Charlton 3-2 Cardiff City (FA Women's Cup Round 2)
Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 9:00PM GMT, Sunday, 11 January 2015
A brace from captain Kim Dixson helped the Charlton women’s team overcome a two-goal deficit to defeat Cardiff City 3-2 after extra time in the FA Women’s Cup second round at Sporting Club Thamesmead.
It was the second time this season the Addicks have recovered from going two goals down to the Welsh side, after drawing 3-3 in the FA Women’s Premier League in November.
Cori Williams and Kelly Aldridge looked to have downed their hosts, with two strikes either side of half time but Dixson volleyed her side back into it before Charley Clifford’s corner forced an own goal to take the game into overtime.
Both sides were reduced to 10 players by the end, with Clifford and Cardiff’s Chloe Tucker both being dismissed in extra time for dissent.
The visitors came out of the blocks quickly and dominated play for the opening half and a bit, rushing their opponents into a few mistakes.
Two very early chances came around but, fortunately for the home side, goalkeeper Megen Lynch was equal to them, making a couple of good saves.
The Charlton custodian was called upon to keep the scores level yet again as a swerving Kelly Issac shot was well held.
Clifford had Charlton’s only real chance in the first half, curling a free kick narrowly over the crossbar from 30 yards.
Having been pinned back in their own half for the majority of the match, it looked only a matter of time before the south-east Londoners conceded, and that came on 33 minutes.
A cross from left back Lauren Townsend swirled in the wind and hung up well for Cardiff, who had two players unmarked challenging Lynch. Williams was the one who rose highest and headed in.
It could have been worse for the Addicks as Naomi Clipson had the ball in their net for a second time, slamming home from close range, but the flag went up straight away for offside.
Charlton made a half-time change, with Ruby Southgate replacing Rosie Paye at right back, and they had their best chance of the game just four minutes after the interval.
PHSC plc Player of the Match Amy Howlett surged down the right wing and delivered a precise cross to the back post for Emma Harrison but, instead of taking it first time with her head, the winger decided to take a heavy touch that fell kindly for Cardiff stopper Alesha McGlynn.
Clipson then missed a golden chance one-on-one with Lynch, sliding an effort wide but Aldridge did manage to take advantage of a mistake in defence to shoot across goal and into the far corner with 63 minutes on the clock.
Their two-goal lead lasted just five minutes, as the ball broke to Dixson in the six-yard box and the 27-year-old fired home a comprehensive volley that cannoned in off a Cardiff defender.
That goal seemed to encourage Charlton and they began to apply some pressure of their own and seize the initiative back from the visitors.
Clifford put yet another set piece narrowly wide with time running out but, with just three minutes remaining, parity was restored as a Bluebirds’ defender headed home a corner from Clifford.
Cardiff still had a glorious chance to win the game in added on time as Shanelle Edwards was played through on goal but, with their manager already on the pitch celebrating, the shot drifted wide of the upright.
Charlton’s task was made more difficult early on in extra time as Clifford was, somewhat surprisingly, given her marching orders. But the first half played out largely without incident.
And, with 109 minutes on the clock, Emma Harrison broke into the penalty area and was fouled by a Cardiff defender: the referee had no hesitation pointing to the spot.
And it was the captain, again, who stepped up to slam the spot kick home to complete the most unlikely of turnarounds.
Tucker was sent off with five minutes of the game left and Charlton held firm under a lot of late pressure to book a place in the third round, the draw for which will take place later on today.
Charlton: Lynch, Paye (Southgate 46), Simmons (Harkader 53), Flack, Coombs, Dixson, Clifford, Howlett (Shepherd 116), Harrison, Graham, Pittuck. Sub (not used): Baker.