6th Dec, 2016

Sky Blues youngsters fail to lift the gloom after Charlton thrashing

Steve Carpenter 8th Sep, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

THE SKY Blues stars of tomorrow failed to lighten the mood in the City camp after finding themselves on the receiving end of a 7-2 thrashing away at Charlton on Tuesday.

With Tony Mowbray’s winless first team struggling to find their feet this season, it was hoped that the club’s Under-23s would inject some much-needed positivity around the club.

Playing in the Professional Development League 2 South, Nicky Eaden fielded five players who had already made their first team bow this season but the likes of Ryan Haynes, George Thomas, Ben Stevenson, Dion Kelly-Evans and Kyle Spence failed to make an impact at the The Valley.

“We are hugely disappointed with the outcome, it is not something you can just forget about,” said Eaden. “At times I was looking on in disbelief at their decision-making but we aim to put things right in our next fixture.

“Experienced players know that if things are not quite clicking in the attacking third you look to remain solid and be patient for that opening. It is something we didn’t do.

“We looked far to easy to play against and that can sometimes happen. Too many players were off their game, but it’s important they learn from it and grow as players.”

The Sky Blues found themselves 1-0 down with just five minutes on the clock when striker Karlan Ahearne-Grant pounced on a mistake before firing home a low shot.

George Thomas came within inches of bagging an equaliser but Jack McBean’s ball across the face of goal was just ahead of the young Welsh striker.

Joshua Umerah hit the crossbar for the hosts but a second goal came on 22 minutes thanks to Mikhail Kennedy and Ahearne-Grant scored his brace seven minutes later following an illegal pass back by Ryan Haynes.

Thomas kept City’s hopes of staying in the match alive shortly after the half-hour mark when his quick feet set up a shooting chance which the 19-year dispatched from 12 yards out.

But Regan Charles-Cook, brother of City goalkeeper Reice, put the Addickes 4-1 up at half-time after racing clear before slotting the ball past Corey Addai.

An own goal by Dion Kelly-Evans ten minutes after the break rubbed salt into the wound and just one minutes later a long range effort from Josh Umerah made it 6-1 before Reeco Hackett-Fairchild scored a seventh shortly before the hour mark.

There was to be a small consolation for the visitors as Devon Kelly-Evans converted a cross in injury-time but it was an afternoon to forget for City’s young hopefuls.

“Looking back at their goals I would probably say four or five are avoidable from our point of view and that is just not good enough if we want to compete in games,” Eaden added.

“I think our ball retention could have been a lot better because if you give possession away in dangerous areas you can be countered and punished. The honest truth is we looked off the pace.”