Charlton 2-1 QPR
Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 9:06PM GMT, Sunday, 22 November 2015
Goals from Kit Graham and Charley Clifford fired the Charlton women’s team to a 2-1 victory over Queens Park Rangers in front of a crowd of 307 at the Valley on Sunday.
It was a hard-fought London derby and it took the home side 42 minutes to get themselves into the lead, with Graham converting a Stef Simmons cross from the left.
Clifford then doubled their advantage just three minutes into the second period, powering home a fine goal from 20 yards out.
Danielle Puddefoot curled in a free kick from just outside the area on 75 minutes to set up a tense final 15 minutes but the Addicks held on for the three points, to move to within a win of top spot in the FA Women’s Premier League South.
It was Charlton’s first match for three weeks and manager Jeremy Parsons made two changes from the side that beat Portsmouth last time out. Grace Coombs and Amy Howlett came in for Nikita Whinnett and the injured Gemma Shepherd.
The hosts were on top for large chunks of the game, with Clifford trying her luck from range only to find QPR keeper Sophie Cheadle equal to her early effort.
Graham then went close on two occasions, curling wide after dispossessing a defender before seeing a dipping effort sail over the crossbar.
QPR got themselves back into the contest midway through the half, with Alex Baker pushing one shot onto the crossbar and former Addick Emma Whitter dragging her shot wide when through on goal.
Kim Dixson then had a powerful attempt saved before Cheadle also denied Jenny Newman. The deadlock was broken shortly before the interval, though, when Simmons skipped down the left and centred for Graham to tuck home.
It could have been two before half time but Newman saw her shot turned round the post by Cheadle.
It didn’t take Charlton long to get that second, though, when Clifford picked the ball up just outside the area and fired home powerfully.
Newman was a danger throughout and was again denied the chance to get on the scoresheet by Cheadle, while Graham was unlucky to see her effort cannon back off the crossbar after turning her marker.
Graham turned provider later for Howlett, who also saw her shot saved by Cheadle. Rangers were then once again kept in the game by the woodwork as Clifford’s 25-yarder struck the post.
The visitors then put some pressure on Charlton’s goal as they looked for a way back into the game and Baker and Katie Flack were both alert to combine to keep two shots out.
However, there was nothing Baker could have done about what turned out to be just a consolation, as Puddefoot floated a fine free kick into the top corner from 20 yards out.
Charlton: Baker; Paye, Flack, Coombs, Pittuck; Dixson, Clifford, Howlett (Baxter 70), Simmons (Whinnett 70); Graham, Newman. Sub (not used): Southgate, Shepherd.