Charlton 3-3 West Ham
Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 7:52PM UTC, Sunday, 14 December 2014
A brace from Kit Graham helped the Charlton women’s team fight back from 2-0 down to draw 3-3 against West Ham United at Sporting Club Thamesmead on Sunday.
The Addicks found themselves trailing by two goals after 55 minutes thanks to strikes from Sarah McCrea and Kelley Blanchflower but had taken the lead 15 minutes later through Graham (2) and Charley Clifford.
However, the Hammers had the final say, equalising 11 minutes from the end to send both teams home with a point from a pulsating encounter.
Charlton started the better team and could have taken the lead early on when Graham cleverly turned her defender but saw her effort deflected wide. From Clifford’s corner, West Ham keeper Nikita Runnacles tipped the ball to Grace Coombs at the far post but her shot was blocked by a defender.
It was Graham who had another chance shortly after when she headed a cross from Nikita Whinnett goalwards but straight at Runnacles.
The visitors then applied some pressure of their own, with a dangerous Blanchflower cross being put behind by Katie Flack on the quarter of an hour mark. Former Addick McCrea met the resulting corner with an unmarked volley that beat Megen Lynch at the near post to break the deadlock.
Graham almost equalised 20 minutes later as she once again rose highest to head a Clifford corner towards the top corner but one of her team mates inadvertently diverted the ball away from goal.
West Ham could have doubled their tally just before half time when a throughball dissected the Charlton defence but striker Lily Mellors decided to take the shot on first time and looped it into Lynch’s grateful arms.
The hosts had the first chance of the second period when Runnacles pushed a Stef Simmons corner to Katie Hardaker at the edge of the area but the midfielder’s volley flew harmlessly over.
Instead, it was the Hammers who struck next as Blanchflower converted after a few West Ham shots were kept out by Charlton’s defence.
Their two-goal advantage lasted less than a minute, though, as Whinnett raced down the right wing, beat her defender and sent over an inch-perfect cross that Graham met on the run to pull Charlton back into the tie.
Winger Any Howlett was unlucky not to grab a goal after beating four West Ham players with a driving run but Runnacles foiled her with her legs.
The home side didn’t have to wait long for the equaliser, which came in the 68th minute: another cross from the right found its way to Graham, who controlled well and fired past Runnacles, giving the former Millwall stopper no chance.
And three minutes later Charlton completed a remarkable comeback as Clifford saw her corner kick fly straight in at the near post, with Runnacles fumbling it over the line.
That wasn’t the end of the drama, though, as Lynch was caught in no-man’s land from a long West Ham free kick and Vicky Kinsman flicked a header over her to save a point for West Ham.
Charlton: Lynch, Flack, Simmons (Mulholland 65), Butler, Coombs, Clifford, Hardaker, Howlett (Harris 88), Harrison, Graham, Whinnett. Sub (not used): Paye.