Charlton 2-1 West Ham
Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 9:14PM BST, Sunday, 25 August 2013
The Charlton women’s team came from a goal behind to start their season with a 2-1 win against West Ham at Sporting Club Thamesmead on Sunday thanks to two sensational strikes.
Charlton spurned a number of excellent first-half chances and then allowed the visitors to take the lead after former Addick Cherrelle Albert converted a rebound.
But the hosts hit almost immediately back with a thunderbolt 20-yard free kick from captain Kim Dixson before substitute Emma Harrison curled home the winner five minutes from time.
Charlton dominated the first period and played some excellent football, with attackers Kit Graham, Kylie Manktelow, Sam Pittuck and Gemma Shepherd linking up well.
Still, the Hammers looked dangerous on the counter attack and Natalie Crinean had the two first real chances but couldn’t take advantage.
Some good build-up play then saw Shepherd cross to the near post but Pittuck just couldn’t convert from a tight angle, before Shepherd’s looping header was denied by West Ham keeper Toni Anne-Wayne.
New signing Pittuck had the best chance of the opening half after she latched onto a sublime Harley Bennett through ball but, one-on-one with Wayne, her shot was tame and easily saved.
Two more chances came and went for Charlton before the interval: Shepherd pulled the ball back for Bennett, whose curler flew wide of the far post; and Graham weaved her way to the edge of the area but her left-footed shot went narrowly wide.
West Ham came out all guns blazing after the break and broke the deadlock with 53 minutes on the clock as a shot from the right rebounded off the far post and was swept home by Albert.
That lead lasted just seven minutes, though. Shepherd was brought down a couple of yards outside the penalty area and skipper Dixson stepped up to equalise from the set piece.
The lively Albert, who was the Hammers’ biggest threat, went close to putting her new side ahead once again after she turned her marker but fired across the goal and off target.
Two more driving runs through the centre of midfield from Bennett and Graham were not far off giving the home side their first lead of the day.
However, the Addicks finally got their rewards for their patience when Harrison was played down the line by PHSC plc Player of the Match Dixson and, after cutting back, her cross was cleared. The ball eventually feel back to the striker and, with a composed finish, curled the ball over keeper and defender and into the top corner to nick all three points.
Charlton: Lynch, Flack, Simmons, Paye, Butler (Yennaris 90), Dixson, Bennett, Graham, Pittuck (Harrison 46), Kylie Manktelow (Hardaker 76), Shepherd. Subs (not used): Duffy, Rogers.