Report by Colin Robertson
Page last updated at 6:23PM GMT, Sunday, 18 December 2011
Three first-half goals was the Addicks safely into the semi-finals of the Kent Cup
Charlton started with a side of mixed experience featuring several young players. Captain Claire Goldsmith was back in action after six weeks out whilst Jenny Newman and Emma Beckett dropped down from the 1st team squad to get some playing time.
It took only two minutes to break the deadlock when Kristina Manktelow swung in a corner from the right and Beckett met to finish from six yards. Ten player Maidstone may have feared a landslide when just moments later Meghan McKeag made some neat individual work on the left and cut in to strike across the goal from the edge of the box finding the bottom corner.
Charlton continued to attack and the ball hit the bar twice in one sequence of play following another well delivered Manktelow corner. There were shots to follow from Jade Keogh, Stef Simmons, Beckett and Manktelow but none of them troubled the visitors.
Nineteen minutes in Beckett spread the play over to Manktelow who advanced and swung in a quality ball to the back post where Newman made no mistake in making the score three nil.
She could have scored a second just minutes later when Keogh turned neatly on the halfway line and fed Beckett who dropped a great ball for the winger to drift in one on one from the right but her strike went narrowly over and wide at the near side.
The visitors escaped one more time before the half was out when Manktelow’s corner should have been converted by Keogh’s header at close range but the striker did not manage enough contact to send the ball goal bound.
The Addicks continued to attack in the second half but the frustrations started to mount as more efforts could not find their way through. The woodwork yet again proved a worthy last defender for the visitors.
Centre back, Athena Yennaris released Manktelow with a great penetrative ball from the back early in the half and the dynamic midfielder raced through but her effort was wide. Kallie Balfour on for Keogh was played in by a similarly impressive ball, this time from right back Emily Symonds and the striker ran in one on one but her effort was clipped for a corner at the last second.
Several more efforts by Charlton followed with Newman finding the target from range and Manktelow going close again. In the 72nd minute the home side could have thought the wait was over when McKeag cut in from the left with neat footwork and squared to Beckett on the edge of the box.
The midfielder sent her effort crashing off the bar and the rebound hit the keeper on the back causing her to scramble a recovery before the ball could cross the line. Minutes later Balfour who had moved out to the left gathered the ball in the corner and cut back to square in Katie Sheppard who received the ball with her back to goal.
A moment of outlandish skill by the midfielder followed as she managed to turn her marker inside out with an eye for goal in the box. Her side foot curling effort hit the top right corner of the bar with the keeper well beaten.
In the last ten minutes the Addicks continued to attack but it seemed that for all their efforts the evasive fourth goal was slipping away. Balfour came closest when she cut in form the right in the 87th minutes but her effort went over.
Team manager, Bill Long said, “It was nice today. We could give some girls 90 minutes, some who had been injured like Claire Goldsmith and like Jenny Newman who came down and got 90 minutes under their belt. So overall - pleased we’re in the next round and there are some positives in there too.”
“It was an all-round team performance and it was nice to see the girls score goals collectively. To be fair Meghan’s goal was fantastic – a lovely run and finished it off herself so that was a good thing for her.”
Charlton had a lot of chances with very little in response, “I always like to win by more but for me, winning 3-0 – comfortable, we’ve hit the bar three or four times and had plenty of shots, some of them were wayward and some of them on target so we could have won by more - but overall winning three nil we’ve got to be happy with that.”
And now for the Christmas break, “We’ve got three or four weeks where hopefully the girls will train themselves and can recover and then it is through to January when we are in for the last kick of the season.”
Team: Smith, Singyard (Symonds 63), Goldsmith, Yennaris, McKeag, Manktelow, Chandler, Simmons (Sheppard 63), Beckett, Newman, Keogh (Balfour 63)
The Reserves now travel to Meridian in the semi-final on 15th January.