Charlton’s U18s booked their place in the third round of the FA Youth Cup after a dramatic penalty shootout victory over Gillingham at the Bauvill Stadium on Tuesday evening.
After falling behind in the first half, Dylan Gavin’s leveller after the break forced extra-time and with nothing to separate the two sides, it came down to James Beadle’s penalty save to seal a 9-8 win from 12 yards.
Jimmy Appiah was not far off opening the scoring with an audacious effort from 30 yards on 10 minutes – but his powerful drive whistled just past the left-hand upright.
The 20-minute mark saw Dylan Gavin come close after some brilliant work from Jeremy Santos to get into the box on the right. He pulled it back to the Irish striker, but he could only draw a good point-blank save from Charlie Walker in the hosts’ goal.
Despite that, it was Gillingham who would open the scoring in impressive fashion in the 24th minute. With the ball falling to Josh Chambers on the edge of the box, he hit an unstoppable first-time strike into the top left-hand corner.
The Addicks looked for a response and Terrell Agyemang forced Walker into another good save with a strike from the edge of the box that was bound for the bottom corner and the keeper was at it again just before half-time when he tipped Santos’ curling shot around the post.
After the break, Charlton continued to search for a way back into the game. Aaron Henry’s 20-yarder beat Walker, but sailed inches past the right-hand post early in the second half.
Just after the hour-mark, the young Addicks got their deserved breakthrough.
A cross from the left was met at the near post by Gavin, who directed a powerful header into the back of the net.
Charlton kept probing for a winner, but things remained tight. Henry’s low effort from distance in injury time nearly sneaked in, but for the tip of Walker’s fingers, before Tyreece Campbell’s excellent touch saw him send himself through one-on-one, only to slice his shot wide at the death, meaning the tie would move into 30 minutes of extra time.
The young Addicks continued to enjoy the lion’s share of possession during the extra period, but tired legs begin to run out of steam as the game headed towards penalties.
After Santos missed the Addicks first spot-kick, Baker missed for the hosts and then the two sides plundered all their remaining penalties until it reached the 10th round.
With Jimmy Appiah netting Charlton’s 10th penalty, Joseph Gbode stepped up for Gillingham, only for Beadle to make the save and be the hero, sparking scenes of jubilation for the boys in red.
The victory means the Addicks will host Sheffield United in the third round.
Charlton U18s: J Beadle, Hobden, Barker, Elerewe, Garande (Asiimwe 105+2), Appiah, Santos, Henry, Campbell (Reilly 106), Gavin (Adigun 103), Agyemang (Burstow 105).
Subs (not used): Watkins, H Beadle, Leaburn.
Booked: Henry 65 (dissent), Appiah 114 (foul)
Goal: Gavin 62
Penalties: Santos (saved), Reilly (scored), Henry (scored), Barker (scored), Burstow (scored), Aidgun (scored), Asiimwe (scored), Elerewe (scored), Hobden (scored), Appiah (scored)
Gillingham U18s: Walker, Lintott, Baker, Medhurst, Akehurst, Maher, Smith, Chambers, Nelson, Sithole, Baker-Moran.
Subs: Crump, Dempsey, Giles, Grode, Lay, Leach, Britton.
Goal: Chambers 24
Penalties: Sitole (scored), Baker (missed), Maher (scored), Akehurst (scored), Chambers (scored), Smith (scored), Nelson (scored), Medhurst (scored), Lintott (scored), Gbode (saved)
(Photos: Kyle Andrews)