Charlton 3-1 Meridian
Report by Warren Clarke
Page last updated at 4:59PM UTC, Monday, 25 August 2014
In the penultimate pre-season friendly the Development team travelled to Maidstone to play Meridian in what proved to be a testing encounter.
With Meridian starting the better of the two Charlton were unable to convert their possession into goals as Goalkeeper Rachael Pollard was called into action early on.
As the game wore on the reds shots began to fly as Tori Campbell and Kelly Stubbington began to find their groove.
However it was Meridian who struck first with a lightning counter attack threading the ball to their striker who showed complete coolness to fire the ball across the outstretched Pollard and into the far right corner.
Again both Campbell and Stubbington were causing problems after some neat build up play from the back resulted in a fine save and the frame of the goal rattling respectively.
The breakthrough came on the 33min as winger Stubbington rifled home from the spot.
The Addicks were made to work hard for the remainder of the half as Meridian pushed to restore their lead, but some great work from central defensive pair Keegan Russell and Saliha Topcu saw it finish 1-1.
Second half saw a number of changes Lauren Gurney coming on at right wing, Ayse Yuksel centre midfield for Victoria De Waal, Ellie Richards on for Campbell with Stubbington shifting from left wing to striker.
The Reds started with a bang as some fantastic team build up play resulted in a quick fire shot catching the opposition stopper off guard but went agonisingly wide.
Despite their best efforts to frustrate the visitors with some resilient defending Charlton snatched the lead as substitute Gurney slotted home a well placed volley.
The lead looked set to increase as some slick play resulted in a mini scramble as shots were taken and blocked only for the ball to be laid back for the on rushing Ti-Ya Gilham-Law whose rasping goal bound shot was incredibly saved by cat like reflexes hitting the Keepers knee and going out for a corner.
Meridian not content with the scoreline tried to mount a comeback creating a goal line scramble of their own with two shots blocked before winger Gurney was finally able to clear off the line.
Then with some fast fluid interplay we scored our third and final goal as left back Kiera Jenkings made a purposeful run into the middle third to thread a ball into the path of Gurney who hit a sublime cross under pressure from the touch line for Gilham-Law to nod home at the far post (75).
The match ended 3-1 despite but sides having chances to add to the scoreline.
Manager Warren Clarke had this to say,
"I was very pleased with the way the team moved the ball, dominated possession and created numerous chances not to mention the quality of goals too. The girls have been working extremely hard during pre season and this a step in the right direction as we look to the start of our campaign"
Pollard, Rose, Topcu, Russell, Jenkings, Brown-Araque, Monaghan, De Waal, Stubbington, Campbell, Gilham-Law
Subs: Yuksel, Gurney, Richards