Charlton’s U23s fell to a 4-3 defeat to Swansea City at Princes Park on Monday afternoon.
Despite controlling much of the proceedings in Dartford, three second-half Swans’ goals in a 10-minute period turned the game on its head as the Welshmen walked away with the points.
The clash provided another opportunity for Akin Famewo to gain vital minutes as he completes his return from injury, playing over an hour, while fellow first-teamers Albie Morgan and Alex Gilbey received important run-outs, completing 90 minutes each.
The young Addicks had the opportunity to make a perfect start after four minutes when Gilbey was felled in the box by Swansea stopper Lewis Webb. But when Charles Clayden stepped up to the spot, the goalkeeper made amends, diving to his left to keep it out.
Charlton would, eventually, take the lead with 17 minutes on the clock. A corner from the right-hand side landed at the feet of trialist Samuel Oguntayo, who took a touch and slammed home from close range.
The hosts were in control for much of the first half, but would go into the break on level terms when Ali Al-Hamadi fired a low shot past Nathan Harvey to bring his side back into the game.
The Addicks picked up where they left off after the break and took a deserved lead on 62 minutes through Junior Quitirna, who struck an excellent effort past Webb from just inside the box after the Swans failed to clear a corner.
Famewo was withdrawn in the 66th minute having gained more vital minutes under his belt, but the game would soon turn on Charlton thereafter.
The visitors made it 2-2 in the 71st minute after Charlie Barker was adjudged to have committed a foul in the box, leaving Al-Hamady to step up and stroke his penalty home.
Three minutes later, Swansea went ahead as the game completely turned on its head. Tom Kalianauskas’ tame, low effort from distance didn’t look as if it would cause many problems, but somehow squirmed under Harvey.
And in the 81st minute, the final nail in the coffin was delivered as Al-Hamadi completed his hat-trick, placing his shot into the bottom right-hand corner having cut in from the left.
There was a glimpse of hope with two minutes remaining as Al-Hamadi saw a cross bounce back off him and inside the post for an own-goal to reduce the deficit to one, but it would not be enough as Swansea held on for the win.
Charlton U23s: Harvey, French, Famewo (Barker 66), Ness, Oguntayo, Henry, Morgan, Clayden, Gilbey, Quitirna (Afrane-Kesey 78), Ghandour.
Subs (not used): Osaghae, Aidoo, Agyemang.
Booked: Gilbey 52 (foul on Butler), Morgan 58 (foul on Kalianauskas), Henry 73 (foul on Lloyd)
Goals: Oguntayo 17, Quitirna 62, Al-Hamadi (og) 88