Charlton 3-1 Bradford City
Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 7:35PM UTC, Sunday, 19 February 2012
The Charlton women’s team fought to a 3-1 FA Cup Third Round victory against a hard-working Bradford City side at Bayliss Avenue on Sunday.
The sides went into the interval with the score at 0-0 before Courteney Gibson, Emma Beckett and Fliss Gibbons struck either side of a Caroline Omboyi equaliser.
Technical director Paul Mortimer was forced into a last minute change when striker Gemma Bryan withdrew with an injury, giving Jenny Newman a chance in the starting eleven.
Gibbons was moved from the left wing to play as the lone striker and her workrate against four physical defenders won her the PHSC plc Player of the Match award.
Bradford were keen to show they were going to be no pushovers and they started as they meant to go on, pressurising their more illustrious hosts and not allowing them much time on the ball.
After a Bradford defender cleared an early shot off the line, Beckett curled an effort over the bar from the edge of the area.
Charley Clifford then did well to win the ball 25 yards out but her long range drive flew over. Cori Daniels then headed two Toni Alden corners just wide.
The first clear cut chance fell to Gibbons after Beckett had played her through on goal but Bantams keeper Melanie Garside-Wright did well to save.
The visitors still pressed after the break and were unlucky to go a goal down on 51 minutes. Gibbons sent the Addicks on a counter attack and the ball found its way to Gibson on the right wing and her cross fortuitously flew over Garside-Wright and into the corner of the net.
Bradford came back strongly, though, and went close ten minutes later through a counter attack. They were back on level terms on 73 minutes.
Bridie Hannon was given room at the edge of the area and Megen Lynch could only parry her shot into the path of striker Omboyi, who made no mistake in slotting home – cue wild celebrations from the Northern Combination side.
Charlton substitute Kit Graham then forced Garside-Wright into a smart save at her near post and, with 78 minutes on the clock, the home side were in the lead again.
The ball fell to Beckett, whose first time volley from 20 yards beat the keeper, who was slightly off her line. Gibbons put the finishing touches to the game on 88 minutes when she took advantage of a mix-up in the Bradford defence and poked the ball past the keeper and in.
Charlton advance into the Fourth Round of the FA Cup, where next Sunday they will host Northern Premier League side Derby County, who defeated West Ham 4-2.
After the game Mortimer was full of praise for the opposition, saying: “All credit to Bradford, I thought they played really well and they deserved more.
“I hope they do that every week because if they do they will fly up their division.”
On his side’s performance, he added: “We didn’t do the things we should be doing, we made it difficult and we gave them confidence through our performance.
But I have to give my girls credit because we didn’t play well but we are into the next round. That is what the cup is about – you can play poorly and still get through and that is what we did.”
Charlton: Lynch, Boyer, Alden, Daniels, Butler, Clifford (Graham 54), Dixson, Beckett, Newman, Gibson (Simmons 88), Gibbons. Subs (not used): Bryan.