Charlton 0-2 Portsmouth
Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 7:06PM BST, Sunday, 04 May 2014
The Charlton women’s team were defeated 2-0 to Portsmouth in their penultimate FA Women’s Premier League South fixture at Privett Park on Sunday.
The Addicks were once again boasting a number of changes in their side – four from the team that beat QPR in the Capital Cup final the weekend previous. Grace Coombs returned from injury, while Stef Simmons, Katie Hardaker and Charley Clifford were recalled top the starting line up.
Despite an improved first half performance from Stuart Weston’s side, a Coombs own goal saw Pompey lead at half time and, with the visitors pushing for an equaliser late on, Gemma Hillier put the game to bed in injury time.
The home side had the ball in the net early on in the first period, after Charlton were caught napping by a short corner. Molly Clark’s centre was met by Gemma Simmonds’ head but her celebrations were cut short by a raised offside flag.
Shortly after, with the south-east Londoners still trying to find their rhythm, Hillier shot wide across Megen Lynch’s goal after latching onto a sloppy defensive pass.
Charlton’s first opportunity came on the counter attack when Kit Graham, exchanged passes with Sam Pittuck but the youngster’s shot was firmly pushed behind by keeper Sadie Blakeley.From the resulting Clifford corner, Blakeley spilled but PHSC Player of the Match Hardaker’s effort on the turn was saved.
Blakeley was called upon to keep the scores level again when Graham used her body well to turn her defender and attempt a curled shot, which was saved.
With five minutes of the half remaining, Portsmouth broke the deadlock, much to the consternation of the travelling Charlton support.
A seemingly legitimate tackle from skipper Katie Flack was penalised by the ref and the free kick rebounded off the wall and to the right of the penalty area.
Hardaker tried to clear but her boot collided with a Pompey player’s and the ball fell to Ellie Bloomfield, whose cross-shot was diverted in off defender Coombs.
There was time for one last first half chance for the away side but Pittuck’s header from a Graham cross was easily held by Blakeley.
The second half was an even affair, with the Addicks pressing for parity and Pompey looking dangerous on the counter. Simmonds poked one effort wide early on, while Charlton’s best chance fell to their captain.
A Coombs free kick into the area saw Flack challenge, and beat, keeper Blakeley to the ball but it sailed agonisingly wide of the upright.
A couple of late substitutions for Charlton yielded little and the game was killed off seconds before the final whistle when Hillier latched onto a ball over the top and lobbed the advancing Lynch.
The result means Charlton sit in fifth place, three points and ten goals behind Pompey above them and three points and six goals above Lewes below them, with one game of the season remaining.
Charlton: Lynch, Southgate, Simmons, Flack, Coombs, Clifford, Rogers (Hyland 69), Hardaker (Ibrahim 87), Harrison, Graham, Pittuck. Subs (not used): Baker, Paye.