Charlton 0-3 Cardiff City (League Cup)
Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 11:41AM BST, Sunday, 04 October 2015
The Charlton womenís teamís defence of the FA Womenís Premier League (FAWPL) Cup barely lasted half a match, as they went down to three first half goals against Cardiff City on Sunday.
Having been defeated in Wales a week previous in the FAWPL South, the Addicks got off to the worst possible start in the cup, with Cardiff striking with just six minutes played through right back Ffion Price.
Michelle Green and Kelly Aldridge then trebled their side’s advantage before the interval and, despite a better second half showing, it was already too late for the visitors.
Manager Jeremy Parsons showed one change from the side that defeated Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 midweek, with Sam Pittuck in for Jenny Newman. In order to accommodate, Stef Simmons was pushed forward to left wing, with Katie Flack switching to left back.
The early signs were promising for Charlton, as they worked hard to win the ball back from Cardiff’s kick off and Gemma Shepherd volleyed just over with 33 seconds on the clock.
However, Cardiff went straight up the other end and had a great chance, with Kerry Bartlett flicking the ball over Pittuck before dragging her shot wide of the target.
It didn’t take long for the home side to open the scoring, though, as a speculative cross from Ffion Price drifted goalwards and caught Megen Lynch off her line and put the Welsh side 1-0 up.
It could have been a heavier defeat for Charlton in the end, with Cardiff hitting the crossbar three times in the first half through long-range efforts from Chloe Lloyd, Hope Suominen and Laura Williams.
In between those attempts, though, they had doubled their lead, on 18 minutes, when Charlton failed to clear a corner and captain Green lobbed Lynch.
The visitors did hit back and had a few opportunities to pull a goal back, with Kim Dixson shooting wide and Shepherd over. An indirect Kit Graham free kick inside the area was charged down well by a Cardiff defender.
But those chances were few and far between for the holders, who struggled with their first touch and passing on what looked like a bobbly 3G surface.
And it was effectively game over 10 minutes before the break when a simple through ball dissected the Charlton defence and gave Aldridge a one-on-one opportunity with Lynch that she never looked like passing up.
Charlton pushed to pull a crucial goal back before half time, with Simmons having a shot cleared off the line and Graham being foiled by an excellent last-ditch challenge. Dixson then became the fourth person to strike the crossbar to ensure Cardiff’s clean sheet remained intact at the interval.
The away side were much improved in the second period, with Charley Clifford firing a free kick narrowly wide of the far post early on and Graham, after cutting onto her favoured left foot, seeing her curled effort pushed to safety by Cardiff custodian Laura O’Sullivan.
Despite a number of late chances, Charlton could not take them and, in the end, Cardiff should have had number four, when Lynch rushed out of her area to head clear but missed the ball completely, leaving Williams with an open goal. The winger, though, clearly didn’t realise how much time she had and hit it first time on the turn and it screwed wide of the post.
Newman had the final chance of the clash, having come on as a second-half substitute, but her cross evaded all and flew agonisingly wide of the far post.
Charlton will now look to bounce back with a match against struggling West Ham United, who currently sit second from bottom in the FAWPL South. The match takes place at Sporting Club Thamesmead at 2pm on Sunday 11 October.
Charlton: Lynch; Paye, Flack, Coombs, Pittuck (Baxter 67); Dixson, Clifford, Whinnett, Simmons (Wells 71); Shepherd, Graham (Newman 57).