Charlton 3-0 Oxford United
Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 7:51PM UTC, Sunday, 25 January 2015
The Charlton women’s team toppled FA Women’s Super League (FAWSL) side Oxford United 3-0 in a mid-season friendly at Sporting Club Thamesmead on Sunday.
With Oxford’s 2015 season getting underway next week with in the FA Cup, this was the Us second friendly and represented Charlton’s first chance to test themselves against FAWSL opposition.
The Addicks dominated play for the most part, with three goals of the highest quality from Kit Graham, Katie Hardaker and Nikita Whinnett enough to seal the victory.
The home side were quickest out of the blocks, potentially reflecting where the two teams were in their season, and had a couple of good early chances.
Striker Gemma Shepherd, making her first appearance since early November, surged into the box from the left and slid a ball across goal but Amy Howlett just couldn’t arrive in time to convert.
Howlett then turned provider, crossing dangerously for Shepherd but the ball narrowly eluded the Addicks striker.
It didn’t take long for the deadlock to be broken, 12 minutes to be precise, and it came in the shape of Graham’s first strike of the year – a deft lob from the edge of the area over an onrushing Demi Lambourne.
Oxford then managed to play themselves back into the clash a little and should have been on level terms seven minutes later when the ball fell to Katherine Nutman but she could only fire against the crossbar from close range.
Megen Lynch was then called into action to make a good, fingertip save to deny Laura Low and Charlton went into the interval a goal to the good.
Being a friendly, the home side used rolling substitutes at regular intervals, with everyone named in the squad getting a good run out.
Shepherd looked eager to get herself on the scoresheet and could consider herself unlucky when volleying just over on the turns inside the 18-yard box.
It was a cracker that doubled the south-east Londoners’ advantage, though, on the hour mark: midfielder Katie Hardaker curling a magnificent 25-yard effort into the top corner, giving Lambourne no chance.
Oxford’s custodian, an England youth international, had to be alert shortly after, doing well to parry Graham’s effort away and Howlett’s follow up shot was off target.
Then Whinnett struck to ensure the victory for her side, another chip from just inside the penalty area that floated over Lambourne. It was Whinnett’s first goal for the club since joining from Kent rivals Gillingham earlier this season.
Oxford had the chance at a consolation goal but had one disallowed for offside before Sarah Tierney wasted a good effort, shooting into the side netting.
Charlton Squad: Lynch, Southgate, Simmons, Paye, Butler, Coombs, Hardaker, Dixson, Pittuck, Howlett, Harrison, Whinnett, Graham, Shepherd.