Charlton 0-2 Brighton & Hove Albion
Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 2:35AM GMT, Monday, 07 December 2015
The Charlton women’s tea, surrendered to a 2-0 defeat against a fired-up Brighton and Hove Albion at the American Express Community Stadium on a wet Sunday afternoon.
The result, in front of 3,256 supporters, means the Seagulls jump above their opponents to the top of the FA Women’s Premier League South, albeit Charlton with a game in hand.
Manager Jeremy Parsons made just one change from the side that beat Queens Park Rangers last weekend, with Grace Coombs coming in for Ruby Southgate, who dropped to the bench.
But it was Brighton who set the tempo, driving purposely forward straight from kick off and seeing full back Sophie Perry send a shot well over from range within the first minute.
Charlton fired back immediately with Charley Clifford sliding in for a challenge to set Kim Dixson up, but the skipper’s attempted curling effort was simple enough for Faye Baker to hold.
Clifford stayed down for treatment after a tackle and, eventually, would be withdrawn seven minutes later, to be replaced by Ellie Baxter.
Charlton had another good opportunity as Amy Howlett broke down the left wing but Jenny Newman was inches away from connecting the cross and the danger was cleared.
From the ensuing Charlton throw, Brighton immediately won the ball back and set up a devastating counter attack ending in Sam Pittuck putting the ball behind for a corner as Charlotte Gurr advanced.
And the corner was headed home by the hosts’ captain Jay Blackie, with the ball looping over the diving Baker and in to give the Seagulls the lead with 10 minutes on the clock.
And they kept their pressure up for the remainder of the first half, with Charlton working hard to try and keep it a one-goal match until the interval.
Perry flashed one effort across goal and wide, while Baker was called upon to save from both Charley Boswell and Kate Natkiel.
Just after the half an hour mark, Perry cut inside Baxter and shot wide again, before Deanna Cooper and Natkiel sent shots flying well over.
The killer blow was struck two minutes into first half injury time when a through ball that dissected the heart of the Addicks’ defence and allowed Gurr a one-on-one attempt that she did not miss.
Charlton were improved after the break, with Coombs drilling a free kick wide and Newman seeing a shot that lacked the requisite power saved by Baker.
Their best chance of the game came when Kit Graham fed Nikita Whinnett out wide on the left side of the area but, after bearing down on goal, the Liverpool-born winger screwed her shot into the side netting.
Baker made two more excellent saves to keep the score down to two with a fingertip stop foiling Natkiel and a block preventing Boswell from getting on the scoresheet.
The final 20 or so minutes went by with few attempts, as Brighton saw the game out and claimed a 2-0 victory.
Charlton: Baker; Paye (Parsons 77), Flack, Pittuck (Southgate 64), Coombs; Dixson, Clifford (Baxter 10), Howlett, Whinnett; Graham, Newman. Sub (not used): Simmons.