Charlton’s current crop of U-18’s made club history on Tuesday night after being crowed Professional Development League 2 national champions for the first time after beating Brentford 1 – 0 at Griffin Park. An early goal from Joshua Umerah and professional defending throughout was enough to secure the title for the Addicks.
Critics cannot say Charlton have not paid their dues in the competition, having endured play-off losses on penalties in the past two years but that heartache will have been well and truly forgotten now.
It was the South Londoners who started off the brighter side as Sam Bone stung the palms of Brentford keeper Nik Tzanev with a powerful free-kick after Brandon Hanlan, who would prove to be a handful for the Bees all night, was brought down.
The visitors took the lead shortly after, just six minutes into the game, as top scorer Umerah controlled Ademola Lookman’s pass and swiveled before firing a powerful shot past the keeper and into the back of the net.
Charlton nearly doubled their lead as Hanlan rose highest from a corner but could only header over the bar from six yards out as Brentford struggled to really get going. And it wasn’t until the second half when the West Londoners began probing for an equaliser.
Bradley Clayton’s stinging effort went inches wide while Josh Bohui sent his effort into the side netting and James Ferry wasted a good opportunity, shooting straight at Mitov with 10 minutes remaining.
Despite surviving these scares, it looked like Charlton were going to be denied the title yet again late on as a game of ping pong ensued in their penalty area but the ball was deflected over the bar and the Addicks held on to lift the trophy.
Congrats to the Charlton U-18’s for winning the Professional Development League 2!