Charlton AthleticSport

Charlton 0-1 Swansea u21s: Addicks dumped out of EFL Trophy in-front of lowest ever crowd

Charlton were dumped out of this season’s EFL Trophy at the group stage after tasting home defeat against Swansea u21s in-front of their lowest ever crowd of just 740.

Adnan Maric’s strike early in the second-period meant that despite recording a club-record 8-0 victory at Stevenage in their previous fixture in the competition, the Addicks end up 3rd in Southern section Group G and their dreams of running out at Wembley Stadium in the final of the tournament are over for another year.

The visitors controlled the opening stages and came close to breaking the deadlock as Botti Biabi fired from close-range, only for Kenneth Yao to get a block in.

The Addicks youngster repeated the trick as the half wore on, this time getting in the way of Oli Cooper’s drive, with Jordon Garrick firing over from an angle soon after as the Welsh u21 side looked to make their early domination count.

Lee Bowyer’s much-changed side finally started to show some signs of life around the 25-minute mark. Reeco Hackett-Fairchild curled off-target after a spell of decent Charlton passing, before Nicky Ajose waited too long to get a shot away in the area, allowing the Swans defence to get a block in.

Maric saw a shot deflected wide, before Liam Cullen volleyed over from eight yards as Cameron Toshack, son of Welsh legend John, saw his side ease back into the ascendancy.

The South Londoners lost Hackett-Fairchild to injury before the break, before Oli Cooper ended the half by heading Garrick’s cross over from close-range for the visitors.

Charlton Athletic v Swansea City U21’s, Checkatrade Trophy Group G, The Valley, 13 November 2018.
Photograph by Keith Gillard

19-year-old goalkeeper Ashley Maynard-Brewer, making his Charlton debut between the sticks, spread himself well to block Biabi’s effort on the turn in the opening-exchanges of the second-half.

Mark Marshall stung the palms of Swans stopper Steven Benda from a tight angle, but it would be the Championship outfit’s youngsters who would take the lead moments later.

Maric placed a fine effort into the bottom-corner of Maynard-Brewers goal from 25 yards out and the Addicks were staring down the barrel of elimination from this year’s EFL Trophy.

Billy Clarke, making his first start since returning from an ACL injury that had side-lined him for 11 months, nearly had the Addicks on terms as he saw a shot repelled by Benda after a neat one-two in the Swansea area.

Brendan Sarpong-Wiredu, who was making his full Addicks debut, had to leave the field with a knock as well, replaced by diminutive striker Terrique Anderson, for what was his senior bow.

Clarke made way on 77 minutes for Taylor Maloney, with Tariqe Fosu soon testing Benda from range – but the goalkeeper was behind the winger’s shot from distance all the way.

Jamie Mascoll was the next to have a pop from distance, but Benda was equal to his lofted strike.

Fosu then saw an added-time header cleared off-the-line as he almost saved Charlton’s EFL Trophy hopes from a corner, but it wasn’t to be as the Addicks crashed out of the competition.

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