Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 9:24PM BST, Friday, 31 August 2012
The Charlton women’s team travel to Chatham Town FC to face Gillingham in their opening FA Women’s Premier League Cup match this Sunday (KO:2pm) hoping to gain their first competitive win of the season.
And attacker Gemma Shepherd hopes she does not participate in many more games like the Addicks’ last encounter, a 4-4 draw with Manchester City.
After Charlton went two goals up last weekend against the newly-promoted side, the Citizens completed a dramatic comeback, going 3-2 up with eight minutes remaining.
The drama was not over there, though, as Shepherd won a penalty in stoppage time to equalise before the visitors hit straight back to lead 4-3.
With just 30 seconds remaining, though, winger Courteney Gibson crossed for Shepherd to knock the ball past the goalkeeper and rescue Charlton’s first point of the campaign.
Shepherd said: “It was a good advert for the game. Not necessarily defending-wise but certainly in terms of excitement. I hope not to be involved in many more like that though.
“At 2-1 [up] I thought it was going to be a really hard slog. It felt like a tiny bit of a cushion but I knew they were dangerous so at no point did anyone think we were out of the woods.
“A few players had to drag the mood up a little bit because it is so demoralising to have a two goal lead and to get pegged back and be on the back foot. We showed a good deal of character. It was difficult and it’s very easy to get your heads down but that attitude shone through.”
Shepherd started the game as the lone striker in the absence of Gemma Bryan but after Megan Chandler was injured early on the former West Ham player dropped into midfield behind Ellie Stenning, which is her favourite position.
Playing there allowed her more time to get on the ball and she ended up setting Gibson up for the second goal and grabbing the two equalisers for Charlton in injury time.
On her brace of goals, she added: “I had a toe poked effort saved then tried to chip it in from the floor.
“It was blatant handball from my perspective and it was one of those that had to go in. I have taken penalties for my previous team so I felt confident taking in.
“It was a bit of an intuitive one because I saw the keeper slightly shift her weight to her right so I thought she thought I was going to slide the ball in so that’s why I chipped it over her.
“I thought she wasn’t going to be able to shift her weight back across and luckily I managed to do that and turned to the referee and said ‘surely you have to blow up now’.
“Luckily he said there was only about 20 seconds left. I think it was one of those games where everyone wanted the final whistle.”