U23s Denied Victory Over Charlton in Stoppage Time
Monday, 27th Nov 2017 15:41 by James Ager
Town's U23s were denied all three points on Monday afternoon as hosts Charlton Athletic grabbed a stoppage time equaliser to draw 1-1 after Conor McKendry (pictured) had given the young Blues a first-half lead.
The first effort on goal in a game played at Greenwich Borough’s Badgers Sports Ground in Eltham came from Town when Monty Patterson latched onto a lobbed pass from James Blanchfield, but the New Zealand international could only find the side-netting.
At the other end Louis Michael Yamfam turned in the box and hit a goalbound effort which deflected just over, moments before Luke Woolfenden produced a fine block to deny Reeco Hackett-Fairchild from close range.
On 17 a low ball across the six-yard box fron Dylan Crowe was met by Patterson at the back post and despite a half-hearted appeal that the ball had crossed the line, Addicks keeper Ashley Maynard-Brewer managed to keep the ball out.
However, two minutes later the deadlock was broken when McKendry cut in from the right and hit a low, powerful drive into the near bottom corner of the net.
From the restart Crowe dispossessed Matt Carter and burst forward into the area, but instead of shooting he cut the ball back across the box and the home defence managed to clear the danger.
Blanchfield, playing his first game after a spell out injured, got in the way to deflect Ryan Blumberg's header wide from a corner and Woolfenden came to the rescue again when he hacked the ball off the line after Harry Wright had managed to smother George Lapslie's initial effort from inside the six-yard box.
As the half-time whistle approached, Wright pulled off another good save - this time with his feet - to prevent Carter from scoring after the dangerous Hackett-Fairchild had got the better of Crowe out wide.
Despite soaking up Charlton pressure after the interval, the Blues had a golden opportunity to double their lead on 65. McKendry's ball into the box was cut out but fell perfectly for Patterson, who blazed over when he really should have at least hit the target.
Wright did well to hold on to a low shot from Lapslie minutes later, and the son of former Town keeper Richard again excelled late on when he managed to divert Lapslie's flicked near post effort just wide.
However, Charlton did manage to grab a deserved leveller in the first minute of stoppage time. Idris El Mizouni was penalised for a foul out wide and the influential Lapslie delivered a fine ball into the danger area which was glanced into the net by sub Alex Willis.
Up until stoppage time, Gerard Nash's young side had battled admirably and Woolfenden in particular had done well to keep the Londoners goal threat to a minimum, despite the home side having most of the possession in the second half.
There were good performances all over the pitch from Town's youngsters, who will be disappointed that they couldn't quite hold on for all three points.
Shaun Derry, manager of League Two Cambridge United, was among those watching the match.
U23s: Wright, D Crowe, Clements, Blanchfield (El Mizouni 85), Woolfenden, Webber, Patterson, McLoughlin, Morris (Dobra 46), Folami, McKendry (Lankester 77). Unused: Ware, McGavin.
Photo: Larry McQuillan/Drogheda United
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