Charlton 2-2 Brighton Res
Report by Warren Clarke
Page last updated at 12:28AM GMT, Friday, 13 February 2015
Sunday saw second placed Charlton take on league leaders Brighton & Hove Albion in the FA Women`s Premier League Southern Reserves Division.
The hosts made a positive start finding the net after 7 minutes as a speculative left footed shot 25 yards out from Sophie Blowers lobbed the Brighton goalkeeper.
The Addicks nearly doubled their lead on the ninth minute when Francesca Tye played a one-two with Clare Rogers beating the offside trap only for Tye to shoot straight at the keeper.
The visitors then had a chance to equalise on the 11th minute as a looping ball beat the Charlton defence and the Brighton striker hit a first time outside of the boot shot which nestled safely into the arms of Alex Baker.
With the hosts enjoying the lions share of possession in the first half they were only able to carve out half chances due to the strong defending from Brighton, but in turn reduced the number of clear cut chances the gulls had with well organised defending of their own.
However the Reds had to play the remaining 5 minutes of the half as Tye was receiving treatment but managed to maintain their lead.
The second half got underway with Daisy Monaghan replacing Francesca Tye and it was Brighton that started the brighter of the two teams as they equalised on the 47th minute as a cross that came from the left was headed clear but only as far a Brighton player who`s shot was expertly saved by Baker only to have the follow up converted into the bottom left corner.
With the shift of momentum fully in the visitors favour they created chance after chance but failed to score as Charlton were shellshocked. The breakthrough eventually came on the 52nd minute when a through ball carved open the Charlton defence as the Brighton striker raced through but was unable to beat the in form Baker who once again saved from close range but despairingly saw the rebound converted once again giving The Visitors a well deserved lead.
Brighton were building possession from the back with confident and assured possession and this was paying dividends as Baker was called into action making finger tipped saves on the 70th and 80th minutes as the defensive organisation was being throughly tested.
Despite being on the ropes Charlton still had hope as The Gulls may have been guilty of a combination of complacency and frustration as the scoreline remained 2-1.
As the game approached the final ten minutes plus stoppages the Addicks began to throw caution to the wind knowing that defeat would severely hamper their chances of winning the league. They began to press higher up the pitch and this had a visible impact as a mix up between the keeper and defender almost saw the ball fall to the hosts in a goalscoring position but alert defending forced play backwards.
However with the game stretched and deep into injury time Charlton on a free kick 30 yards out from goal and with all but Baker in the box Captain Georgia Richards delivered a dangerous cross into the box which evaded the heads of the Brighton defence finding it`s way to Olivia Cole who with her back to goal deftly flicked the ball with the outside of the boot and into the bottom left corner to spark wild celebrations.
Brighton were distraught as the final whistle blew as they surely would have felt that that was two points dropped after dominating the second half as much as they did.
Manager Warren Clarke had this to say " Overall I am pleased with the performance first half we showed our attacking quality and second we had to show resilience. We had our backs against the wall but never gave up hope and scored a late equaliser which extends our unbeaten run in the league".
Baker, Nash, Russell, Richards, Houlihan, Blowers (Giordani 70), Barnett, Rogers, Tye (Monaghan 46), Campell, Cole
Player of The Match: Alex Baker