Charlton 4-1 Watford Reserves
Report by Colin Robertson
Page last updated at 9:47PM GMT, Monday, 14 November 2011
Braces by Ellie Stenning and Kit Graham, on her senior debut, put the game out of reach for the visiting Hornets in a 4-1 victory at Sparrows lane on Sunday.
Both Graham’s goals were phenomenal. Each strike impressively coming from way outside the box before Stenning added her contribution. She beat the keeper from 25 yards a minute before the half to put Charlton firmly in the driving seat. The striker then latched on to a Graham through ball to finish one on one with the keeper early in the second half.
With many more chances to follow the score line should have been higher but the visitors, playing with ten players refused to lie down and scored an opportunistic strike in the later stages of the game which consolidated their efforts.
In the opening stages Charlton were the stronger side although at times passing up the pitch was loose. Some sturdy defending and sound work up front by lone striker, Stenning was enough to take hold of the game.
Kristina Manktelow started brightly and her energy running at defenders, often through crowds gave the Addicks a real edge going forwards. Stenning and Manktelow both had close efforts on goal before Graham, receiving the ball from Athena Yenneris, turned and looked for goal from 25 yards on 17 minutes. Her strike was awesome and the Hornet’s Keeper could barely move as it hit the top corner.
Charlton continued to build attacks and possession in the middle of the pitch improved. The work paid off in the 41st minute when youngster Graham again was the difference. This time she turned neatly on the ball from a throw in on the right and unleashed a stunning effort from 25 yards that crashed in off the far post – the keeper again was left only to watch.
With a minute to go before half time, Stenning stuck an effort from range and the ball sailed high into the net assuring a comfortable lead at half time.
The striker found her way in on goal soon again. This time courtesy of a Graham through ball which she latched onto with great timing to slot away the fourth goal by a first time finish. With the score at 4-0 on 55 minutes Charlton had the opportunity to deliver further damage but the goals didn’t come.
Stenning came very close to scoring a hat trick when she was involved in a goal line scramble in the 67th minute - injuring her wrist in the process. Samantha Rowland on for the injured Liz Ejupi and Jade Keogh both looked to make their mark on the game and Manktelow too continued to go forward with intent but some hearty defending by Watford kept them all to only half chances.
It was the visitors who had the final say after some disjointed play on the right hand side led to a strike from 30 yards which looped over Smith and the keeper may feel she could have done better against the effort on an otherwise quiet afternoon for her.
Team manager Bill Long said, “It was fantastic to be fair. We had a meeting in the week to discuss what was expected of them. In the first half they showed what was expected of them. To come in 3-0 up was great.
“In the second half it is hard when you are winning 3-0. You then have the expectation of running out and winning by five or six. To be fair to Watford, they battled really, really hard and to be fair for their battle and determination they deserve their goal overall. It is a shame we conceded but to be fair to the girls it was a good day.”
Graham impressed with two goals on her debut, “She scored a fantastic second goal. To cut in and bend it in to the top corner with her left foot like that, just shows that she has a big future ahead of her.”
Stenning also bagged a brace, “Ellie’s coming back from quite a serious ankle injury. Hopefully this will boost her confidence. She did 90 minutes today; it is really nice that she didn’t struggle, she kept going for 90 minutes as well so that’s good stuff in the tank for her.”
Reserves: Smith, Duffy (Capt), Patel, Yennaris, Manning, Ejupi (Rowland 70), Chandler (Keogh 73), Sellar, Graham (Symonds 80), Manktelow, Stenning
Unused Subs: Day