Charlton Athletic Football Club Women
Charlton 1-0 Portsmouth
Charlton 1-0 Portsmouth
Report by Sue Prior
Page last updated at 8:35AM UTC, Sunday, 03 April 2011
Gemma makes Portsmouth pay the penalty as the Addicks move up to second spot in the league

The Addicks picked up three precious league points as they avenged their 1-0 league defeat against Pompey earlier in the season and continued their run of good results that has put them at the heart of the promotion battle.

With Charley Clifford away on England U19 duty and Ellie Bailes ruled out following her head injury sustained at Colchester last Sunday Technical Director Paul Mortimer had to make two changes to his starting line-up. Becky Duggan returned at the heart of the defence, having missed the last three games with a back injury, and Francesca Ali came into midfield.

Portsmouth started strongly and an early right-wing cross from Lucy Quinn was defelcted for a corner. From the resulting flag-kick a header from a Pompey player crashed against the Addicks crossbar.

After a tentative start Charlton began to settle and Gemma Bryan set up Ali who shot over the target from the edge of the area.

Stef Simmons then lost possession to Quinn and the Addicks were again saved by the woodwork as the wingers cross hit the inside of the far post before being cleared.

Quinn was a constant threat down the right-wing and another of her crosses was just too high for striker Gemma Hillier to connect with.

Ali then pounced on a weak clearance sending a first time volley flashing narrowly wide.

The Addicks defence were then caught napping as Hillier latched onto through ball and with only keeper Megen Lynch to beat she lobbed the ball over the bar.

Fliss Gibbons then met a cross from Gemma Bryan sending her header wide before former Addick Justine Lorton sent a free-kick wide for Pompey.

After 36 minutes Mortimer was forced to re-shuffle his team as centre-back Megan Chandler limped off with a hamstring injury to be replaced by Pam McRoberts.

The last few minutes of the half saw the Addicks push forward and Grace Coombs had a shot blocked and although Kim Dixson picked up the rebound she was unable to get enough power in her shot to trouble Pompey keeper Louise Worsfold.

Shortly after a 30 yard strike from Bryan drifted wide of a target to complete a goal-less first half.

Portsmouth started the second half strongly and Addicks keeper Lynch did well to claim a high ball from Rosie Bidder from under her crossbar. Shortly after Lynch confidently claimed a teasing cross from Hillier.

As the half progressed Charlton came into the game more and more. Ali won possession and set up Bryan only for the striker to fire wide.

Fliss Gibbons then burst through the home defence only to blast the ball over and minutes later the young winger sent a long range effort over the target.

Pompey hit back and Lorton threaded the ball through to Hillier only for Lynch to deny the forward with a superb save with her feet.

On 73 minutes the Addicks made the break through as an excellent cross from right-back Pam McRoberts was handled by the Portsmouth centre-half under pressure from Bryan. The Addicks striker made no mistake from the penalty spot as she fired home her 14th league goal of the season.

In the closing minutes a strong run from Bryan set up Simmons whose first time snapshot flew over the bar.

A nail biting last few minutes saw the Addicks hang on to their slender lead for what could be a very important victory.

Line Up:- Lynch, Flack, Simmons, Dixson, Duggan, Chandler (McRoberts 36mins), Newman (Alden 55mins), Coombs, Gibbons, Bryan, Ali. 

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