Charlton’s U18s claimed a second victory of their Professional Development League Cup campaign with an emphatic win at near-neighbours Millwall on Saturday.
Having already beaten Queens Park Rangers, the young Addicks strengthened their position in Group B with another three points as Daniel Kanu claimed the headlines with a hat-trick.
The strikers treble came after a stunning start which saw Charlton go 3-0 up inside the first 11 minutes.
Jason Adigun opened the scoring with four minutes on the clock, latching onto Toby Bower’s hopeful ball into the box, to place it past the on-rushing keeper.
Three minutes later, Ryan Huke doubled the lead in spectacular fashion. With a corner half-cleared to the edge of the box, the Addicks’ number 10 took the ball on his chest before plundering a thunderous volley into the top right-hand corner.
And just four minutes after that, Tolu Ladapo made it three, putting his side well and truly in control, rounding off a quick counter-attack by slotting home confidently one-on-one.
In the 33rd minute, Kanu scored his first of the afternoon, finishing with a low, left-footed, first-time finish from 12 yards to give the Addicks a commanding four-goal lead long before the half-time whistle came calling.
With Charlton dominating proceedings, the foot was taken off the gas somewhat in the second half with the Lions finding a way back into proceedings to give them some hope.
A 55th minute goal made it 4-1, before the home side reduced their arrears to two with 20 minutes left, heading in a corner off the post. And five minutes later, nerves began to jangle when Millwall reduced the visitors’ lead to a single goal to make it 4-3 with 15 minutes remaining.
But that was enough to kick Charlton back into gear with Kanu securing his brace in the 82nd minute, raising highest to powerfully head home Harvey Kedwell’s cross following a short corner.
Deep into injury-time, Kanu sealed his hat-trick, racing onto Huke’s threaded pass to slot another confident finish past the Lions’ stopper, taking his tally to 11 goals in nine outings this term, including one goal for the U23s.
Hamza Serrar’s U18s return to league action on Saturday when they host Bristol City at Sparrows Lane.
Charlton U18s: Kone, Hobden, Mitchell, Laquertabua, Bower, Kedwell, Ladapo (Ockechukwu 73), Huke, Adigun (Asiimwe 40), Reilly (Leaburn 61), Kanu.
Sub (not used): Batt.
Goals: Adigun 4, Huke 7, Ladapo 11, Kanu 33, 82, 90+5
Charlton fans can support the academy by signing up to the Valley Gold scheme. Valley Gold enables fans to support the clubs academy in unearthing the talents of tomorrow, as well as giving them the chance to win cash prizes.