Charlton Athletic Football Club Women
Two goal Ellie Searle in action - photography by allsportkent
Charlton 3-3 Tottenham Res
Charlton 3-3 Tottenham Res
Report by Gemma Shepherd
Page last updated at 9:18AM GMT, Monday, 25 November 2013
In a tight and attritional game full of goals and incident, the Addicks were left disappointed with a 3-3 score line having led the game 3-1 thanks to a brace from Ellie Searle and a first reserve team goal from Beth Rodger.
The reserves came into the game knowing that only a win would do for them to stand any chance of progressing through to the next stage of the cup. 
It was this pressure that perhaps contributed to the Addicks jittery start. 

Spurs made their intentions clear early on testing Baker’s handling with a few shots from distance but the Charlton keeper nullified the danger. 
It was Spurs who dominated much of the early possession. 

Charlton’s first real effort on goal came on the 10 minute mark. A great ball by Gemma Hyland released Megan Mulholland down the right hand channel. The nippy winger managed to evade her marker but her shot flew over the bar after the ball had hit a noticeable bobble. 

Minutes later, it was Hyland who had the goal in her sights. Fantastic build up play between Mulholland and Southgate saw the latter square a fantastic ball for Hyland who unleashed a rasping drive from just outside the 18 yard box but her shot flew just over the crossbar. 

Charlton had the Spurs defence worried soon after when great interplay between Tye and Cole looked to have sent Searle into the clear but the young winger was adjudged to be offside.

After chances at both ends it was Spurs who took the lead on the 17 minute mark. 
After a quick break down their right hand channel, the ball was crossed into the Addicks penalty area where Spurs no 63, Katie O’Leary was lurking unmarked. The ball fell (somewhat fortuitously) to lithe strikers’ feet and she volleyed home convincingly from point blank range, leaving Baker no chance. 

With Spurs threatening to cease control of the game, the Charlton players knew they had to play with more energy and vigour to try and get a foothold in the tie. 

It was Charlton’s marauding wingers who seemed intent on reducing the deficit. 
First it was Mulholland who went close. A pinpoint through ball from Tye found the feet of the winger wide on the right hand side of the Spurs penalty area. She whipped a shot in from an acute angle but the ball could only flash across the face of the Spurs goal. 

Then it was Searle’s turn and she managed to go one better. Spotting that Tottenham were playing a high defensive line, Southgate cleverly looped a ball in behind the Spurs rearguard into Searle’s path. Latching onto the pass and finding herself one on one with the keeper, Searle fired at goal. The keeper did well to parry the initial shot but Searle was able to slot home on the second attempt making the score 1-1. 

Having regained some confidence, Charlton then went on to carve out a string of good chances. 

An intricate ball by Cole (who was at the heart of most of the Addicks attacks) looked to have released Rodger but the young striker was flagged offside.

Then, Mulholland had another chance to get on the score sheet. Her shot on the run was well hit but the angle was against her. Another good ball by Cole was latched onto by Rodger but she was again deemed to be offside. The linesman’s right arm seemed to be getting as good a work out as the striker. 

A really inviting chance then fell to Tye. A great flowing move involving Cole and Mulholland saw the ball squared to Tye at pace. The midfielder had timed her run perfectly but as she approached to side foot the ball home, the ball sat up awkwardly and she could not keep her effort down. 

Moments later it was Spurs who came close to taking the lead when they were awarded a free – kick some distance from goal. The Spurs midfielder hit a peach of a shot which looked to be dipping just under the Charlton crossbar. Watching it all the way, Baker stretched every sinew to make a fingertip save and tip the effort over the bar. Baker dusted herself off quickly and was called into action immediately after from the resulting corner. As the ball came in it fell invitingly at the feet of a Spurs attacker butBaker was quick off her line and able to smother the danger. 

The last action of the half saw Charlton spurn another gilt edged opportunity. A surging run by Southgate was cut short illegally by a Spurs defender. Knowing the half time whistle was imminent, the visitors committed bodies forward. Southgate picked herself up and delivered a beautifully shaped ball towards the back post. Tye rose highest and met the ball sweetly but could only glance her header narrowly wide of the keepers’ right hand post.  

Both teams went into the break, somewhat surprisingly with only a goal a piece. 

If the supporters felt they had been treated to a fair amount of action in the first half then they were in for a treat in the second. 

The players had barely had time to warm up again when Tottenham’s number four seemed to fall awkwardly and had to leave the field. The long stoppage seemed to act as a catalyst for all the drama to begin to unfold. 

After a period of good possession, Charlton surged downfield with Cole leading the attack. The tricky winger cut inside the Tottenham box and was chopped down by a clumsy looking challenge. Penalty! With 58 minutes on the clock, Cole dusted herself down and stepped up to take the spot – kick. The striker side footed the ball towards the corner of the net but the connection was poor. The keeper was only able to parry the ball back into Cole’s path and the striker had the wherewithal to put the ball in at the second attempt. As the Addicks converged to congratulate their team mate, their celebrations were cut short by the referee’s whistle. Amid much confusion and gesticulation the referee ruled the goal out for offside. 

The Addicks were understandably aggrieved by what was a dubious decision and were determined not to let this affect the overall result. 

Charlton now seemed intent on winning the game. 

A long ball downfield from Baker dissected the Spurs defence and was controlled adeptly by Cole. Her smart turn and snapshot had the keeper scrambling but the shot was just wide. Cole again went close soon after. A Southgate corner fell to the strikers’ feet but she could only volley over the bar. 

Then, on 70 minutes, Charlton’s pressure told in the form of a stunning team goal. A fantastic string of elaborate passes between Mulholland, Rodger and Cole saw the latter square the ball to Searle who slotted the ball home calmly without breaking her stride, doubling her tally for the day. 

Charlton were now in the mood and looked hungry for more goals and that’s exactly what they got a minute later. 

After regaining possession from the restart, the ball was played to Rodger. As she approached the Spurs penalty area she unleashed an absolute thunderbolt of a short which almost ripped a hole in the station of the goal. A superb way to register her first reserve team goal. 

The Addicks now seemed to have the game sewn up with a 3-1 lead. 

On 73 minutes, Hyland was replaced by Barnett who was making her first appearance after a long illness and it didn’t take her long to get in on the action. Charlton were awarded a corner and as it was swung in from the right hand side it was Barnett who was there to meet it, only to see her effort saved by the keeper. 

As the end of the game drew nearer, it became apparent that Spurs were going to make Charlton work very hard to come away with the victory. 

Spurs began to sense a few nerves as the Addicks attempted to see out the game and ranked up the pressure. 

In fact, Spurs had the ball in the net on the 78 minute mark but the Spurs attacker was well offside and the goal was rightly chalked off. Baker then had to be at her absolute best to deny Katie O’Leary with a fine diving save to her right. 

It now seemed like only a matter of time before Spurs were going to make their late pressure count and that’s exactly what happened with 88 minutes on the clock. Good play down the Spurs right saw the winger hit the by-line and pull a fine ball across goal for Spurs no. 47 to slot home. 

Almost directly from the restart Spurs finished the job and the comeback was complete. A constant wave of Tottenham pressure had earned them a corner. A good delivery was met by a Tottenham winger who had lost her marker and had a free header at the back post. 

After a half which was played at break – neck speed and with much to talk about, the referee called time on proceedings with the final score 3-3.

The draw leaves the Addicks unable to progress through to the next round of the league cup.         

Amidst the disappointment of relinquishing the lead and ultimately going out of the cup, there were some positive performances which manager Spencer will hope to build on going into a tough league encounter next week against local rivals Gillingham.

Team: Baker, Southgate, Richards, Rogers, Shields, Hyland (Barnett 73mins), Mulholland, Tye, Searle, Cole and Rodger.

 
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