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  • Writer's pictureBy Dan Evans

Penalty spot delight for Addicks as top-flight Seagulls are dumped out of League Cup

By Dan Evans at The Valley


Charlton Athletic (0) 0

Brighton and Hove Albion (0) 0

Charlton win 4-3 on penalties


Charltonq Athletic’s latest new era got off to a promising start as they dumped Premier League Brighton out of the Carabao Cup courtesy of a penalty shootout victory at The Valley.


With newly appointed manager Dean Holden watching from the stands, Charlton battled heroically to take the game beyond 90 minutes with an injury-plagued squad and a number of youth team graduates in the starting line up, before coming out on top from 12 yards.


Owner Thomas Sandgaard is now on to his fourth permanent manager in just over two chaotic years as owner, but the Addicks were anything but disorganised as they tried to give their fans more than a League One relegation battle to look forward to heading into the new year.


For his final game as caretaker boss, former youth team coach Anthony Hayes put faith in the future by handing starts to academy graduates Ashley Maynard-Brewer, Lucas Ness, Richard Chin and Miles Leaburn, and also moved to a five-man defence in an attempt to stifle Roberto De Zerbi’s top-flight outfit.


For much of the first half it worked. Lewis Dunk headed wide from close-range as Charlton scrambled to defend a corner and Adam Lallana clipped the top of Maynard-Brewer’s crossbar following a delightful Cruyff turn, but it was Jason Steele at the other end who was forced into the early saves.


First Brighton’s stand-in stopper held on to a Leaburn effort following a swift Addicks counterattack before he also did well to claim a powerful Jack Payne effort after the midfielder had got the better of Tariq Lamptey.


The passing principles preached by former manager Ben Garner since his summer arrival from Swindon had been all but eroded in the three short weeks since his departure, yet the defensive nous and tactical organisation of the home side – oft lacking in Garner’s 29 games in charge – meant Brighton made little of long spells in possession.


Maynard-Brewer pushed away a cross-shot from Chelsea loanee Levi Colwill before the break, but the game only remained goalless at the interval thanks to a brilliant last-ditch challenge from Brighton skipper Dunk on Steven Sessegnon.


Brighton took a greater hold of the game in the early stages of the second period, but Maynard-Brewer was still only truly tested by a Dunk header from a free-kick that was expertly tipped over the bar.


Solly March then wasted a glorious opportunity of his own making, yet it was only when De Zerbi introduced World Cup stars Pervis Estupinan and Leandro Trossard just after the hour mark that a winning goal began to look inevitable.


However, every ball that Trossard or a team-mate flashed along the six-yard line was greeted by a determined red shirt, meaning the night would be decided by spot kicks.


A chaotic shootout that began with the first three penalties all striking the woodwork was eventually decided when centre-back Sam Lavelle smashed home the decider after Maynard-Brewer had saved from Moises Caicedo.


The home side’s win means London’s remaining involvement in sweet, sticky Carabao glory will go beyond Wembley hosting the final in the early spring, and Charlton have plenty of hope, and a cup quarter-final to look forward to, heading into their latest change in circumstance.


Charlton Athletic: (5-4-1) Maynard-Brewer – Chin, Inniss, Lavelle, Ness, Sessegnon – Rak-Sakyi, Dobson, Fraser, Payne(Blackett-Taylor 62) – Leaburn (Aneke 62 (Stockley 67)). Subs not used: MacGillivray, Morgan, Kirk, Campbell, Mitchell


Brighton and Hove Albion: (4-2-3-1) Steele – Lamptey, Dunk, Colwill, Gross – Gilmour (Estupinan 62), Caicedo – March, Lallana (Trossard 62), Enciso (Mitoma 45) – Undav(Ferguson 79). Subs not used: McGill, Sarmiento, van Hecke, Veltman, Moran

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