Charlton 1-3 Tottenham Hotspur (Ryman Cup Final)
Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 11:45PM BST, Thursday, 06 April 2017
First team coach Riteesh Mishra says there were enough positives to take from the Charlton womenís teamís 3-1 Ryman Womenís Cup final defeat to Tottenham Hotspur last night, as his side face the prospect of three more matches against the North Londoners.
Mishra says he could feel his players “hurting” at the final whistle and took responsibility for the loss, but admitted that Spurs were the better side over the 90 minutes. “Spurs have proven throughout the season that they are a team at the top of their game,” he explained.
“We are not at the same stage in our progression; with all the changes at the club and challenges the players have had to deal with in the first half of the season, we are very much a work in progress and still in a development phase.
“We know that and that’s why we go through games with a bit of inconsistency like yesterday – being good for 25-30 minutes, then dropping a level before picking it back up.”
Spurs took the lead after a quarter of an hour through Bianca Baptiste but the Addicks hit back immediately, with Avilla Bergin poking past Megen Lynch after latching onto a peach of a through ball from Katie Bottom.
Despite it being a tight contest, Spurs put the tie to bed with quickfire strikes shortly after the half an hour mark through Wendy Martin and Kelley Blanchflower to complete the scoring on the night.
It could have been a different story, though, had Gemma Shepherd’s well struck curler dipped a couple of inches lower and under the crossbar, instead of clipping the top of the woodwork.
There was plenty of encouragement for Mishra, which he hopes his side will take into the rest of the season as they prepare for two more crunch finals in the Capital and FAWPL cups.
“We started well, which is what I asked of the players and until they scored their second and third in quick succession I think we were on top,” he continued. “We had a few early chances and moments and with more ruthlessness and quality in the end product I think we could have scored a couple whilst on top.
“The second half also showed me that the girls have a bit of character and fight. We tried to take the game to them and that left us exposed at times, but defensively in the second half we did well to stay in the game.
“We certainly proved we can compete with them and be better than them, but against good teams we have to be able to bounce back from mistakes or goals and not let this change our mindset. We have to build on this and make sure we go again in our next battle.
“I can’t fault the efforts of the players or their desire to win the game, but that alone needs to be couple with a consistent performance for 90 minutes.”
Mishra is still looking forward to the next campaign and wants his players to stake their claims for starting places for both the cup finals and further down the road during the rest of the season.
“My focus now is threefold: to win all remaining league games and make sure we finish as high as we can; to try and win the remaining cups; and plan for next season.
“I really think we’ve shown this calendar year that we are not far off ad I will be making sure, along with the rest of the staff, that come pre-season we have everything in place to be on the front foot on and off the pitch to start as we’ve ended this year.