Charlton 1-2 Brighton Res
Report by Warren Clarke
Page last updated at 1:26PM UTC, Tuesday, 07 October 2014
The stage was set for a top of the table clash between hosts Brighton & Hove Albion LFC Reserves and league leaders Charlton Athletic WFC Reserves at the Whitdean stadium.
It was the blues who settled first stringing together some flowing movements but were unable to break down a resilient Charlton.
Brighton tried to attack down the left flack and fashioned the best of their chances from crosses on this side but to no avail as centre back pairing Leigh Houlihan and Alice Singyard were in no mood to concede cleared each attempt with conviction. A tactical change saw the wingers switch sides and crosses came from the right side but keeper Alex Baker was equal to them with commanding catches.
The visitors began to find their groove stringing together some flowing passing moves of their own however were unable to produce an end product as the final ball was cut out. The reds best chances came from corners but were unable to convert and it was then that Brighton produced their best chance as they hit on the break but were denied when Baker rushed out to win a 50/50 but injured her knee in the process.
The half ended with both team failing to find the net.
The Addicks restarted the second half and within twelve seconds Brighton forced Alex into a save. The hosts then hit the crossbar as the Reds failed to close the Gulls midfielder as her powerful shot rattled the frame of the goal.
The game was tense and nervy as both teams probed for an opening working tirelessly it was the visitors that broke the dead lock on the 60th minute when Sharna Giordani and Francesca Tye combined to release Kylie Manktelow as her low drive crept past the outstretched keeper and nestled into the back of the net.
The joy was short lived as Brighton hit back on the 64th minute as a deflected cross from the right flank drifted in over Baker.
The host then snatched the lead on the 75th minute as Charlton were careless in possession lost the ball in the left attacking final third for the Gulls to launch a counter attack playing centrally for the striker to play a one-two with midfield collect the return ball a slot the ball past an onrushing Alex Baker.
Determined to get and equaliser Channin Smith was working beyond her means pressuring the back line with Tye in support but fatigue was setting in and The Reds created their two last chances of the game from corners but were unable to convert thus losing their first game of the season.
"I can not fault the effort and work rate of the team however we lacked the quality of decision making and execution at key moments and that`s why we are leaving empty handed. It`s a harsh lesson to learn but hopefully this will encourage the players to strive to improve" said Manager Warren Clarke.
Player of the Match - Katie Hardaker
Team: Baker, Hardaker, Singyard, Houlihan, Richards, Manktelow, Jenkings (68 mins) Monaghan, Chincharo (68mins) Rogers, Giordani, Tye, Stubbington, Smith (25mins)