Charlton 1-0 Portsmouth
Report by Chloe Pizzey
Page last updated at 10:05PM BST, Sunday, 15 April 2018
The Charlton women’s team maintained their push for promotion with a hard fought win against Portsmouth Ladies on Sunday afternoon.
A late Kit Graham strike sealed the crucial 1-0 victory for the Addicks, after a frustrating first half in which Charlton were unable to capitalise on good chances.
Katie Startup made a brilliant save 10 minute in as she bravely claimed the ball from Rachel Panting’s feet in a one-on-one situation.
Chances came for Charlton but nobody was able to find the net during a lacklustre first half.
Startup was called into action again as she made a fantastic save, tipping a fiercely hit shot onto the bar and out for a corner.
Charlton strung a few good passes together, with Graham linking up with Georgia Griffin whose shot was well saved by Portsmouth keeper Robyn Levett.
The Addicks continued to press and on the half hour mark Graham almost scored an outstanding goal as she skilfully turned two Pompey defenders but was unable to round Levett to take the lead.
With five minutes to go of the first half Startup again made a superb save. Sammy Quayle broke through the Charlton defence and looked certain to score, however the England U19 international was quick off her line and saved fantastically with her legs to keep the score level.
Charlton started the second half brightly and won a corner right after after kick off. The set piece came to nothing but Charlton’s attacking attitude looked positive from the start.
Two minutes into the second half Graham clashed heads with a Portsmouth player and had to receive treatment. Luckily she was fit to continue and minutes later was brave enough to go for another strong challenge in the air.
The chances came thick and fast as the Addicks dominated second half proceedings. A neat through ball from Charley Clifford just got away from Graham as she was about to let fly.
Minutes later Olivia Lukasewich`s cut back allowed Graham to strike from 30 yards out, but her shot was whiskers wide.
Pompey’s first meaningful attack of the second half didn’t come until the 64th minute as they countered, but Startup was there to safely collect the ball from a powerless header.
With 15 minutes to go Charlton were gifted a chance as a mix up in defence saw Graham through on goal, unselfishly she cut back to Clifford who then blasted over.
With 10 minutes remaining, Charlton were denied what looked like a clear penalty, as Graham was hacked down in the area.
Five minutes from time, though, Charlton finally took the lead as Lukasewich sprinted with the ball and threaded it through to Graham who neatly turned and fired home.
It was then a worrying few minutes for Charlton as Portsmouth set out for an equaliser, on the 89th minute the visitors were awarded a corner and Daisy McLachan hit the ball on the half volley, however Startup was there to ensure Charlton’s clean sheet.
The win means Charlton are just one point behind second placed Basildon and five points behind leaders Crystal Palace, however the Addicks have four games in hand over their South London rivals.
Charlton: Startup, Lukasewich, Coombs, Clifford, Churchill, Pittuck, Pepper, Graham, Bennett, Griffin (Lee 90), Carpanini (Nash 34). Subs (not used): Dixson, Gardner, Monaghan