Charlton 5-0 Portsmouth (SSE Women's FA Cup 2nd round proper)
Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 8:41PM GMT, Sunday, 08 January 2017
The Charlton women’s team booked their place in the SSE Women’s FA Cup third round with a commanding 5-0 victory over Portsmouth Ladies at The Valley on Sunday.
A hat trick from Kit Graham and headers from Kim Dixson and Katie Bottom, the latter scoring her first goal for the club since signing from West Ham last month, won the day and sent the bumper crowd home happy.
Manager Riteesh Mishra chose to make no changes to the starting XI from his side’s disappointing end to 2016, a 4-1 home loss to Cardiff City, but brought youngsters Giorgia Dunne and Ellie Jeffkins into the squad.
It was the hosts who started brightest, with Charlotte Lee volleying straight into keeper Courtney Trodd’s arms before Lee then laid back to tee up Dixson to fire an effort narrowly over from 20 yards out.
Graham was unlucky not to make it onto the scoresheet earlier than she did, lofting a shot, bound for the top corner, goalwards but seeing Trodd make an excellent flying stop to deny her.
Portsmouth had chances, though; most notably through some lax defending in the first half hour. A mis-placed pass first gave captain Gemma Hillier an opportunity but she was thwarted by a good save down low from Alex Baker. Katie James then attempted to capitalise on another poor pass but could only shoot wide.
Charlton broke the scoring on 36 minutes, and it was skipper and lifelong supporter Dixson who got it, glancing a header past Trodd from a whipped Grace Coombs cross from the right wing.
And they doubled their advantage moments before the interval, Avilla Bergin’s corner finding its way to Graham, who powered a header in at the near post.
And the home side made the perfect start to the second half when another Bergin flag kick was aimed at the near post with Bottom on hand to stoop low and head in at the near post.
Just before the hour mark Bergin’s corner caused havoc in the Pompey penalty area, with the ball falling, after a few rebounds, to Graham to lift over Trodd to make it 4-0.
Graham completed the scoring and her hat trick on 65 minutes, once again heading a Bergin corner home, leading to a fairly comfortable final 25 for Charlton.
Pompey had a few moments, though, and Baker had to be alert to beat away a Hillier long-range effort. She also made a stunning stop to deny the south-coast side in the fifth minute of added-on time, clawing a curler round the post when she looked beaten.
Charlton progress into the third round of the SSE Women’s FA Cup; the draw will take place on Monday morning.
Charlton: Baker, Flack, Dixson, Sullivan, Coombs, Clifford (Monaghan 75), Bergin, Lee (Okeowo 68), Graham (Nash 81), Bottom, Southgate. Subs (not used): Dunne, Jeffkins.