Charlton Athletic Football Club Women
Charlton 1-0 Queens Park Rangers
Charlton 1-0 Queens Park Rangers
Report by Sue Prior
Page last updated at 12:26PM BST, Wednesday, 27 April 2011
The Charlton Women’s team secured their return to the Premier League National Division and all but wrapped the Southern Division title up with a 1-0 victory over Queens Park Rangers on Tuesday evening.

Report by David Brenchley

Striker Gemma Bryan’s penalty after 47 minutes was enough to see the Addicks over the line and, unless Cardiff can improve their goal difference by 17 in their last two games, win them the league.

After a loss against Cardiff on Sunday, the game was slightly nervy but it always looked there for Charlton to win and it was the impressive Fliss Gibbons who won the spot kick for Bryan to score.

Grace Coombs had an early effort before QPR’s Beth Curtis and Carla Williams were unlucky not to break the deadlock.

Bryan then should have opened the scoring from Gibbons’ pull back but her shot was well saved by goalkeeper Emily Bourne before a good Gibbons header from Charley Clifford’s corner was also saved.

Bryan then hit the side netting after a strong run down the left and the powerful striker made Bourne work yet again from range.

A quick corner almost caught the Hoops napping but Jenny Newman could not quite get enough on Stef Simmons’ tantalising centre to turn it into the net.

Clifford had two superb shots go close either side of the break; one after 30 minutes that went over and a volley in the second period that flew inches wide of the post.

After a goalless first half, the Addicks looked to take the game away from their opponents as soon as possible and that chance came just two minutes into the half.

Gibbons headed the ball down in the direction of Bryan and Nav Boparai then clumsily jumped into the winger and conceded a soft penalty that Bryan did not quite connect with. The ball rolled under the dive of the keeper and the celebration was one of relief more than anything.

The Charlton pressure was kept up until around the 80th minute; Dixson went close with a volley over the bar, Coombs directed a header just wide and Bryan’s long range effort almost looped in.

Cherelle Albert had a great chance to spoil the Addicks’ party but could not connect with a good cross and the hosts managed to hold out for a famous victory.

After being drenched in champagne after the game, skipper Katie Flack said: “I am absolutely chuffed. The main aim all season was to get promoted and we all dug in and got the result we wanted.

“We put pressure on ourselves tonight. We knew we had to get a result, we had to be patient and when the goal came we sat back, kept possession and killed the game off.”

It was fitting that the goal that sealed promotion came from the boot of Bryan, whose 19 league goals have been instrumental in the campaign.

The league’s top goalscorer said: “It was a relief to see it go in. I felt confident taking it and I didn’t think I was going to miss but I just scuffed the ball. The pitch wasn’t the best but it went in and we got the goal.

“I was making a lot of runs in the first half and the girls were really trying to get the killer pass in but it never came. QPR stuck at it, were a decent team and battled right to the end.”

Technical Director Paul Mortimer, who has been championing his side’s promotion credentials throughout the season, was also a happy man.

“It was very nervy,” he said, “and it is more relief that it is over because we made it so tough for ourselves but the girls played some lovely football in what was a real pressurised situation.

“I always believed the goal would come. I said to the girls at half time ‘it might come in the 93rd minute or it might come in the first five minutes of the half. Just make sure you are ready to take the chance when it comes.”

Charlton Team:- Lynch, Flack, Simmons, Dixson, Ali, Duggan, Newman, Coombs, Gibbons, Bryan, Clifford
Subs not used: McRoberts, Bailes, Sherwood, Goldsmith, Ejupi

To see league table click onto

To see photos from the game & celebrations click onto

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