Charlton AthleticSport

Cray Valley PM boss McKimm: Charlton took their chances as their superior fitness told

Cray Valley PM boss Steve McKimm admitted that Charlton Athletic’s fitness was a key factor in them running out 6-1 winners in their FA Cup first round replay.

The Isthmian League South East Division team were level at the break with Kyrell Lisbie, the son of former Charlton forward Kevin, scoring from the penalty spot.

But the Addicks struck three times in the space of 10 minutes in the second period to put the contest beyond the part-timers.

“I’ll be critical to start with – because I want them to learn from it,” McKimm told BBC’s MOTD. “We told them (the players) to turn them for 10-15 minutes in the second half and we started trying to play out. That is what hurt us. They were on us.

“They made some changes and they played some top players tonight. They taught my players if they aspire to be professional footballers they have got to get to that level.

“Charlton were superb and took their chances. You saw the fitness. All of my lads were working today. I don’t have excuses – but the last 15-20 minutes you could tell the full-time side just overrun us. Third man runs, we couldn’t keep up with them. We were lucky it wasn’t more, to be honest with you.

“We started the first 15-20 minutes at The Valley better as well but we made fundamental errors early doors in the second half that cost us. Take nothing away from Charlton. I listened to Michael Appleton’s interview during the week and he said he was going to be ruthless – they were tonight.

“I couldn’t be prouder of this group of players. We’ve had a great run and earned this club so much money. Hopefully now they can get stuff done to the ground and we focus now on the FA Trophy and the league.”

Cray Valley Paper Mills’ Kyrell Lisbie scores their side’s first goal of the game during the Emirates FA Cup first round replay match at The Artic Stadium, London. Picture date: Wednesday November 15, 2023.

There was a special moment for Lisbie as he converted past Sam Walker, who had tripped the teenager on the edge of his penalty area.

Lisbie said: “To get in and nick it past the keeper was a bit of a shock to me. My dad always wants me to brave and take penalties. The little touch from the keeper, he is lucky not to take a red there.

“I was at Watford and was disappointed to get released. (His dream) is just to bounce back and get back to where I was, follow in my dad’s footsteps. I’m taking it slowly in the non-league system. My twin is at Brentford. Day by day I want to develop here at Cray Valley and learn senior football. Onwards and upwards.”

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