Report by Sue Prior
Page last updated at 6:06AM BST, Sunday, 10 April 2011
The Charlton Women’s team moved to the top of the Southern Division with a first half rout of league leaders West Ham, eventually running out 3-0 winners at Bayliss Avenue on Sunday. Gemma celebrates her first goal with Fliss, Stef & Kim (our thanks to James Prickett for the photo)
Report by David Brenchley
Gemma Bryan’s 15th and 16th goals of the season, coupled with a Fliss Gibbons strike, put the Addicks a point above their opponents with just four games left to play.
After a scrappy start to the game, Bryan picked up the ball on the left and laid it off to Gibbons who opened the scoring with a deft lob over Hammers keeper Toni-Anne Wayne.
Bryan grabbed her first of the game on the half hour mark, again picking the ball up on the left before showing great strength to hold off the visitors’ defence and fire across the former Charlton keeper.
The game was finished off just five minutes later when top scorer Bryan knocked the ball past Danica Ravell, who then clipped the striker’s heel and conceded a penalty. Wayne got a hand to Bryan’s spot kick but it was not enough to keep the ball out.
The first half was all Charlton and Bryan, Charley Clifford and Jenny Newman all had early sighters at the Hammers goal before the deadlock was broken.
Left back Stef Simmons went close with a free kick which split the wall but was too close to Wayne while Nat Grafton and Jo Woodgates had West Ham’s only chances of the half.
The second period was a much tighter affair, with the Irons just about shading it but they could not find a way past a resolute Charlton defence that has conceded only nine goals all season.
They had to thank Becky Duggan for keeping the clean sheet after the centre back cleared a goalbound effort off the line while Megen Lynch made some important saves.
The Addicks still had chances to further their advantage; Fran Ali, who looked impressive in midfield, was released by Newman but shot over under pressure.
Kim Dixson, who took over the captaincy when skipper Katie Flack went off with a suspected broken nose, then went close. After working her way out of a tight space, exchanging passes with Ali and Gibbons and running clear she shot just wide of the post under pressure from a defender.
Technical Director Paul Mortimer was delighted with his side’s performance, saying: “That was something special.
“I was so nervous I couldn’t eat [before the game] because of what was at stake for the girls - I never got this nervous when I played.
“I thought the first half was brilliant though – the girls went out and showed how good they can be. I thought they got everything right and it was a good solid performance.
“West Ham are a good side, they have been top for a little while, but I felt we made them look ordinary today. The first 45-50 minutes were as good as we have had this season.”
Charlton: Lynch, Flack (McRoberts 72mins), Simmons, Dixson, Ali, Duggan, Newman, Coombs, Gibbons, Bryan (Bailes 83mins), Clifford.
Subs (not used): Alden, Ahern
To see the league table click on the following link http://www.shekicks.net/fixtures-and-results/league/419
For more photos of the action visit http://www.jamesprickett.co.uk/2010-11/100411chavwhu2nd/index_6.htm