Charlton 5-0 Lewes
Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 12:39AM BST, Thursday, 02 April 2015
The Charlton women’s team eased to 5-0 a victory over Lewes Ladies at Sporting Club Thamesmead on Wednesday.
The Addicks first match of eight in April started in emphatic style, with three goals in the first 25 minutes seeing them race into an early lead they would never look like surrendering.
That treble came in a spell of just 11 minutes, started off with Gemma Shepherd slotting home from a throughball and finishing with captain for the day Stef Simmons netting a rebounded penalty.
In between those strikes came the moment of the match (just) – a sublime goal worthy of gracing any match from Charley Clifford. But more on that later.
The contender for the moment of the match crown came 12 minutes from the end when Grace Coombs’ volley made it four and Sam Pittuck completed the rout with an 89th minute header.
It was a dominant first half from Charlton, with plenty of early half chances and some impressive, positive football on display. The second half was tighter, but still all Charlton.
The first chance of note came from slick build-up play involving Kim Dixson and Amy Howlett. The pair exchanged passes and Howlett fed Graham, but the striker could only fire over.
Shepherd opened the scoring just before the quarter of an hour mark, latching on to a pinpoint through ball from midfield to stroke past the onrushing Alison Cowling. It was to open the floodgates temporarily, as the home side asserted their dominance.
Clifford’s sublime strike came just six minutes later. A perfect first touch and turn from Kit Graham saw her escape the attentions of a defender before she fed Charley Clifford. The midfielder thundered home a first-time volley from 25 yards out into the bottom corner.
On 25 minutes, the game was effectively over when the referee pointed to the spot as an inswinging Simmons corner floated into the area and a defender was adjudged to have pulled Graham’s shirt.
Simmons, on her 102nd appearance for the club, stepped up, saw her spot kick saved by Cowling but reacted quickest to scramble home the rebound.
The only chance of note from the visitors was a tame one: Rachel Palmer hooking goalwards but Megen Lynch gathered easily.
Two late chances came and went for Charlton as a Clifford corner that was drifting goalwards was parried to safety by Cowling and a Howlett cross clipped the woodwork.
The second period was a far more sobering affair, with the game all but done and dusted and Lewes still failing to carve out any opportunities for even a consolation goal.
With the matches coming thick and fast, caretaker manager Jeremy Parsons took the opportunity to rest some of his more senior players, with Graham not quite playing for an hour and Shepherd for 70.
It made for a quieter spell to start the half, but Nikita Whinnett was denied well by Cowling when clear through and, up the other end, Kim Stenning sliced Lewes’s best chance of the tie well wide when clear of the Charlton defence.
The hosts had to wait until the 78th minute until they could extend their lead to four, with centre back Coombs volleying home a Clifford corner into the top right-hand corner from just inside the area.
Striker-cum-midfielder-cum defender Pittuck wrapped up her side’s 12th successive win a minute from time, sneaking round the Lewes defence to the back post and powering home a header from yet another well-delivered corner.
It could well have been six, or even seven, but Whinnett was once again thwarted by Cowling before substitute Katie Flack saw an effort cannon back off the post.
The win sees Charlton move back above Tottenham Hotspur into fourth place, six points behind FA Women’s Premier League South leaders Cardiff City with a game in hand.
Charlton: Lynch; Paye, Simmons (Flack 46), Coombs, Pittuck; Clifford, Dixson, Howlett, Whinnett; Graham (Hardaker 58), Shepherd (Harrison 70). Subs (not used): Baker, Southgate.