Charlton 3-3 Cardiff City
Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 9:44PM GMT, Sunday, 03 November 2013
A controversial last-minute penalty denied the Charlton women’s team victory in an enthralling 3-3 draw with second-placed Cardiff City at Sporting Club Thamesmead on Sunday.
Loanee Sarah Wiltshire converted from the penalty spot early on to give Cardiff the lead but Charlton skipper Jenny Newman levelled after chasing down an excellent Harley Bennett through ball and finishing well one on one with goalkeeper Sophie Dando.
Two minutes before the interval, Wiltshire bagged her second, latching onto a ball from fellow Wales international Michelle Green.
A brace of goals from Emma Harrison, the second two minutes from the end of normal time, looked to have given the Addicks three valuable points but Wiltshire completed her hat-trick with a second penalty.
The two opening strikes were the first bits of action in a closely-fought encounter, with Bennett in the thick of the action.
It was the midfielder’s challenge that conceded the first spot kick but she redeemed herself with a magnificent ball to set up Newman’s equaliser.
Newman went close yet again soon after, seeing her shot fly wide, and Addicks keeper Megen Lynch saved well from Paige Stewart and Kelly Isaac, with Bethen Lloyd shooting wide.
The woodwork was rattled thrice during the course of the game, once in the first half when the ever dangerous Wiltshire, lent to the Welsh side by Super League side Watford, let fly.
PHSC plc Player of the Match Lynch then did well to save twice from Wiltshire but when Cardiff kept the ball alive well, Green played a smart ball in behind the defence and Wiltshire put it away.
The hosts came out in the second half firing, though, and Kit Graham picked up the ball, took on three defenders and laid off to Harrison who cut inside slightly and shot across Dando and into the far corner.
The visitors had the ball in the net on the hour mark when a towering cross saw a mix up in defence but Lynch did well to put the attacker off and Wiltshire was offside when putting the rebound in.
Lynch made two more great saves to keep the score even from Kelly Alderidge and Wiltshire, while Dando did similar from a Newman effort.
The frame of the goal then denied both sides at the death, with Charley Clifford’s free kick from millimetres outside the area cannoned back and Wiltshire was also denied, with Lynch saving the follow up.
Then the late drama ensued, with Harrison’s second of the day seemingly giving Charlton the three points but they could not see the game out.
A late Graham shot was saved and Cardiff broke down the field, winning a free kick which was pumped into the box and, despite it looking like a foul by Cardiff, the referee played on and Charlton conceded a last-gasp penalty, which was converted for Wiltshire’s hat trick.
Charlton: Lynch, Flack, Manktelow (Duffy 50), Paye, Butler, Tye (Cole 64), Clifford, Bennett, Graham, Harrison, Newman.