Report: Brave Boys Bow Out

Worthing’s FA Youth Cup run finally came to an end but not before they’d given Charlton Athletic a stern test.

Under-18s Full Time
1
Worthing
  • O’Brien (53')
3
Charlton
  • Adigun (29')
  • Kanu (34')
  • Leaburn (40')
FA Cup Thursday 4th November, 2021

It could have been so different though, with two good chances falling to the hosts in the opening couple of minutes. Both resulting in good saves by James Beadle in the visitor’s goal.

The first saw Maxwell Bartlett win the ball in midfield before feeding Owen Worsdell, who was denied again seconds later as Frankie Perry set him up for a shot that Beadle got down to well to push past the post.

Possibly irked by that start the Addicks responded via their Captain Jason Adigun, as his dipping volley was kept out in impressive style by home ‘keeper Adam Nash.

An action-packed beginning showed no signs of letting up, with the two teams continuing to exchange blows.

Even right-back Jamie Smith got in on the act when he got forward to fire in a long range effort that didn’t miss by much at all.

Naturally, the South Londerners retaliated through rapid winger Daniel Kanu who spurned a decent opportunity.

His defensive colleagues then had to be alert to stop Bartlett breaking the deadlock almost at the midway mark of the first forty-five, following great work from Ollie Starkey to set him up. Only a last ditch tackle maintaining the status quo.

Unfortunately for the young Reds, the away side’s next forward surge ended with Toby Bower’s deep left wing delivery picking out Adigun at the back post to head home the opening goal of the game.

A few minutes later, they doubled their advantage thanks to a long kick downfield from the boot of Beadle, a classy/nonchalant flick of the shoulder by Ryan Huke and surge through the middle of the park by Kanu, that saw him beat Nash with the aid of a deflection and find the bottom corner.

However, Worthing refused to be downhearted as the Starkey/Bartlett combination almost came to fruition once again; the former’s low cross sent goalwards by the latter, only for a goal-kick to be awarded, when it appeared from a distance to go behind off tall centre-half Zach Mitchell.
Kanu came within a whisker of bagging his second and Charlton’s third until a superbly-timed late challenge by Skipper Owen Spicer prevented him from doing so.

Regrettably though, there was nobody to stop an unmarked Miles Leaburn tapping into an unguarded net, at the far upright, five minutes before the break.

The giant son of Addick’s legend Carl could have made it three on the stroke of half-time, following a miscued attempt by Tyreece Campbell, only for Joe Rye to get in a decisive block to ensure that he didn’t.

We were less than ten minutes into the second period when Harvey Kedwell brought down Billy-George Fuller in the box, to present the hosts with an ideal opportunity to get themselves right back in the contest. Kyle O’Brien stepped up to confidently and convincingly beat Beadle from the spot.

Although the game may have swung back in the guests’ favour less than a minute later but Leaburn miscued the wrong side of the far stick, at the end of a lung-busting burst along the left by Campbell.

Kanu then showed a quite incredible turn of speed on the same flank and broke into the penalty area, where he was denied by the ever-alert Nash at the near post.

Substitute Alfie Hall could only hold his head in his hands as he met Smith’s deep right-sided delivery with his dome; being marginally unable to make a better contact.

It should have been game over when Kanu got his head to a ball in from the White’s right via Nathan Asiimwe but he failed to bury it at the back stick.

Huke might have made safe passage through to round two as well; Nash keeping him out with his legs after the number ten had broken into the eighteen yard box a short while later.

Fine wing work from Alfie Hall meant he gave himself a second bite at the cherry and potentially the full-time travelling team serious food for thought, only for Beadle to put himself about and pull off a top-drawer stop to prevent the bearded wonder from doing just that.

A rare slip by Rye looked to have put replacement Henry Rylah infor a match-sealing fourth but the home centre-back made an outstanding recovery to catch up and disposess inside the penalty area.

The last word of an eventful evening saw Huke tee-up Adigun, who caused some concern for the coach driver with a shot that sailed over the top.