Charlton’s U18s endured a difficult morning at Birmingham City on Saturday, suffering a 4-1 defeat with 10 men.
With the scores level at 1-1 midway through the second half, Deji Elerewe was dismissed for a last-man foul as a Blues defender raced into the box, leaving the young Addicks with an uphill battle and a late capitulation in horrendously-wet and windy conditions in the Midlands.
The hosts took the lead in the seventh minute with a well-placed, low shot from the edge of the box which went in off the post.
Charlton hit back on 32 minutes through Miles Leaburn, who was maing his first start for the U18s. The striker, son of club legend Carl and current Player Liasion Officer Tracey, was quickest to react to a loose ball in the box, nipping in ahead of two defenders before rolling a shot between the goalkeeper’s legs to restore parity.
With just over 20 minutes left on the clock, the turning point came with Elerewe given his marching orders for pulling back a Birmingham striker who was through on goal and the 10-man Addicks struggled to handle the home side in the latter stages as they hit three goals.
Two goals in four minutes put the Blues 3-1 ahead. First a troublesome corner was eventually turned in after bouncing around inside a crowded box, before a 75th-minue free-kick took a heavy deflection, completely wrong-footing James Beadle before ending up in the bottom right-hand corner of the net.
With Charlton now at full stretch in search of salvaging something from the game, Birmingham put the final nail in the coffin with five minutes remaining, completing a counter-attack with a finish from close range to make it 4-1.
Charlton U18s: J Beadle, Hobden, Garande, Elerewe, H Beadle (Burston 73), Agyemang, Chin, Santos, Reilly (Appiah 51), Campbell, Leaburn (Kanu 65).
Subs (not used): Kone, Asiimwe.
Sent off: Elerewe 68
Goal: Leaburn 32
(Photo: Bazil Saleem)