Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 11:14AM BST, Saturday, 08 September 2012
Bill Long hopes the Charlton womenís teamís 4-1 League Cup win over Gillingham last weekend will give them renewed confidence going back into the league season.
The Addicks travel to Boldmere St Michael’s FC to take on Aston Villa on Sunday on the back of gaining their first win of the campaign against local rivals Gillingham.
And caretaker manager Long hopes that performance and result was a sign of more positive things to come after winning just one point from their opening two league games of the season.
He said: “It was a nice win. The girls played some really good football and we kept the ball well. It was nice in the changing room, the girls were all smiling, all happy and are pleased with the win.
“The win was fantastic and winning is a good habit to have and hopefully one win leads to another and we move on from there.
“Gemma Shepherd scored two cracking goals but saying that Kit and Ellie Stenning’s headers were very good and we could have had another two or three goals so very positive.
“We made a few little mistakes which you are going to at this time of the year – hopefully we can stop those and move on from here.”
One big positive from the early stages of the season has been the form of new signing Gemma Shepherd, who has four goals from three games, including a brace against the Gills.
Long was quick to praise her and, with Ellie Stenning grabbing a couple of goals in the last two matches, is looking forward to the return of striker Gemma Bryan to further bolster the strike force.
“Gemma [Shepherd] is a great finisher,” he added, “and hopefully she keeps that going all season. She can make goals out of nothing so hopefully when games are tight she can pop up and do that for us.
“Gemma [Bryan] came on for the last 20-25 minutes and her ankle looks good, hopefully there are no niggles. That is a good sign for the future, scoring four and having your centre forward back fit.”
Last season both sides were newly promoted to the National Division and Charlton were disappointed to have taken just one point off the West Midlanders.
After a 3-0 home loss, the Addicks dominated the away leg for the full 90 but conceded just 10 minutes into the tie before a last minute Cori Daniels header rescued a well-deserved point.
Long is hoping to break that run, saying: “I understand they are quite a physical, strong side so we have to compete.
“I know the results last season didn’t go as well as they should have against Villa so hopefully we can change that around and do something on the back of the win today.”