Charlton 3-1 West Ham - Ryman Cup
Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 1:15AM BST, Friday, 24 October 2014
A Sam Pittuck brace ensured the Charlton women’s team progressed in the Ryman Women’s Cup, beating West Ham United 3-1 at Mill Field on Thursday.
Kit Graham got the scoring underway with a goal 10 minutes before half time, before Pittuck converted a penalty seconds before the interval.
West Ham pulled one back through Vicky Kinsman after the break, but Pittuck finished to ensure her side made it six wins in a row with an unmarked header late on.
First team manager Stuart Weston made just one change from the team that defeated Lewes Ladies on Sunday, with Alex Baker replacing Megen Lynch in goal.
The visitors made a quick start, with a Charley Clifford free kick narrowly curling wide in the first minute of the game.
A mazy run from Graham saw the youngster spread the ball out wide for Stef Simmons. The left-back’s cross was met by the head of Graham but was just too high to keep down.
West Ham hit the side netting twice during the first period the first of which Kinsman met a Sarah McCrea cross at the back post but her effort was off target.
There were plenty of chances during an open first 15 minutes, with the hosts’ keeper Nikita Runnacles pushing an Amy Howlett shot past the post for a corner early on.
Kinsman wasted a number of good opportunities to give her side the lead, with her and Lily Mellor both tamely shooting straight into Baker’s grateful arms.
The duo combined shortly after as a Mellor cross was met again at the far post but Kinsman could only find the side netting for the second time in the match.
With the contest finely poised, it took a moment of brilliance from the FA Women’s Premier League South’s top goalscorer to break the deadlock.
Vicky King took too long on the ball in defence and Graham was quick to dispossess the right back and power an unstoppable shot into the corner of the goal with Runnacles caught out of position.
As the sides were set to go in for half time, Charlton launched one final attack. Howlett picked out striker Olivia Cole in the middle, who tried to round Runnacles but the keeper slid out, missed the ball and took out the player, giving the referee no option but to point to the spot. Pittuck stepped up to send the stopper the wrong way and double her side’s advantage.
The second half was largely a quieter affair, with both sides looking capable of scoring. Either team saw efforts kept out by the woodwork, the post denying Pittuck’s flick, after a stunning cross from centre back Grace Coombs.
West Ham managed to find a way back into the game 20 minutes after the interval after a mistake from Baker allowed Kinsman the chance to tap into an open net and create some nervy moments for the south Londoners.
The game was put to bed eight minutes from time, with a visibly tiring West Ham, who had layed 120 minutes plus penalties in the Capital Cup against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.
Simmons played a pinpoint diagonal ball out to Howlett on the right wing and her cross was met beautifully by the head of Pittuck, with no challenge from a Hammers defender forthcoming.
The home side were unfortunate not to grab a late consolation when Alma Donohue volleyed an effort goalwards but the post denied her.
In the end it was Charlton who went into the quarter-final of the Ryman Cup, where they will meet Maidstone United at the Gallagher Stadium.
Charlton: Baker, Southgate, Simmons, Flack, Coombs, Clifford, Howlett, Harrison, Graham, Pittuck, Cole (Hardaker 61). Subs (not used): Lynch, Paye, Rogers.