Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 7:11PM BST, Sunday, 02 October 2011
Arsenal proved too strong for the Charlton Women’s reserve team and, despite a plucky performance from the Addicks on Sunday, the Gunners ran out 3-1 winners.
Second half goals from Tricia Gould, Bianca Bragg and Lily Agg, either side of a superb Kris Manktelow effort, secured a win for the visitors.
Charlton started the game strongly and shaded the first period, with Stef Simmons going close on numerous occasions.
Her first came just five minutes into the game when the ball dropped to her feet 25 yards out but her first-time effort was straight at the goalkeeper.
Claire Goldsmith then saved the Addicks when she cleared a goalbound Agg shot off the line before Simmons came close to breaking the deadlock again.
Good pressure from Abigail Igbavboa and Sam Rowland paid off and allowed Simmons a clear run on goal but her one-on-one with Sophie Harris was well saved by the keeper.
She then went close yet again when her free kick flicked off the Arsenal wall and was collected by Harris, under pressure from Igbavboa.
The hosts kept plugging away and could have had something to show for their endeavour when Manktelow volleyed a Louise Duffy free kick agonisingly wide of the far post.
The Gunners were clearly motivated by their half time team talk and they took the lead with the first meaningful attack of the second half with 66 minutes on the clock.
Gould picked the ball up 25 yards out and, with no Charlton player closing her down and Sarah Smith off her line, she looked up and fired the ball into the roof of the net.
Charlton were level just seven minutes later when Charley Clifford found Manktelow in her own half and the winger went on a mazy run, passing four Arsenal defenders and sliding the ball past the onrushing Harris and into the corner of the net.
Arsenal finished strongly, though, and were back in front with 10 minutes of the game remaining when Bragg turned home an Agg cross and the game was won five minutes later thanks to Agg.
There were a few stoppages in the game, most notably when Clifford got in the way of an Agg free kick and got a whack in the face from the ball for her troubles, leading to 10 minutes injury time being played – in which time Manktelow wasted a one-on-one chance by shooting straight at Harris.
Manager Bill Long was pleased with his young side’s performance against the reigning reserve champions, saying: “From my perspective it was really encouraging.
“Young Kris took her goal fantastically well so I am happy – I am not happy we lost but looking at the bigger picture I can’t be too sad.
“We have such a young side and sometimes you are going to come up against a side with one or two more senior players and they are always going to be strong.
“There was a 10-15 minute spell when they stuck their foot in a little bit more and were more competitive and unfortunately we didn’t match them and it cost us two goals.”
Team: Smith, Duffy, Manning, Yennaris, Goldsmith, Chandler, Clifford (Patel 87mins), Simmons (Sherwood 65mins), Rowland (Onianwa 60mins), Manktelow, Igbavboa