Charlton 1-2 Portsmouth
Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 10:59PM BST, Sunday, 21 September 2014
A 20-yard Lucy Quinn volley and a superb performance from goalkeeper Sadie Blakely denied the Charlton women’s team on Sunday, as they went down to a 2-1 loss to Portsmouth.
All three goals came in the first half, with a Tiff Taylor cross putting Pompey a goal up early on before Sam Pittuck equalised three minutes before half time with a thunderbolt of her own.
However, the prolific Quinn struck in first half injury time to condemn the Addicks to back-to-back defeats, with Blakely pulling off a number of saves to deny the visitors.
With the FA Women’s Premier League South’s top goalscorer returning, Stuart Weston shuffled his pack following a 5-2 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur last time out.
Kristina Manktelow was also restored to the starting line up, while Olivia Cole and Megan Mulholland were called up from the reserve team, both coming off the bench.
Both sides traded blows early on; Graham headed a Stef Simmons free kick just over and Grace Coombs had to be alert to clear a Quinn set piece.
The deadlock was broken just 11 minutes into the tie, Taylor sending a high cross goalwards that beat keeper Megen Lynch’s attempt at a save. The Charlton keeper looked like she was being fouled, with a Portsmouth attacker challenging but the referee deemed it legal and awarded the goal.
The away side tried to get straight back to parity and Gemma Shepherd headed a Coombs free kick goalwards but was thwarted by Blakely. The same pair combined shortly after to give Shepherd a one-on-one chance but the striker scuffed her attempt well wide.
The hosts could have been out of sight, though, within the first 45 minutes, spurning a number of guilt-edged chances. A Gemma Hillier cross was met by the usually clinical Charley Wilson’s head, unmarked, but the ball flew wide. Hillier then set the ball back for Quinn, also unmarked, but her deft effort had the same outcome.
Charlton then missed two decent opportunities through Shepherd and Pittuck with time running out in the first period.
The equaliser came just before half time and out of nothing. The ball dropped to Pittuck, who was returning from injury, 25 yards out and her first time volley nestled in the top corner.
With both teams looking certain to be going into the break on level terms, disaster struck in stoppage time when Pittuck did well to head a corner clear but the ball fell to Quinn just outside the penalty area. The winger was afforded too much time and her volley was too powerful for Lynch to keep out.
Charlton seized the initiative after the interval, as they looked for a way back into the game, but the chances they did create were, by and large, saved by Blakely.
The best of the lot came 10 minutes into the second half when an excellent through ball from Shepherd found Graham on the edge of the box. The young midfielder caught the ball sweetly with it dropping over her head and the volley looked destined for the top corner but Blakely somehow stuck a hand out and diverted it over with her fingertips.
The final chance of the game fell, yet again, to Shepherd courtesy of a Manktelow through ball but the forward could only guide the ball wide and Pompey were able to take the ball into the corner to see out the final couple of minutes and move six points ahead of Charlton.
Charlton: Lynch, Southgate, Kristina Manktelow, Flack, Coombs, Clifford, Pittuck, Graham (Cole 76mins), Howlett (Harrison 72mins), Simmons (Mulholland 68mins), Shepherd. Sub (not used): Paye.