Charlton 2-2 Sunderland
Report by Sue Prior
Page last updated at 11:54PM BST, Sunday, 18 September 2011
The First Team took a point off League Champions Sunderland in a pulsating match on Sunday.
On a superb playing surface at Hetton-le-Hole the match kicked off in driving rain as both teams tested each other out in the opening minutes.
Hesitant play in the Addicks defence early on presented the home side with an early chance but their forward fired wide of the goal.
A neat through ball then found Black Cats striker Beth Mead and the young striker under pressure from Jordan Butler fired narrowly past the post.
Butler was then on hand a short while later to block another Sunderland effort.
A mistake in the home defence then presented the ball to Gemma Bryan but the Addicks striker delayed her shot which hit the side netting.
Sunderland then won a corner which was cleared to the edge of the area where Kelly McDougall blasted the ball over the target.
The Addicks then began to find their feet and skipper Kim Dixson sent an effort narrowly wide before Emma Beckett fired a free-kick straight at Black Cats custodian Helen Alderson.
Fliss Gibbons then broke clear down the left wing and sent over a cross that was cleared as far as Toni Alden on the edge of the area who forced keeper Alderson into a save.
A powerful run from Gemma Bryan then set up Harley Bennett whose effort was well off target.
Beckett then picked out Gibbons with a slide rule pass but no Addicks were able to connect with the teenage winger`s cross.
On 39 minutes Gibbons again got round the back of the home defence and pulled an inch perfect ball back to Kim Dixson who fired into the roof of the net from 12 yards to give Charlton the lead.
Sunderland hit back and centre-half Becky Duggan did well to clear a dangerous cross.
In first-half injury time hesitant passing across the Addicks defence resulted in Sunderland winning a dubious penalty after Duggan touched the ball away from a striker who went down under the challenge. McDougall stepped up to level the score from the spot kick.
An early second half Sunderland corner was cleared by Emma Beckett before Black Cats striker Mead made a skilful run culminating in her shot being deflected wide.
After 54 minutes a superb long range ball from Beckett picked out Bryan and the Addicks striker took on the defence before firing home a low shot.
Moments later the Addicks came within inches of extending their lead as Gibbons set up Bryan who brought a superb fingertip save from keeper Alderson.
Further Charlton pressure saw Dixson just fail to connect as Jenny Newman`s cross flashed across the goalmouth.
Mead made another quick break for Sunderland only to pull her shot wide before a header from Natalie Gutteridge forced Addicks keeper Megen Lynch to make a fine double save.
More pressure from the Black Cats saw Mead`s first time volley from a cross flash over the crossbar before Toni Alden made a great block at the far post.
Mead`s pace was a constant threat and Duggan made a fine last ditch tackle before Alden cleared the danger.
Fliss Gibbons had a powerful strike blocked and Alden latched on to the rebound only to fire over the goal.
On 77 minutes Mead outpaced Duggan and pulled the ball back for Sophie Williams to slot the ball home for a second equaliser.
Moments later Sunderland had the ball in the net again but Stephanie Bannon`s header was well off-side.
In the final stages the Addicks pressed for the winner. Another dangerous cross from Newman was almost met by Dixson`s head. Bryan was then brought down and Beckett`s free-kick fizzed inches wide of the upright.
PHSC Player of the Match - Gemma Bryan
Team: Lynch, Boyer, Alden, Butler, Duggan, Bennett, Beckett, Newman, Dixson, Gibbons, Bryan
Subs unused: Bailes, Clifford, Manktelow, Ejupi, Chandler