Charlton 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur
Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 12:31AM BST, Thursday, 23 April 2015
A Kit Graham double yet again fired the Charlton women’s team to a 2-1 victory over Tottenham at Sporting Club Thamesmead on Wednesday.
The scoring pattern, and Charlton’s goalscorer, exactly mirrored the last meeting between the two sides, just six days previously in the Ryman Cup final – but this time the Addicks didn’t require an extra half an hour period, fortunately due to this encounter being a league match.
As she did at Ware last week, Graham put her side into the lead shortly before half time but they were pegged back (again) by a late equaliser, this time scored by Bianca Baptiste.
But, in a dramatic conclusion, Graham popped up with the game going into its 90th minute to slam home the winning goal from close range.
The two sides traded chances early on, with the referee waving away Charlton appeals for handball after Emma Harrison had squared for Graham. The attacker’s touch was a tad too heavy and the ball bounced off her foot and onto the arm of a Tottenham defender but a decision against Spurs would have been harsh.
Spurs then showed some slick movement in attack, with play finding Rosie Kmita on the left wing. The former Brighton player’s initial cross was blocked by Katie Flack, and her follow up effort flew way off target.
A counter attack soon after have the home side cause for excitement as Graham drove forward and spread play out wide to Gemma Shepherd, but the latter’s cross back to her strike partner was cut out by a defender.
The visitors’ best chance of the first period came when Sophie McClean played a long ball out of defence over the top of the Charlton defence. Martin latched onto it and tried to catch Megen Lynch off her line with a lob that landed wide of the target.
Graham had a great chance to open the scoring earlier than she eventually did, cutting out a loose Jenna Schillaci pass, but could only shoot wide from close range.
Shepherd headed a Charley Clifford corner wide at the far post with time running out, but Graham had the last say in the half by breaking the deadlock.
Charlton pressed their opponents high and, when Toni-Anne Wayne’s goal kick was hit short, Emma Harrison pressured Martin, who played an ill-advised ball across her box. Instead of finding her own player, the pass found its way into Graham’s path and the 19-year-old made no mistake.
A late Tottenham effort with the half time whistle fast approaching fell to Martin, but the clearly frustrated striker dragged her attempt across the face of goal and wide.
The second period began in a more dominant fashion, with Charlton looking odds-on to press home their advantage and Graham had a couple of early sights of goal without troubling Wayne.
Their best chances came from wide play, with Rosie Paye very unfortunate to see her floated header cannon back off the crossbar from a Charley Clifford corner.
Another Clifford set piece shortly after saw Wayne this time get to the ball first and flick it off Paye’s head, with Grace Coombs picking up the loose ball and crossing for Shepherd to head narrowly over.
Substitute Amy Howlett then found herself in a good shooting position after cutting inside from the right flank but her left-footed effort curled wide of the upright.
But, as Charlton saw chance after chance go begging, Spurs slowly crept back into the match, with Baptiste fashioning one half chance out but seeing Lynch equal to it.
However, they did restore parity just four minutes before time, inevitably from a set piece. A corner was swung in and Baptiste did well to angle her header over Lynch and Stef Simmons couldn’t quite get there in time to clear off the line.
However, that wasn’t the end of the drama, as Charlton searched for a late, late winner, that came on 90 minutes. Strikers Graham and Shepherd found themselves two-on-two with the Tottenham central defender and, after exchanging passes, Graham was through and slotted into the corner from five yards out.
With all their away league matches accounted for, Charlton are next in action against Copeswood (Coventry) at Sporting Club Thamesmead on Sunday (2pm).
Charlton: Lynch; Flack, Simmons, Paye, Coombs; Whinnett (Howlett 56), Harrison, Dixson (Hardaker 87), Clifford; Graham, Shepherd. Sub (not used): Southgate.