got his name on the scoresheet.
Ahearne-Grant led a counter attack and fed Louis Yamfam on the left, he cut inside and squared for Hackett-Fairchild, who shifted the ball onto his left foot before shooting into the corner from 20 yards.
It was a great strike but their lead did not last long. After his initial free-kick had hit the wall, O’Reilly picked out the bottom corner to level the contest.
The equaliser came on 43 minutes and the hosts would nudge ahead before half time.
A low cross came in from the right-hand side and Williams stretched to poke it home in the middle.
Adebayo curled just wide shortly after half time and George Lapslie then went close for the Addicks when he sent a header into the arms of Fulham’s goalkeeper.
Williams got his second midway through the second period when he latched onto a through ball and made no mistake with his finish from a central position.
Six minutes later, Charlton reduced the deficit by making it 3-2. Ahearne-Grant beat Fulham’s goalkeeper to Yamfam’s through ball and, after getting possession under control, he curled into an empty net from outside of the penalty area.
But Fulham made the result safe 10 minutes from time when Adebayo peeled off at the back post to head Williams’ cross into the back of the net.
Charlton U23s: Mitov, Barnes (c), Doughty (Willis 86), Bowry, Blumberg, Dijksteel, Lapslie, Millar (Maloney 75), Yamfam, Ahearne-Grant, Hackett-Fairchild.
Subs (not used): Maynard-Brewer, Yao, Ndiaye.
Goals: Hackett-Fairchild 35, Ahearne-Grant 73.