BY LOUIS MENDEZ
Charlton rewrote the record books with an emphatic win at Stevenage – the biggest ever in Addicks history.
Youngster Toby Stevenson bagged a debut hat-trick from defence as the South Londoners ran kept their EFL Trophy hopes alive in their second group game of this year’s competiton.
Darren Pratley, Nicky Ajose, George Lapslie and Igor Vetokele were all also on the scoresheet.
The Addicks had raced into a three-goal lead before the interval.
Pratley broke the deadlock on 26 minutes. Mark Marshall’s speculative volley following a half-cleared corner cannoned off a Stevenage man and into the path of makeshift Addicks centre-half Pratley, who swept home from eight yards.
The lead was doubled within a minute. A glorious flowing move ended as Vetokele squared for debutant Stevenson to thunder in from close-range – a first ever senior goal for the former Leyton Orient youngster.
Two became three as Ajose bundled home his first goal of the campaign. Vetokele had flicked on a cross towards the far-post, where the former Manchester United man was on hand to poke-in for the third goal that Lee Bowyer’s side had scored in seven minutes.
The visitors continued where they left off straight after the interval.
Vetokele was in on the act three minutes into the second-period. He latched onto Lapslie’s ball inside, his shot rebounding off Will Appleyard in the home goal before hitting the Angolan striker and rolling in.
The fifth goal came before the hour-mark. Lapslie’s lung-bursting run into the area ended with him trying to square for a colleague – only for the ball to squirm past everyone in the middle and in at the far-post.
There was barely time for the visiting supporters to catch their breath before Stevenson added a breath-taking sixth. He curled home gloriously as a loose ball fell his way outside the area.
The youngster completed his debut hat-trick from the penalty spot. Ajose was felled in the area, with skipper for the night Pratley ensuring that Stevenson was given the chance from 12 yards – which he buried into the bottom corner to round off a superb evening for the defender.
Charlton history was made in the final five minutes. Lapslie walloped home his second of the game from close-range as the Addicks ensured they recorded their largest ever winning margin – a record that had stood since 1953.
PHOTOS: Kyle Andrews
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