Charlton 0-2 Coventry City
Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 7:22PM UTC, Sunday, 30 October 2011
The Charlton Women’s team were beaten 2-0 by Coventry City, who move into top spot, at Bayliss Avenue on Sunday.
Goals from Jade Formaston and Courtney Sweetman-Kirk either side of the break gave the Sky Blues the win against an off-the-pace Charlton side.
Megen Lynch and Jordan Butler both took knocks last week so young goalkeeper Sarah Smith made her first team debut while new signing Cori Daniels was given a second debut in the centre of defence.
Both had good games but the absence of two important players showed as the visitors looked more determined, more physical and won almost every loose ball.
The Addicks could very well have been ahead after just three minutes when PHSC plc`s Player of the Match, Cori Daniels, headed an Emma Beckett corner straight at keeper Sue Wood, who held on well.
Gemma Bryan then played Fliss Gibbons through on goal but the winger’s shot was weak and no trouble at all for Wood.
Coventry set their stall out early to pepper debutant Smith with shots and Danielle Saulter was the first to test her but it was easy to gather in the end.
After just 17 minutes, though, that tactic paid off when Formaston picked the ball up with her back to goal 25 yards out. She was allowed to turn by her marker and looped the ball over Smith and into the net.
Charlton had the last say in the first half as Sinead Boyer’s volley went agonisingly close and Bryan shot into the side netting after a Beckett flick on.
Despite the hosts trailing, it was Coventry who started the second half brighter and they doubled their advantage after 54 minutes.
A corner into the six yard box found its way to Sweetman-Kirk who was allowed a free header and planted it just out of the reach of Smith.
Daniels had gone close just before that when her header was cleared off the line, possibly by a Coventry arm.
It was the Sky Blues who had the momentum and an audacious 30-yard free kick from Kerrie Manley was well tipped over by Smith while Emily Simpkins hit another long ranger over.
The final five minutes saw even more chances, as Sweetman-kirk was unlucky to see her long range effort strike the upright.
Charlton rallied in stoppage time, Gibbons’ cross was headed away just before Ellie Stenning could connect Bryan was through but a Coventry defender did well to get back and force the striker to shoot over, but it was too little too late.
Technical director Paul Mortimer was disappointed with his side’s lack of desire and physicality after two impressive wins before this week.
He said: “It was very frustrating. All that was poor about us was on show today- we didn’t compete, we didn’t pass it, our players didn’t want the ball and that was the biggest disappointment for me.
“People were doing things today that I couldn’t quite work out. We play a certain way, we keep the ball and I was surprised with some of the things I saw on the pitch today.
“I can’t say that they completely pressurised us off the pitch but they kept going, kept at it and they got their just desserts, whereas we just didn’t play.
“You have to ask yourself, ‘are we up for the physical battle’? The three teams we have lost to have been physical and we just haven’t fancied it. We are in for a long, tough season if we can’t compete.
Charlton: Smith, Boyer, Alden, Duggan, Daniels, Clifford, Beckett (Stenning 65), Dixson, Gibson (Ejupi 83), Gibbons, Bryan. Subs (not used): Lynch, Bennett, Newman.