Charlton 3-2 Sheffield Utd
Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 7:25PM GMT, Sunday, 27 January 2019
The Charlton women’s team secured all three points with a hard-fought 3-2 victory over Sheffield United in tricky conditions at Olympic Legacy Park on Sunday.
A welcome return to the scoresheet for Kit Graham gave Charlton a half-time lead before Lily Agg doubled the advantage after the break. A Charley Clifford thunderbolt won the game, though, either side of goals from Danielle Cox and Ebony Salmon.
It was a blustery day in Sheffield, making it difficult for either side to gain much momentum throughout. Agg had the first real chance of the contest, but could only head straight at keeper Nikki Davies.
But it was the hosts who looked the more threatening in the early exchanges, with new signing Salmon looking dangerous. It took some good tracking back from the tenacious Harley Bennett to thwart one opportunity for the on-loan Manchester United striker, while a perfectly timed challenge from captain Grace Coombs also denied her.
The Addicks it was, though, who eventually broke the deadlock just before the half-hour mark when Amber Stobbs hooked a high cross from the right flank into the six-yard area, where Graham nodded home from one yard out.
The home side were back on the offensive to finish the first period, with keeper Katie Startup colliding with Bex Rayner and allowing Veatriki Sarri a shot on goal that went just over the crossbar.
Another long ball over the top of the Addicks’ defence was latched onto by Salmon, but this time Startup was equal to the shot, before Cox headed a Rayner corner wide of the goal.
Graham had a wonderful chance to add to her tally 10 minutes after the interval, flicking the ball over her marker before knocking it over Davies, but could only head over from close range.
Two minutes later, though, Charlton had their second when a ball across the 18-yard area was poked into Agg’s path by Graham and the striker swept home at the near post.
But Sheffield were back in it not long after with a corner to the near post was bundled home by Cox, leaving us in for a nail-biting finale.
With 12 minutes left on the clock, Clifford looked to have sealed the victory when Agg was pushed over 35 yards out. The central midfielder, playing in her 243rd game for Charlton, slammed a sensational set piece past Davies to restore her side’s two-goal advantage.
But the hosts were not done and pressured the South-East Londoners’ goal for the final 10 minutes. It was one minute into stoppage time when Ellie Gilliatt skipped past Stobbs, who stuck her leg out and fouled the Blades’ captain and the referee pointed to the spot. Salmon fired home straight down the middle to make it a one-goal game again.
Sheffield appealed, in vain, for a last-gasp penalty with around five minutes of injury time played when both Bennett and Coombs looked to have made superbly timed tackles to deny the Yorkshire side and the referee blew up not long after.
Charlton: Startup, Maple, Ritchie (Eggesvik 71), Coombs, Ejupi, Clifford, Gurr, Stobbs, Agg (Bailes 87), Graham (Nicol 90), Bennett.
Sub (not used): Bowers.
Goals: Graham (26), Agg (57), Clifford (78).
Yellow card: Agg.