Charlton 1-1 Portsmouth Res
Report by Gemma Shepherd
Page last updated at 10:34AM UTC, Monday, 18 November 2013
The Reserves dominated possession but failed to convert their chances and take the 3 points they deserved
The two teams had met previously on the opening day of the season where the Addicks had run out 6-0 winners but a rejuvenated Pompey proved to be a completely different proposition this time around.
Although Charlton dominated possession and created a plethora of chances they were frustrated by their opponents, particularly their goalkeeper who was in fine form.
Their profligacy in front of goal was almost punished when they were dealt what they thought was the proverbial sucker punch late in the second half, but Clare Rogers managed to equalise to salvage a point for her team.
With excellent conditions and on a superb playing surface it was Portsmouth who were quickest out of the traps.
Starting with an attacking formation they were able to formulate some early chances which worried the Addicks defence.
A number of intricate through balls looked to have penetrated the Charlton rear guard but Alex Baker was quick off her line to snuff out the attacks.
The most dangerous of Portsmouth’s early chances fell to their number 10 who’s cross come shot flew just over Baker’s bar after a good run down the right channel.
After a nervous start, the Addicks were able to regroup and grab the game by the scruff of the neck.
Their first real chance fell to Hunter. An excellent through ball by Mulholland dissected the Pompey defence and found the striker but her first touch was too heavy.
Then Ibrahim was released down the left hand channel by an excellent Hardaker pass.The young winger got to the by line but her cross was met by the keeper.
It was then that the floodgates seemed to open with Charlton chances coming thick and fast.
Great play between Tye and Hardaker released Hunter whose shot from distance lacked enough fizz to really trouble the keeper.
Another great run by Ibrahim saw her cross find Rodger (who was making her reserve team debut after impressing for the development squad). The young striker evaded one defender but was unable to get her shot away and the ball was cleared.
It was then Tye’s turn to get in on the action. Her smart turn and snap shot curled just wide of the keeper’s left hand post.
Ibrahim was proving to be a constant menace down the left hand channel. Another superb run and cross found Rodger whose curling effort flew agonisingly wide of the upright.
The Addicks were now completely in control. Their crisp passing and dynamic movement was now coming to the fore. They were playing with real purpose and energy but were still finding the opening goal elusive.
Mulholland was the next player to try and open the scoring. Her teasing shot from the right hand side had the keeper scrambling but it just nestled on the roof of the net.
Then Tye had a go from outside the area but her shot was well saved.
The Addicks were knocking on the door but Portsmouth’s rearguard remained resolute despite the mounting pressure.
On the half hour mark, Charlton were awarded their first corner. The ball was swung in by Rogers and directed towards goal only for the effort to cannon off the back of the unfortunate Rodger who was positioned on the goal line.
Charlton were then awarded a free-kick after Hunter had been felled. Rogers spotted the ball around 40 yards from goal and feeling in confident mood after scoring two previous free kicks this season decided to take it on. She struck the ball cleanly only to see it fly just over the top of the bar.
Another two fantastic strikes followed. First, Hunter went close with a powerful drive just inside the 18 yard box then Tye unleashed a venomous strike which seemed to be goal bound if it wasn’t for a fantastic diving save.
Both sides went into the interval without registering a goal.
The second half began much in the same vein that the first had ended with Charlton peppering the Portsmouth goal.
Directly from the restart Charlton earned a corner through the persistence of Mulholland. Southgate’s delivery was met with a full blooded header from Hunter but again the keeper was there to frustrate the Addicks.
With 10 minutes of the second half gone, manager Spencer made a double substitution to try and break the deadlock. Hunter and Rodger were replaced with Yennaris and Searle respectively and Rogers was pushed into a more advanced role after deputising at centre back.
Before the substitutes had a chance to get to grips with the game, Charlton were given a sharp reminder that the game was still very much in the balance.
A long Portsmouth clearance flew deep into the Charlton half and found a Portsmouth striker in acres of space. Some indecision at the back left the striker one on one with Baker who committed herself to a tackle. Baker made contact with the ball but it cannoned back into the striker’s path. With the goal gaping the striker could only loft the ball over the bar.
Charlton knew now that they really needed to make their dominance count. Fran Tye took the initiative and made a surging run to the edge of the opponents’ box only to see her excellent shot skim the top of the crossbar.
On the 65 minute mark Charlton were dealt a killer blow. Charlton had committed a number of players forward to attack a corner. The corner was cleared downfield by the keeper who had found the feet of an unmarked striker. Charlton had not headed the warning of Portsmouth’s earlier attempt at goal and were made to pay as the striker slotted home to make it 1-0, very much against the run of play.
Manager Spencer now opted to go with three defenders at the back with Yennaris now finding herself in a midfield role. They threw everything bar the kitchen sink at Portsmouth in an attempt to get back on level terms. 10 minutes of extreme Charlton pressure with chances falling to Rogers, Mulholland and Searle ensued until, on 75 minutes the Portsmouth resistance was finally broken.
Fantastic build up play in midfield between Tye and Hardaker then found Searle whose cute through ball found the on rushing Rogers who deceived the keeper and calmly slotted the ball into the back of the net.
Charlton pushed hard for all 3 points. Another forceful drive by Tye saw her evade several challenges and deliver a low driven cross which was plucked off the toe of the well positioned Searle.
The remaining minutes of the game had Charlton hearts in mouths.
In an attempt to win the game Charlton had left themselves exposed and Portsmouth had once again found one of their players in space and bearing down on goal. As the Portsmouth attacker recoiled to fire, Southgate slid across with a perfectly timed challenge to foil her attempt but conceded a corner. Both teams knew this was the last action of the game. The ball was crossed in deep towards the far post and was met firmly by a Portsmouth defender. As her effort flew goal wards it looked as though she had won the game for her team but Southgate was again alert and well positioned on the post to block the ball on the goal line. The ball was cleared and the referee called time on proceedings.
The game finished 1-1 but the Charlton reserve team were definitely left feeling as though it was two points dropped after completely dominating the encounter.
Despite the disappointment, the draw sees the reserves maintain their unbeaten league run and their position at the top of the table.
A special mention must go out to Charlton Under 10 player Abbi O’Beirne who joined in with the pre-match warm-up and led the team out today. Thank you for your support Abbi!
Line up:- Baker, Southgate, Rogers, Richards, Shields, Mulholland, Tye, Hardaker, Ibrahim, Rodger (Searle 55mins) and Hunter (Yennaris 55mins).
Subs not used: Barnett