Charlton 12-1 Keynsham Town
Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 10:57PM BST, Sunday, 24 August 2014
The Charlton women’s team made a sensational start to their FA Women’s Premier League South campaign, beating Keynsham Town 12-1 at the AJN Stadium on Sunday.
Amy Howlett, who signed on Friday from Ipswich Town, got the Addicks off to a flying start, netting just 24 seconds into her debut. That lead was short-lived, though, when Keynsham’s own debutant, and former Charlton player, Justine Lorton-Radburn equalised.
Parity did not last for long, however, and the visitors were 6-1 up at the interval through strikers Sam Pittuck and Gemma Shepherd (both two), and Kit Graham with one.
Those three went on to complete their hat-tricks after the break, Graham ending up with four, while Emma Harrison also got in on the act.
It was a long trip to the West Country for Charlton but they were out of the blocks quickly. Sam Pittuck chased a ball to the byline straight from kick off and crossed to Howlett, whose first touch in a competitive game for the Reds flew over goalkeeper Elena Pasare and in with less than half a minute gone.
The veteran Lorton-Radburn buried a similar strike 10 minutes later to give the hosts some encouragement but, in truth, Charlton could easily have ended up with 20-plus.
Keynsham were on level terms for just two minutes when Harrison turned her defender and laid the ball off to Pittuck, who struck a firm effort into the corner of the goal.
Graham saw a shot blocked but Howlett’s follow up sneaked just wide of the post before Shepherd made it 3-1 on 18 minutes when she closed in on Pasare and slotted past her one-on-one.
Graham was then unlucky to see her volley cannon back off the crossbar and moments later her lob was steered goalwards by Shepherd but the ball was hacked off the line.
The game was just shy of half an hour old when PHSC Player of the match Pittuck latched onto a Megen Lynch free kick to sidefoot home and make it 4-1.
Charlton captain Katie Flack may, on another day, have seen red for a tug of Pilar Garcia’s shirt on the edge of the box, giving away a free kick in a dangerous area. Lorton-Radburn’s set piece was comfortably dealt with by Lynch.
The ever-impressive Howlett, who also netted in two pre-season friendlies before signing, saw another lobbed effort fly narrowly wide.
Shepherd’s second goal of the game on 40 minutes was helped in by a Keynsham defender and Graham got her name on the scoresheet three minutes later, rounding Pasare and rolling home.
It took Charlton a full 25 minutes of the second half before they made it 7-1 and they needed right back Ruby Southgate to save an almost-certain Keynsham second with a perfectly timed sliding tackle to dispossess the advancing Garcia.
Howlett then set up both forwards for near misses: Pittuck’s a curler that went over before Shepherd was beaten to the ball by millimetres by Pasare.
Some great one-touch football saw Alice Singyard surge down the left flank but her cross was diverted just wide by Howlett.
Charlton went on to score five more in the final 15 minutes as Keynsham tired – some more impressive build-up play saw Graham pick out the gallivanting Pittuck at the far post with some great vision for seven on 71 minutes.
Graham bagged her second four minutes later before Harrison got in on the act, leaving the Keynsham defenders trailing in her wake and finishing a one-on-one chance on 80.
One minute later Shepherd’s shot was blocked by a defender and, with the ball seemingly destined to be cleared up by Pasare, Graham chased what looked a lost cause, got there before the custodian and slammed home.
There were two more goals to come in two minutes shortly before the final whistle, with Shepherd completing her hat-trick and Graham adding her fourth.
Charlton, who are now the early pacemakers, will want to take their momentum, which has seen them score 45 goals in six games including pre-season, into their game next week.
We return to Sporting Club Thamesmead to take on Swindon Town in the FA Women’s Premier League Cup qualifying round on Sunday 31 August at 2pm.
Charlton: Lynch, Southgate, Singyard (Simmons 63), Flack, Coombs (Paye 71), Clifford (Rogers 49), Howlett, Harrison, Graham, Shepherd, Pittuck.
Goalscorers: Howlett (1), Pittuck (12, 29, 71), Shepherd (18, 40, 86), Graham (43, 75, 81, 87), Harrison (80).
Keynsham Town: Pasare, Alexandru, Carter, Minall, Jenkins, Ziolek, Somaschini, Lorton-Radburn, Lapham, Garcia, Sabic. Subs: Brankin, Knight, Copelea.
Goalscorer: Lorton-Radburn (10).