Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 7:18PM BST, Sunday, 25 March 2012
The Charlton women’s team surged into the Premier League Cup quarter finals with a 2-0 victory over Gillingham at Chatham Town on Sunday.
Kit Graham gave the Addicks a rather fortuitous first half lead before Fliss Gibbons doubled their advantage to help down the Gills for the second time in the competition.
Charlton made two changes from their 2-0 loss to Sunderland, with Courteney Gibson and Toni Alden returning for Emma Beckett and the unwell Sinead Boyer.
The first half was almost a non-event, bar a good atmosphere created by a number of Medway-based Addicks fans, and it took 18 minutes before the first decent chance was carved out by Gemma Bryan, whose shot was straight at Gillingham keeper Faye Baker.
The deadlock was broken shortly after, on 21 minutes, when a searching Charley Clifford cross was fumbled by Baker and Kit Graham was on hand to poke home.
The game was then stopped when centre back Jordan Butler went down with an injury and had to be taken off, to be replaced by Katie Flack.
A quick shuffle around from technical director Paul Mortimer paid off as Clifford, playing in an unfamiliar centre-half position, went on to impress and secure the PHSC plc Player of the Match award.
Butler’s injury is likely to be a worry for the Addicks, though, as her defensive partner Cori Daniels is also sidelined with a broken foot.
The second half was a little better, with the hosts starting brightly but never really troubling Addicks keeper Megen Lynch.
On the other hand Charlton did cause a few problems when they managed to get out of their own half, Bryan again shooting straight at Baker from an acute angle.
On 62 minutes, the game was all but over when Bryan took the ball to the byline and lifted the ball into the six uard box but just too high for Courteney Gibson to reach. Fliss Gibbons was on hand to guide the ball in, though, and give her side a two-goal lead.
Ellie Bailes then fashioned a good chance, poking the ball past her defender but her shot flew just wide of the far post. Bryan then did well to hold off the attentions of two defenders and turn but her shot was just too high.
Former Addicks midfielder Jay Blackie was then lucky to stay on the pitch after a late challenge on Bailes, which saw the England under 19 international taken off and end the day on crutches.
Gillingham’s closest chance came with 10 minutes to go when a Danielle Carlton free kick saw Lynch caught out of position but took a deflection from a Charlton player to take the ball wide of the far post.
The last chance of the game fell to Gibbons, when substitute Jade Keogh cleverly played her in but Baker stood up and made a good save to deny the winger.
Charlton: Lynch, Clifford, Alden, Butler (Flack 31), Bennett, Dixson, Bailes (Keogh 76), Graham (Beckett 59), Gibson, Gibbons, Bryan.