Charlton 11-4 Billericay Town (Ryman Cup)
Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 10:28AM BST, Thursday, 22 October 2015
Hat tricks from Gemma Shepherd and Kit Graham ensured the Charlton women’s team made a successful start to its defence of the Ryman Women’s Cup, with an 11-4 win over Billericay Town.
There was also a brace from Charley Clifford and one apiece for Sam Pittuck, Amy Howlett and Nikita Whinnett, as the Addicks progressed – although not as comfortably as they would have liked.
The Addicks wasted no time in opening the scoring, with Pittuck, playing further forward than usual, feeding a superb ball through to Jenny Newman on the left flank. The winger cut inside and pulled back for Shepherd to slide home Charlton’s first with just nine minutes played.
However, their lead was short-lived as Billericay, who ply their trade two divisions below their opposition, hit back just five minutes later. A through ball caught out the Charlton defence and, although Megen Lynch got a hand to it, Paris Smith’s effort nestled in the corner of the net.
Charlton had plenty of chances to increase their lead throughout the first half, with Howlett screwing wide after an incisive Newman through ball and Shepherd shooting wide one-on-one.
The visitors’ second of the night came in, perhaps, slightly fortuitous style, with Clifford’s corner curling over the Billericay keeper and in, via a defender’s thigh on 23 minutes.
Newman had a few great opportunities to get on the scoresheet, both set up by Shepherd, but Billericay’s keeper Strauss saved one well and the other went wide of the target.
But two goals in as many minutes saw Charlton go into the interval 4-1 up, with both Pittuck and Clifford coolly slotting past Strauss.
The second half was a relentless affair, with 10 goals coming in all. Incredibly, the first two came from the hosts as they tried to make a contest of it. It was former West Ham striker Vicky Kinsman who claimed both, one a long-range strike, the other a header.
On the hour mark, though, manager Jeremy Parsons played his joker in the form of bringing Graham on for midfielder Charley Clifford. And the substitution paid instant dividends when the youngster picked the ball up to the left of the box, cut inside and unleashed a venomous strike into the bottom corner that gave Strauss little chance.
That was the start of an onslaught from the Addicks and, within the space of just seven minutes, they had gone from 4-3 up to winning 8-3. Shepherd grabbed her second of the game on 66 minutes, Howlett on 68 and sub Whinnett slammed in the goal of the game on 69.
With 15 minutes remaining Shepherd tapped home her hat trick after Strauss had saved Howlett’s initial shot and, five minutes later, Graham had her second, rounding the keeper and stabbing home.
Lucy Wyatt pulled yet another goal back for Billericay two minutes later, lobbing Lynch, but Graham wrapped up the scoring with her hat trick on 84 minutes.
The Addicks now face another trip to Essex in the next round to take on Harlow Town
Charlton: Lynch, Flack, Southgate (Simmons 70), Dixson, Paye, Coombs, Newman (Whinnett 54), Clifford (Graham 60), Pittuck, Shepherd, Howlett. Sub (not used): Parsons.