Charlton 5-2 Swindon Town
Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 8:06PM BST, Sunday, 31 August 2014
The Charlton women’s team fought back from two goals down to defeat Swindon Town at Sporting Club Thamesmead on Sunday and progress to the FA Women’s Premier League Cup first round.
An unchanged Addicks side made a terrible start, conceding after just 40 seconds through Sarah Uzzel, before striker Beth Thompson made it 2-0 after just 11 minutes.
Kit Graham, who went on to bag her second hat trick in two games, started the comeback, poking home after Gemma Shepherd’s shot was blocked on the line just 10 minutes later.
The hosts dominated the rest of the encounter, although Swindon hit the crossbar a few times. Gemma Shepherd scored twice after the interval to give Charlton the lead.
Graham put the result beyond doubt, completing her hat trick with two in the final six minutes.
The visitors, who play in the FAWPL South West Division One, shocked Charlton, scoring straight from their kick off, with Uzzell heading home unmarked.
And they doubled their advantage before the home side had even woken up, a long ball caught the defence napping and allowed Thompson the chance to finish past Megen Lynch.
That seemed to wake the Addicks up, with a few long range efforts flying off target before they pulled a goal back on 21 minutes.
A Charley Clifford corner found its way to Shepherd, whose shot from 15 yards was blocked on the line. The defender could only flick it out to Graham, though, and the attacker wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity, stabbing home.
Graham impressed yet again, running the game when swapped with Sam Pittuck, who was given a deeper role in midfield.
Graham flicked inside to Shepherd but her shot was blocked before the pair linked up again. Graham surged through the Swindon midfield, played a one-two with Shepherd but saw her powerful shot saved comfortably.
Amy Howlett’s cross was headed wide by Shepherd at the far post shortly after, while Charley Clifford’s long-range effort flew wide.
Some quick feet saw Graham find Shepherd, whose through ball found Emma Harrison in a great position but she could only blaze well over.
Charlton took a stranglehold on the game after the break, Graham firing powerfully from close range but straight at the keeper and Howlett was unlucky to get the ball caught under her feet at the far post.
Shepherd struck the equaliser on 53 minutes, Graham sprayed the ball out wide to Howlett. The winger’s cross was fumbled by Robyn Levett and Shepherd was on hand to bundle the ball just over the line.
The chances came thick and fast for Charlton: Graham firing over from close range and substitute Stef Simmons seeing her cross strike the crossbar.
Ellie Maynard had a free kick that sailed wide of Lynch’s goal, while the visitors hit the woodwork a couple of times, but rarely threatened.
There were 20 minutes left when Charlton took the lead, Howlett threading the ball past two Swindon defenders for Shepherd to turn and fire into the far corner.
Lynch had to be alert from a corner to smother a Maynard attempt, but Graham put the game to bed late on to cap another impressive performance.
The 18 year old exchanged passes with Shepherd in the penalty area and poked home on 84 minutes and, three minutes into injury time made it five. Another sub, Clare Rogers broke forward and received the ball from a Shepherd back-heel. The midfielder’s cross was stroked home by the marauding Graham to finish the tie.
Charlton will find out their oppnents in the next round tomorrow with the draw being made at St George`s Park, with a home game against Queens Park Rangers on Wednesday to look forward to in the league.
Charlton: Lynch, Southgate (Houlihan 88), Singyard (Simmons 47), Flack, Coombs, Clifford, Howlett, Harrison (Rogers 81), Graham, Shepherd, Pittuck. Subs (not used): Paye, Hyland.