Charlton’s U18s continued their fine run of form with a fifth straight victory as they played out a seven-goal thriller with Cardiff City in Wales on Saturday afternoon.
The young Addicks twice came from behind in the first half before taking control of the game and earning all three points thanks to the goals of Toby Bower, Daniel Kanu, Jason Adigun and Mack Reilly.
The Bluebirds got off to a flyer, taking the lead in just the second minute when a free-kick taken from the wide left bamboozled Charlton’s backline and ended up in the net despite goalkeeper Ahmed Kone’s best efforts.
Charlton would not be behind for long, levelling on nine minutes. Bower’s lung-busting run saw the left-back exchange passes to get into the box before showing great skill to chop onto his right foot and calmly finish into the bottom corner from eight yards.
Reilly had the opportunity to net for the Addicks from the penalty spot, only to be denied by a fine stop from the hosts’ keeper and Cardiff regained their lead in the 25th minute via an outstanding finish into the top right-hand corner from the corner of the box.
However, the Londoners hit back straight away with two goals in two minutes to first equalise and then take the lead for the first time.
Tolu Ladapo’s burst forward so the wide man get into the box and jink past a defender before smartly laying off to Kanu, who confidently slotted past the goalkeeper to net his fifth goal in four games.
That was swiftly followed by Adigun’s strike to hand Charlton the lead – Reilly claimed the assist, threatening on the left-hand side of the box before passing to his fellow forward to pick his spot with a firm finish from 20 yards into the bottom right corner.
Just past the hour mark, Reilly turned from provider to goalscorer, bagging his side’s fourth of the afternoon with a very similar strike to that of the third – winding up and firing low and hard into the bottom corner from the edge of the ‘D’ to put some daylight between the Addicks and the Bluebirds.
Cardiff provided a late scare in injury-time after being awarded a penalty. The home side’s number 10 stepped up to send Kone the wrong way and reduce their arrears to a single goal in the dying moments, but Charlton held firm to take all three points in the rain in Wales.
Charlton U18s: Kone, Hobden, Mitchell, Laquertabua, Bower, Kedwell (Hand 58), Ladapo, Reilly (Ashburn 86), Huke, Adigun, Kanu (Rylah 79).
Subs (not used): Batt, Akyuumo.
Goals: Bower 9, Kanu 27, Adigun 29, Reilly 63