Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 8:43PM BST, Sunday, 26 August 2012
The Charlton women’s team twice equalised in stoppage time to secure a 4-4 draw with newly promoted Manchester City at Bayliss Avenue on Sunday, despite having led 2-0 at one point.
Goals either side of half time from Ellie Stenning and Courteney Gibson put the Addicks two goals up but the Citizens hit back with some long, high crosses that allowed Chelsea Nightingale, Sarah Buffel and Lynda Shepherd to grab a goal each.
The game looked over until stoppage time when Gemma Shepherd converted a penalty she had won but City went back ahead straight from the restart but Shepherd equalised with almost the last kick of the game to share the spoils.
Charlton started well and could have been a goal up after good work from Gibson, who was returning to the starting line-up, but her shot flew just wide of the far post.
The visitors then came back into the game and after Sarah Jones had brought Sarah Danby down Amanda Goodwin’s free kick was easily saved by Kelly Cooper.
A ball across the Charlton box found three players unmarked at the far post but their shot was rushed and went well wide. Krystie Johnston then had a one-on-one chance but her shot was weak and Cooper was able to hold.
Danby and Lindsay Savage had chances before a Stef Simmons corner was headed wide of the target by centre back Cori Daniels.
Charlton broke the deadlock a minute before the interval when a high ball over the top found Kit Graham who squared for Stenning to slot past the goalkeeper.
Shortly after the break Johnston headed narrowly wide and Harley Bennett’s speculative long range effort only just cleared the crossbar.
Five minutes into the half the hosts doubled their advantage as Stenning closed down the right back and then charged down the keeper’s clearance.
The ball fell to Shepherd who fed Gibson and the winger skipped past the challenge of two City defenders before firing into the corner of the goal.
Two goals in quick succession from the away side cancelled out the lead. On 57 minutes a corner caused mayhem in the box and Nightingale was on hand to prod home after a goalmouth scramble.
Three minutes later an ambitious long ball was launched into the area and Cooper seemed to mis-judge the flight and dropped it into the path of Buffel who equalised.
Savage then fired over the bar after another deep corner and Stenning’s shot at the other end was blocked by a Man City defender.
PHSC plc Player of the Match Sinead Boyer kept the score level when she chased back a lob and cleared off the line before Bennett again went close; her curled effort scraped the crossbar.
With eight minutes remaining, though, City looked to have won the game. Another long cross to the far post was headed home by the unmarked Shepherd.
The drama continued into stoppage time and the Addicks’ Shepherd got on the ball and, after a probing run through the defence, managed to get a shot away.
That was saved but the former West Ham attacker had the wherewithal to put the ball back into the area and it struck a defender’s hand to give Charlton a penalty.
Shepherd took the spot kick and slammed it home but celebrations were cut short when Charlton played themselves into danger and Danby’s deflected shot, again, looked to have won the tie for City.
That wasn’t where it ended, though, as Gibson wriggled free down the right and centred the ball to Shepherd who stuck her leg out and wrong footed the goalkeeper to equalise for the second time and the referee blew his whistle shortly after the restart to signal the end of an unbelievable game of football.
Charlton: Cooper, Boyer, Simmons (Flack 50), Daniels, Jones, Dixson, Bennett, Chandler (Stenning 37), Gibson, Graham, Shepherd. Subs (not used): Albert, Keogh.