Charlton Athletic Football Club Women
Goalscorer Sam Rowland
Charlton 2-2 West Ham Reserves
Charlton 2-2 West Ham Reserves
Report by Colin Robertson
Page last updated at 7:41PM BST, Monday, 10 October 2011
Goals from Courteney Gibson and Sam Rowland secured a 2-2 draw at Flanders Fields, East Ham on Sunday.
The game was played in clear weather with a fair amount of wind. The Addicks were first to concede on eight minutes when the defence stood still and failed to clear a corner which Charlie Torrie turned home.

Gibson ran in on goal impressively to finish comfortably one on one with the keeper on 52 minutes to level the game and after many more attempts Rowland found the net in the 86th minute lifting the ball over the keeper from right to left after Louise Duffy had threaded her in down the right channel.

Possession was then given away cheaply after the Addicks played themselves into danger and West Ham broke in numbers from the turnover, leaving Captain Claire Goldsmith and Goalkeeper, Sarah Smith with little chance to stop the equaliser by April Bowers. That ensured the home side a share of the points.

The first goal was a wakeup call for the players and the away side made plenty attempts on goal before the half was out. Rowland twice finding the target in the following five minutes but the West Ham Keeper was more than equal to the efforts.

Then Ciara Sherwood shot over from range after a promising move through the midfield to the edge of the box involving Duffy and Mia Sellar. Stef Simmons landed a free kick just wide of the post from the left before she swung in dangerous corner on 35 minutes but again there was no contact made with the ball.

Charlton went in at halftime slightly bewildered to be losing and reacted well at the start of the second half. Gibson and Rowland were released many times to run against West Ham’s back four and good progress was made on the right channel through Duffy.

The added vibrancy and pressure by the reds paid off for Gibson’s goal and Rowland, Simmons and Sherwood all had opportunities to shoot from in and around the box to no avail with little response from the home side except for a well handled save by Smith  in the 74th minute.

There were moments of frustration aside from the lack of accuracy in shooting for goal when at times the ball was given away without good reason in midfield areas but Rowland’s goal was deserved and with that the victory should have been wrapped up.

Team manager, Bill Long said after the game, “The first half was poor we didn’t show enough determination. In the second half we started to do well and got back to 2-1 which was great but then to concede two or three minutes after you have scored was the classic thing to do.”

“We are a still a young side. Sometimes we need take responsibility to go and get a bouncing ball; go and get it and clear the lines. It should grow with experience.”

“Today we have not been beaten it could worse than that. Bearing in mind West Ham have been doing well they have beaten Chelsea… we’re getting there.”

And, there were more signs of promise for Long, “Courtney Gibson did fantastic today had her first senior start, scored a goal and did the full 90. Sam Rowland did the full 90 too and led the line very well with Courteney. They were the two figure heads today for the side.”

Team: Smith, Patel, Goldsmith (capt), Yennaris, Duffy, Sellar, Simmons, Sheppard (Day 71), Sherwood, Rowland, Gibson
Unused sub: Onianwa
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