Charlton 3-2 CK Basildon (FAWPL Cup Round 2)
Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 8:12PM BST, Sunday, 16 October 2016
The Charlton women’s team squeezed into the last 16 of the FA Women’s Premier League Cup with a 3-2 win over C&K Basildon at Sporting Club Thamesmead on Sunday, courtesy of a Kit Graham hat trick.
The striker put her side 2-0 up within the first 23 minutes, only for a Zoe Rushen screamer to give the Essex side hope going into half time. Graham added her third five minutes into the second half, but Hannah Porter threatened to set up a tense final couple of minutes as she pulled her side within a goal with two minutes left.
Despite the Addicks making hard work of it for the second week running, they held on to secure their passage into the next round.
Manager Paul McDonagh made one change to the starting 11, with Jenny Newman returning in place of Georgia Pearch; Florence Jackson was given her first call into the first team squad in for Ellie Baxter on the bench.
Charlton started the game brightly, with Graham bringing a smart save from Nikita Runnacles at full stretch; Jenny Newman collecting the loose ball and pulling back for Charley Clifford whose shot was blocked wide for a corner.
It was only a few minutes later the deadlock was broken when Graham picked the ball up on the edge of the area before being clattered into from behind by a defender. The striker proceeded to dust herself down and slam home the resulting free kick, giving Runnacles no chance.
Bergin was unfortunate not to double the hosts’ advantage shortly after, cutting in from the right and curling over Runnacles but seeing the effort cannon back off the crossbar.
Again, it was not long until that second goal came, when a through ball from the right hand side found Graham in acres of space behind the Basildon defence and made no mistake when one-on-one with Runnacles.
Nine minutes after, though, and out of nothing really, Rushen picked the ball up 35 yards out from goal on the left. Looking up and spotting Charlton keeper Alex Baker well off her line, she sent a well-hit, accurate lob over the custodian and into the far corner to give her side a way back into the tie.
Down the other end, Graham and Bergin each saw shots blocked and Basildon’s Stacey Little headed a corner wide after rising highest from a corner; but the sides went into the interval with the home side 2-1 to the good.
And they began the second period on the front foot as well, with Graham completing her hat trick on 50 minutes, heading home a Katie Flack cross from the left.
A couple of minutes after Pittuck was inches away from making it four and putting the game beyond doubt, shooting narrowly over the target.
Graham went close yet again when her header was cleared off the line, but Basildon threatened until the end, with Porter nodding a corner over and Rushen crashing another long-ranger against the crossbar.
And, with just two minutes of normal time remaining, they made it a tight end to the clash, with Karissa Rodney pulling back for Porter to sidefoot home.
There wasn’t enough time left on the clock, though, with the referee playing just the one minute of stoppage time and it was Charlton who triumphed and moved into the next round, with the draw due to take place at lunchtime on Monday.
Charlton: Baker; Southgate, Flack, Coombs, Sullivan; Pittuck (Weller 69), Clifford, Dixson; Newman (Jackson 62), Bergin, Graham. Sub (not used): Paye.