Michael Appleton was always confident that Charlton Athletic’s class would tell in their FA Cup tie at Cray Valley – even if a defensive lapse saw the two sides go in level at the break.
The Addicks largely dominated the opening period with Alfie May breaking the deadlock in the 35th minute.
But Cray Valley striker Kyrell Lisbie made it 1-1 just before the interval from the spot.
Referee Craig Breakspear incorrectly deemed Sam Walker’s foul on Lisbie to be inside the penalty area – probably saving the Addicks goalkeeper from being sent off.
Charlton put the hammer down after the restart with goals from May, Miles Leaburn, George Dobson, Tyreece Campbell and 17-year-old debutant Micah Mbick.
“I was pleased with the first half as well as the second half,” said head coach Appleton. “I know we only got the one goal but apart from a little bit of detail in the final third or the box – that cross or shot that didn’t quite happen – I told the players at half-time that was fine. Give me that again and I guarantee the pitch will get bigger because the game will get more stretched. They will get more tired and we’ll be in a position to go and hurt them. That’s what happened.
“The players’ attitude and the way they went about their business was spot on.”
Walker has started both FA Cup matches. Ashley Maynard-Brewer was unavailable after heading off on international duty with Australia while Harry Isted is recovering from a knee injury.
“We realised we might be a little bit fortunate, in a sense,” said Appleton about the penalty call. “If it is a foul outside the box then potentially Walks could’ve been in a bit of bother.
“It was a communication one. Fair play to Sam – it shows what a top guy he is – he came in straight away and said: ‘My bad’. It was fine. It’s not a problem and we get on with it. The only thing I would say in the future is that I want one of my centre-halves to put their head through it and they can have an argument or scrap afterwards.
“Half-time there was a real calmness to all of us. We knew we were in control and it was a matter of time before we started scoring goals.
“When you have got the likes of Miles and Alfie in the team – the three lads in midfield were superb and got after their midfield players to make it really difficult for them.
“He (Mbick) deserved the opportunity. He has come in with us a couple of times and I’ve watched him with the U18s and U21s – he has done well. Not just him – Keds (Harvey Kedwell) is starting to look more and more like a first-team player every time I see him. The kid has got a tenacious side to him as well, which I like. There are two or three in the group that as long as they continue to progress and develop won’t be that far away.”
PICTURE: KYLE ANDREWS
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