Charlton 5-0 West Ham (Capital Women's Cup Final)
Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 11:24AM UTC, Thursday, 07 May 2015
A clinical performance from the Charlton women’s team saw them run riot as they secured their third trophy of the season, beating West Ham United 5-0 in the Capital Cup final at Harrow Borough FC on Wednesday.
The victory follows the Addicks’ FA Women’s Premier League Cup triumph against Sheffield FC on Sunday, and adds to their Ryman Cup win over Tottenham Hotspur in April.
It is the second year running Charlton have won the tournament, beating Queens Park Rangers 2-1 in the inaugural final last season. Charlton are also the last team to win its predecessor, the London Cup.
Charlton went into half time two goals to the good, thanks to strikes from Charley Clifford and Amy Howlett and, while they were the dominant team throughout, it was an eight minute spell to start the second period that really did the damage.
The floodgates were temporarily opened by Kit Graham five minutes in, who netted her 51st goal of the season, before Harrison poked home three minutes later. Clifford bagged her second of the day to complete the scoring on 57 minutes.
Caretaker manager Jeremy parsons made just one change from the FAWPL Cup final side, with Nikita Whinnett, who dislocated her shoulder in that match, dropping to the bench and being replaced by Howlett.
It took around 10 minutes for Charlton to find their rhythm, with both sides sharing possession in the early stages without creating too much.
The first real chance came from some good attacking play by Charlton’s front two, with Graham driving through the Hammers defence and sliding a pass in for Gemma Shepherd. The striker’s cross found Harrison at the back post but she fluffed her lines and allowed Nikki Duncan the chance to save.
Shortly after that, though, the deadlock was broken, with 13 minutes showing on the clock. Grace Coombs saw her free kick find its way to skipper Kim Dixson, whose long-range effort was blocked by a West Ham hand. The captain’s resulting set piece was blocked by the wall, but the ball looped into the six-yard box where Clifford was on hand, and onside, to head over Duncan.
Graham went close soon after and West Ham had a couple of opportunities, with a Stacey Little cross floating harmlessly wide of Megen Lynch’s goal, while Kelley Blanchflower’s effort caused her more of a problem but was claimed at the second attempt. Meanwhile, at the other end, Katie Bottom did well to hack a thunderous Graham cross off the line.
Charlton doubled their advantage four minutes before the interval thanks, in the first instance, to some dogged work from Graham.
The 19-year-old robbed a defender at the byline and worked a good angle to have a left-footed pop, which was blocked. The ball, though, fell kindly for Howlett, who curled over Duncan – the keeper got a hand to it but couldn’t stop the ball nestling into the roof of the net.
Stef Simmons was brought into the fray by Parsons, replacing Rosie Paye, and the left back made an almost instant impact, when she fed a long ball over the West Ham defence on 50 minutes. Graham easily outpaced Ruby Baxter, racing onto the ball and neatly lobbing the onrushing Duncan for her side’s third.
Three minutes later it was four, as Howlett whipped in a cross that saw Clifford challenge Duncan, fairly in the referee’s estimation. The ball fell nicely again for Charlton and Harrison was on hand to poke home at the far post.
If the contest wasn’t over by then, it was four minutes in four minutes’ time, as Clifford got herself on the scoresheet once again, outmuscling a defender and curling home from what looked like an impossible angle.
It could have been worse for the Hammers, had Duncan not been alert and made a smart save from Graham at her near post, while some good defending saw a Howlett cross cleared under the nose of Dixson.
West Ham did have two good chances to pull a consolation goal back, with Little spreading the ball out wide for Blanchflower on the left. The attacker flicked the ball past Lynch, but Pittuck raced back to prevent what looked a certain goal.
Substitute Adele Sale then tested Lynch from 30 yards out on the right wing, but Charlton’s custodian back-pedalled and clawed the attempt away to preserve her clean sheet.
There was one final chance in stoppage time for sub Whinnett, who controlled well and shot on the turn but brought a comfortable save out of Duncan.
With the match over, the formalities were concluded, with Graham being named Player of the Match and Dixson lifting yet another trophy aloft, although a significantly smaller one than on Sunday.
Charlton: Lynch; Paye (Simmons 46), Flack, Coombs, Pittuck; Dixson, Clifford (Whinnett 81), Harrison, Howlett; Graham, Shepherd (Hardaker 59).