Charlton 1-1 Portsmouth
Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 8:23PM BST, Sunday, 30 March 2014
A late Kylie Manktelow header ensured the Charlton women’s team ended March with an unbeaten record, securing a 1-1 draw with fourth-placed Portsmouth at Sporting Club Thamesmead on Sunday.
Manager Stuart Weston made just one change to the side that beat Tottenham on Wednesday, with Eliz Ibrahim replacing Alice Singyard on the wing.
But they made a poor start, conceding from Pompey’s first break on six minutes thanks to a volley from top scorer Lucy Quinn, who would later be carried off injured.
The Addicks pressed and pressured the visitors’ defence throughout the second half and got their just rewards when Manktelow headed Ruby Southgate’s excellent ball forward into the top corner.
Charlton were slow out of the blocks, with Portsmouth well on top for the first half an hour and, when Stef Simmons failed to adequately clear, the prolific Quinn volleyed over Megen Lynch.
Lynch then made a good save and Katie Flack, making her 100th appearance for the club, made an important block. Moments later defender Lauren Murphy headed just over from a corner as wave after wave of Pompey attack ensued.
Their dominance finally wavered when Quinn was injured after a good challenge from Simmons and Charlton grew into the contest.
A deep Simmons free kick found Grace Coombs unmarked at the far post but keeper Sadie Blakely made a smart stop while a shot from the ever-impressive Kit Graham was deflected just wide.
Simmons blocked a Gemma Simmonds effort late on before Graham had yet another shot blocked for a corner.
Flack was unlucky to see her header cannon back off the post early on in the second period and Francesca Tye blazed over from 10 yards out after the keeper had palmed Pittuck’s cross into her path.
A Sarah Kempson shot that was saved by Lynch was the closest Pompey came in normal time of the second half.
With time running out, right back Southgate picked the ball up around the halfway line and launched a ball into the area that was flicked over the stranded keeper and into the top corner by Manktelow.
Both sides had opportunities in what was a frantic, thrilling finale to the game but, in the end, the spoils were shared, with both sides leapfrogging Coventry City, who did not play.
Charlton: Lynch, Southgate, Simmons, Flack, Coombs, Clifford, Tye, Graham, Harrison (Cole 88), Ibrahim (Hardaker 62), Pittuck (Manktelow 77). Subs (not used): Baker, Houlihan.