Charlton 3-2 AFC Wimbledon (FAWPL Cup Rnd 1)
Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 9:36PM BST, Sunday, 15 October 2017
A late Charlotte Gurr header eight minutes into injury time helped the Charlton women’s team scrape into the second round of the FA Women’s Premier League Cup with a 3-2 win over AFC Wimbledon at Sporting Club Thamesmead on Sunday.
The game started in the worst possible way for the women’s team, as Rebecca Sargent fired Wimbledon in the lead after just five minutes.
A brace from Charlotte Lee looked to have won it for Charlton as Dons keeper Shanell Salgado prevented it from being a rout. But Wimbledon thought they had earned an extra 30 minutes of play when Katie Stanley curled a beauty past Katie Startup to level five minutes into stoppage time.
However, Gurr was to have the final say, powering home a header from a Hope Nash cross with seconds remaining.
Head coach Riteesh Mishra took the chance to rest a few players and made four changes, with Charlotte Lee, Daisy Monaghan, Ruby Southgate and Flo Jackson brought into the starting line-up. Chloe Brunton-Wilde, Grace Coombs, Charley Clifford and Nicole Pepper all dropped down to the bench.
It was an excellent match for the neutral – though much tighter than Charlton would have been expecting. The first sign of that came just five minutes in, with Caroline Bisson picking the ball up on the right wing and crossing to the back post, where Hope Nash put the ball behind for a corner.
Sian Wyllie whipped the resulting set piece into the penalty area where Sargent was unmarked and rose to power a header past Startup.
The next quarter of an hour was bereft of chance for either side, with Charlton taking a good 20 minutes to finally find their feet. Nash, Jackson and Lee missed a trio of chances, while Wimbledon also wasted a good opportunity.
On 31 minutes the home side were level, as Kit Graham played a lovely ball in for Lee to poke home from close range. Shortly after Wimbledon got in behind the Charlton defence but the striker skied her shot.
A Jackson shot on the turn brought an excellent save out of Salgado and the youngster followed that up by crossing for Gurr to head just over.
And it was the 19-year-old who looked most likely to make something happen after the interval. She was integral in setting up a chance for Lee before turning a Nash shot goalwards only to be thwarted by a good stop by Salgado.
Bisson then went close twice, either side of what may have been Salgado’s best save of the clash, parrying away a powerful 25-yard Graham free kick to safety.
A minute past the hour mark, Lee had her and Charlton’s second of the afternoon as she fired in low from close range and gave Salgado no chance.
Three minutes later, Gurr had the chance to wrap the tie up. The ball found its way to the back of the penalty area, where Nash knocked the ball past former Addick Abbie Meaures, who stuck a foot out and brought the winger down. The referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot, but Salgado was equal to Gurr’s penalty.
In the remaining 25 minutes, Salgado denied Charlton’s three Gs, Graham, Gurr and sub Georgia Griffin, with Coombs unlucky to see her curling shot drift just wide and Gurr putting a free kick just over.
It seemed certain Charlton would be heading into the next round and, while they eventually did, it wasn’t in the manner they would have expected.
The drama started when Nash looked to have been fouled in the Dons’ half, but the referee waved away the home side’s protests. Wimbledon then marched down the other end and Stanley curled an excellent effort past Startup and into the far corner.
Not to be outdone, Charlton hit back a couple of minutes later as Nash again got the better of Measures to easily cross for Gurr, who was unmarked inside the six yard box to head home.
Charlton: Startup, Flack, Dixson, Sullivan (Coombs 58), Gurr, Lee, Graham (Griffin 76), Nash, Monaghan (Clifford 64), Southgate, Jackson. Subs (not used): Brunton-Wilde, Pepper.