Charlton 1-0 Reading U17's
Report by Sue Prior
Page last updated at 4:42PM UTC, Saturday, 31 March 2012
A first-half strike from Courteney Gibson proved to be the decider in a pulsating Female Development Programme fixture versus Reading at Coldharbour Sports Centre on Saturday
Charlton kicking up the slope in the first-half started strongly with Megan Mulholland and Megan Mansfield a constant threat on the flanks.
An early Jade Keogh shot was blocked by a defender. Shortly after Keogh again broke through the Royals defence and against her shot was blocked by a timely challenge.
Keogh then brought a fine save from the Reading keeper from point blank range and Kylie Manktelow pounced on the clearance only to see her goalbound strike cleared off the line.
Charlotte Long & Gemma Hyland battled well in midfield to gain possession. Hyland then threaded a ball through the Reading defence to pick out Courteney Gibson who outpaced her marker before sending a shot sizzling over the crossbar.
Rosie Paye & Chloe Shields were in commanding form at the heart of the Addicks defence shutting down the Reading attack, forcing them to feed on scraps and hurry their shots. Emily Symonds also did a fine job curtailing Readings threat down the right-flank.
Hyland forced the Reading keeper to make a useful low save before the visitors mounted a quick attack which was foiled by Addicks custodian Courtney Shanly bravely saving at a forwards feet.
On 36 minutes Bonnie Long played a superb ball out of defence to pick out Gibson who outpaced the defence before clinically finishing to give Charlton the lead.
The final action of the half saw Gibson force a corner which was cleared to Charlotte Long who sent a long range effort over the target.
In the early minutes of the second half Reading were awarded a dubious penalty after a Reading forward smashed the ball at Shields from close range which the referee adjudged to be handball. However Addicks keeper Shanly was up to the challenge and saved the Royals spot kick to maintain her teams lead.
A superb driving run from the halfway line from Charlotte Long saw the midfielder beat a couple of players only to see her 20 yard strike crash off the crossbar.
Charlotte Wakefield then played Holly Learmouth through only for the Royals keeper to make another fine save.
Reading looked a threat from corners and Shields did well to force a forward to shoot wide.
A measured right-wing cross from Gibson was then met by Wakefield who saw her shot brilliantly saved by the keeper.
Sophie Davis then latched on to a through ball, lobbing a shot over the advancing keeper and narrowly over the bar.
A Charlton free-kick was then met with a header from centre-back Paye which was saved by the keeper.
Reading then pushed forward and a hurried defensive clearance by the Addicks was superbly controlled by keeper Shanly on her goal-line & cleared.
Reading`s keeper then made a great double save, firstly foiling Keogh and then Izzy Hunter who latched on to the rebound.
With Reading tiring Gibson was a constant threat on the right flank and brought three outstanding saves from the Reading keeper.
The final action of the match saw Mansfield`s blistering pace take her clear of the Reading defence only to be foiled yet again by the player of the match, Readings keeper.
The match was a brilliant advert for the Female Development Programme. Both teams should be proud of their performance and the very high standard of football.
Charlton Squad:- Courtney Shanly, Bonnie Long, Rosie Paye, Chloe Shields, Emily Symonds, Charlotte Long, Kylie Manktelow, Gemma Hyland, Megan Mansfield, Megan Mulholland, Jade Keogh, Courteney Gibson, Holly Learmouth, Sophie Davis, Charlotte Wakefield, Izzy Hunter.
Charlton played 3 other matches against Reading
The Under 15`s lost 4-2 with Beth Rodger netting a brace.
The Under 13`s won 2-1 with Temi Adeyemi netting a brace.
The U11`s drew 1-1 with Bea Hembrough getting Charlton`s goal. This was a great result for the U11`s who were heavily defeated in the fixture against Reading earlier this season.