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Benson strike is little consolation

Posted on: Tue 22 Nov 2011

Gary Haines reports

Paul Benson headed a consolation in a private friendly defeat for a CAFC XI against a strong Tottenham Hotspur outfit on Tuesday afternoon.

The striker headed home in the first half, but star-studded Spurs prevailed 6-1 as former Addicks youngster Jermain Defoe netted five times.

Defoe was joined in the home line-up by the likes of Steven Pienaar, William Gallas, Sebastien Bassong, Giovani Dos Santos and Jake Livermore, while the Addicks pitched in Stuart Parnaby, on trial from Birmingham City, at right-back.

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There were also playing comebaks at Spurs Lodge for an out-of-contract duo with rich Addicks connections, in the shape of Jonathan Fortune and Kelly Youga - and there was also a return to action for striker Tosan Popo in the second half.

John Sullivan was between the posts for the visitors, with Gary Doherty and Yado Mambo in the centre of defence and Cedric Evina at left-back.

Ruben Bover Izquierdo, Bradley Pritchard, Freddie Warren and Ben Davisson made up the midfield, with Benson and Michael Smith up front.

The hosts were 3-1 ahead at the break, with Benson on target for the Addicks, heading in after Doherty had nodded on a free-kick from Bover.

Defoe, who played 21 minutes in Tottenham's Premier League home win against Aston Villa the previous evening, continued on the goal trail in the second period.

Despite the scoreline, there was the welcome return to action for Fortune and Youga, who have been completing their recoveries from their respective Achilles and knee injuries at Sparrows Lane.

Popo also completed his first 45 minutes since picking up a knee injury in late September after replacing Smith at the interval.

The striker, who made his first-team debut in the Carling Cup clash against Preston North End at The Valley earlier this season, spent his 19th birthday in hospital after suffering cartilage meniscus damage to his left knee during a training session.

Addicks first-team coach Damian Matthew

Addicks coach Damian Matthew noted: "As much as no one likes to lose, you have to give credit to the quality and attitude of Tottenham, who fielded a very strong side.

"Their players' quality and their honesty should be commended, and Jermain Defoe's attitude was spot on.

"In a humbling experience like that, you have to take the positives and the positives are that our younger professionals were taught a very harsh lesson at what they have to aspire to.

"As a club, we are going places as well, and this was a good education as to what it's like at the top level."

Charlton: Sullivan (Pope 70); Parnaby (Mambo 65), Evina, Doherty, Mambo (Fortune 46); Bover (Youga 60), Pritchard, Warren, Davisson; Smith (Popo 46), Benson.

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