Report by Sue Prior
Page last updated at 6:46AM UTC, Sunday, 24 April 2011
The Charlton Womenís teamís run of seven straight wins was brought to a halt by Cardiff City on Sunday at Bayliss Avenue as the Welsh team came from behind to pick up a 2-1 victory.
Report by David Brenchley
Winger Fliss Gibbons pounced on the loose ball from a corner to poke the Addicks ahead after 16 minutes but two very good finishes pegged the hosts back.
First Sophie Ingle volleyed one home from 30 yards out after 24 minutes and Natasha Harding grabbed the winner four minutes before half time.
Yet again Charlton looked nervy at the start of the game but they seemed to carry that throughout the match this time.
Gemma Bryan tried to carve out a couple of early chances but could not capitalise on a bad backpass before sending a long range drive into keeper Rhian Nokes’ grateful arms.
Charlton took the lead soon after when Charley Clifford’s corner was pushed by Noakes straight to Gibbons, who did not need a second invitation to put the ball into the roof of the Cardiff net.
The Blues were seemingly spurred into action after the opener and Megen Lynch, who was the Addicks’ best performer, did well to turn a Zoe Atkins effort wide of the post. There was little she could do about Cardiff’s equaliser, though, as Ingle collected the ball from a throw in and rifled home an outstanding volley.
It was a day of frustration for the usually unstoppable Bryan as she put a volley over the bar just past the half hour mark but, 10 minutes later, the league leaders’ task became even tougher.
Some poor play at the back saw a Cardiff player intercept a pass across field and play the ball to the right where Harding’s shot flew across Lynch and settled in the far corner of the net.
After the interval it was all Charlton but, try as they might, they just could not grab an equaliser. Bryan, Gibbons and Jenny Newman did their best on the wings but Cardiff almost looked more likely to score on the counter attack. Indeed, they would have done just that if it was not for Lynch making a superb double save, first from Danielle Broadhurst and then an even better one from Ingle.
Centre back Megan Chandler was stretchered off with a suspected twisted knee and, in the eight or so added minutes the Addicks pressured even more.
Stef Simmons and Gibbons did all they could on the left wing to whip in some crosses, one of which substitute Pam McRoberts was inches away from connecting with, but all to no avail.
Technical Director Paul Mortimer revealed he was angry with his side’s performance, saying: “I am not disappointed, I am angry because they should have been professional enough to see this off and they weren’t.
“I sensed too many of them strolling about like they had cracked it beforehand and trying to snap them out of it was difficult. They have to learn.
“In fairness to Cardiff, they came and played well. They stuck their foot in when too many of our girls were whimpering about tackles instead of looking after themselves and sticking their foot in.”
“As good as we have been over the last four or five weeks, that is as poor as we have performed from back to front. Megen made one or two errors but she kept us in the game and she hasn’t had to do that for a while.”
Charlton: Lynch, Flack, Simmons, Dixson, Ali (McRoberts 80), Chandler (Sherwood 85), Newman (Bailes 64), Coombs, Gibbons, Bryan, Clifford.