Charlton 0-1 Lewes
Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 12:28PM GMT, Sunday, 17 November 2013
A late, controversial refereeing decision denied the Charlton women’s team for the second consecutive match as they slipped to a 1-0 League Cup defeat to Lewes Ladies at the Dripping Pan on Sunday.
A game the Addicks dominated from start to finish looked like fizzling out into a goalless draw, thanks largely to an inspired performance from Lewes goalkeeper Michelle Beazley.
The experienced stopper, who spent a brief spell in south-east London, made a plethora of fine saves to deny the visitors during the course of the first 80 minutes.
But, with time running out, Lewes, who looked dangerous on the break, launched a counter attack, with the ball landing at the feet of striker Catherine O’Hagan.
The number 10, though, looked to have been offside – a view also taken by the linesman, who raised his flag swiftly but was not seen by the referee. Addicks keeper Megen Lynch rushed out and was chipped before the ref noticed the linesman’s flag.
However, after a brief consultation the man in the middle decided to overrule his fellow official and give a goal that sees Lewes progress from the three-team group into the quarter finals.
The first half was, admittedly, quieter, with few real chances, although Charlton still could easily gone into the interval with a lead – as has so often been the case this term.
Captain Jenny Newman shot wide across goal early on before Lynch launched a long ball forward, over the defence, which Sam Pittuck latched onto but could only shoot just wide.
A break for the hosts with 16 minutes played saw Lynch beaten to the ball at the edge of her box and Naomi Cole’s shot looked destined for the goal but defender Jordan Butler did brilliantly to clear off the line. The saving clearance came at a cost, though, as the centre half limped off after aggravating an old knee injury.
Another gilt-edged chance for the Addicks saw winger Kit Graham wriggle free of her marker deep in the penalty area but her thunderous strike cannoned back off the crossbar.
A couple more chances in the half saw Rosie Paye head a Charley Clifford corner wide and Emma Harrison fail to test Beazley with two efforts.
The second period was much busier, with Beazley in the home goal the saviour for her side many times.
First, Graham again found space in the penalty area and curled a shot towards the far post but the keeper got down to parry the ball away and out of harm’s way.
She then saved a 35-yard piledriver from Bennett before Clifford curled wide and a Pittuck cross sailed narrowly over the bar.
Yet another Bennett long-range drive rained in but found itself flying the wrong side of the woodwork, while the midfielder did her share of defensive work by chasing Cole back and putting her off stride as she was about to pull the trigger.
Some great build-up play saw substitute Alice Singyard cross for Clifford to head down to Newman, but the skipper could only toe-poke just wide.
Another Newman toe-poke in a similar position was once again saved by Beazley and Pittuck’s follow up was well blocked before Lewes struck the final blow, and Charlton couldn’t get the equaliser they deserved.
The Addicks will now have to beat Portsmouth next month at Sporting Club Thamesmead and hope that is enough to sneak them a best-runner-up spot.
Charlton: Lynch, Houlihan, Flack, Paye, Butler (Singyard 16), Bennett, Clifford, Graham, Harrison, Newman, Pittuck. Subs (not used): Hyland, Cole.