Charlton’s U23s fell to a 5-1 defeat at the hands of league-leaders Ipswich Town on Monday afternoon.
The Addicks made a bright start in the Valley sunshine, enjoying plenty of the early possession without managing to create an opening in front of goal.
Indeed, it was the visitors who opened the scoring against the run of play with 19 minutes on the clock when Cameron Humphreys struck a firm effort into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.
The Tractor Boys came close to a second on 27 minutes, but were thwarted by an excellent save from Nathan Harvey, who threw himself in front of Tommy Hughes’ shot from 10 yards.
Charlton’s first real sight at goal came 10 minutes later when Richard Chin saw a shot well blocked in the box before Nile John’s follow-up was similarly snuffed out by some determined Ipswich defending.
Three minutes before the break, the visitors had their second. A defence-splitting pass sent Hughes away into the box and the goalscorer turned provider as he laid it on a plate for Harley Curtis, who tapped home from close range with the Addicks’ defence outnumbered.
Charlton started the second half much the same as they started the first as they got on the front foot in the early exchanges in search of a way back into the game.
John’s good-looking half-volley from distance tests the reflexes of Ipswich stopper Bert White but, just as the hosts were getting into a rhythm, a mistake at the back allowed Curtis in to net his second and the visitors’ third.
Jeremy Santos intercepted a ball on halfway, but his own pass backwards bypassed Harris O’Connor, allowing Curtis a free run on goal to finish one-on-one.
U18 winger Tyreece Campbell came inches away from reducing the arrears moments later when his stinging drive from 20 yards nestled in the side-netting, but it would take a big Ipswich error for the Addicks to finally get themselves on the scoresheet with 18 minutes remaining.
With the visitors looking to play out from the back with a short pass at a goal-kick, the ball was returned to keeper White who proceeded to fire the ball straight at Wassim Aouachria in the box. The ball bounced off the striker and into the path of fellow sub Dylan Gavin, who bundled the ball over the line to reduce the arrears.
Five minutes later, Gavin came so close to another after good work from John whose ball flashed across the face of goal with the striker lying in wait, but he could not make that all-important touch to put the ball in with the goal otherwise at his mercy.
Ipswich would compound a frustrating afternoon by netting a fourth and fifth in injury-time with Edwin Agbaje putting away a low rebound after Harvey had made a good initial save, before Humphreys was sent through one-on-one to secure his brace.
Charlton U23s: Harvey, Chin, O’Connor, Barker, Santos (Anderson 70), Castillo, Vennings, John, Campbell, Williams (Aouachria 61), Viggars (Gavin 61)
Subs (not used): Whitling, Agyemang
Goal: Gavin 71
Charlton fans can support the academy by signing up to the Valley Gold scheme. Valley Gold enables fans to support the club's academy in unearthing the talents of tomorrow, as well as giving them the chance to win cash prizes.