BY LOUIS MENDEZ
A young Charlton side fell to a narrow defeat at play-off chasing Swansea City – but boss Lee Bowyer says he was proud of his side’s display.
Yan Dhanda’s first-half goal was enough to seal a double over the Addicks for the Welsh outfit but it was not without a scare as the South Londoners – who started with four players under the age of 20 and lost Lyle Taylor to injury at half-time – pushed hard for a leveller in the second-period.
Josh Davison and Ben Dempsey, both 20, made their full league debuts at the Liberty Stadium, as Bowyer’s injury crisis continues to force his hand when picking his elevens.
19-year-olds Albie Morgan and Conor Gallagher both started the game as well, with Alfie Doughty (20) and James Vennings (19) both introduced from the bench
“I’m proud,” admitted the Charlton boss.
“I said to the players, just go out there you young lads and just grab the opportunity. I know you youngsters are going to give me everything you’ve got. I said that before the game and they didn’t disappoint. The experienced players guided them through it. I can’t ask for any more, they’ve given everything again.
“We created chances. Second-half, I thought we were the better side. On another day we probably score a couple and win the game. It just wouldn’t go in for us tonight but the most important thing is that they didn’t give in. Yes, I want to win every game. I don’t like losing. But when they give you what they’ve given there there’s nothing I can say apart from I’m proud of them. That’s the way I feel. They were a credit to the football club. We’ve got so many people out and they just keep going.
“It just wouldn’t fall for us. The keeper made a couple of good saves. It’s just one of those nights, it wouldn’t go our way.
“[Davison and Dempsey] did themselves proud. I said to them both that they should be proud of themselves. The way they handled the situation, I thought they were excellent. It’s a credit to our academy. Are they ready to play in the Championship? Probably not. That’s why they were on loan in non-league not that long ago. To come and do what they’ve done tonight and at other times – our academy has done a great job.”
PHOTOS: KYLE ANDREWS