Avilla - We want to finish as high as we can
Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 8:27PM BST, Wednesday, 29 March 2017
On reflection, it was a “solid point” away to one of the better teams in the FA Women’s Premier League (FAWPL) South. In the context of the reverse fixture in September, which ended with a 5-1 defeat in Thamesmead, a point against Coventry United shows just how far the Charlton women’s team has come since the turn of the year.
However, that still didn’t stop a feeling of disappointment they could not hold out those minutes longer to pick up what would have been a valuable victory at Coleshill Town FC on Sunday.
An 89th minute Jade Brook leveller cancelled out a lead Charlton had held since the 12th minute and worked tirelessly to preserve until the dying embers of the game.
That feeling of disappointment was different to their previous 1-0 loss to FAWPL South leaders Tottenham, as that was performance-related disappointment. This time, like goalscorer Avilla Bergin points out, “we were all pretty satisfied with the performance – we just would have preferred the three points”.
Scant consolation for the Northern Ireland winger, either. She admits she has not quite hit the goalscoring heights she would have liked in her debut season in South East London, troubling the scoresheet just thrice in the league.
“I maybe haven’t got as many goals as I would have liked this season so all the more sweeter to get the one today for the team,” she reflected after the match, adding: “It would have been a bit better if we had got the three points because of it but [it was] a good, solid point away to a tricky team.”
She continued: “We’ve had quite a lot of time to prepare for this one because we didn’t have a game last week so considering how prepared we were and how well we played I think that we deserved a little bit more than a point.
“It’s a solid point away from home. Obviously Coventry are around the top competing for the league this year so the fact that we are disappointed with not getting the three points is an indication of how ambitious this group of girls is and how much we want to strive until the end of the season to finish as high as we can as well as hopefully a couple of cup wins along the way.”
And those three cup finals, all coming against Bergin’s old club, Spurs, aren’t far away and the wide player says “everyone’s really excited”. The first of them comes next Wednesday in the Ryman Cup, a competition Bergin won with Spurs last term, beating Charlton in the final.
“It’s the reason we play for a big club like Charlton, to be in with a chance of winning silverware at the end of the season so to have reached all the finals that we have is a big achievement but it doesn’t really stand for anything unless we pick up a couple of those. No one likes coming second place, do they?”
Before that comes Portsmouth, who have already suffered two 4-2 and one 5-0 defeats at Thamesmead this campaign. Bergin and her team will see this as the perfect chance to bounce back to winning form and carry some momentum into the first final. And with Lewes up the weekend after before three on the bounce against the unbeaten North Londoners, to wins on the south coast would go down well.
“Like I said, we want to finish as high in this league as we can. We’re a little bit disappointed that we’re not in and around the top two right up until the end of the season but [the next two league games are] a good opportunity to apply ourselves and to get sharper again for those cup finals as well.”