Charlton 5-3 Reading
Report by Sue Prior
Page last updated at 8:23AM UTC, Sunday, 04 September 2011
A brace from substitute Jenny Newman helped the Charlton Women’s team bounce back from last weekend’s disappointing defeat with a 5-3 victory over Reading on Sunday.
The teams went into the interval goalless before the game exploded into life in the second half with goals from Fliss Gibbons and Gemma Bryan giving the Addicks an early 2-0 lead.
Charlton did have the ball in the Royals net once in the first period through Becky Duggan, only for it to be disallowed for a foul on keeper Moloney.
Kim Dixson netted in between two Reading goals, from Stacey Wiggins and Alice Palmer, before Newman entered the fray and put the visitors 5-2 up and safe, despite a late consolation from striker Nicola Watts.
In truth Charlton should have been out of sight before half time, such was their far superior play and possession, but once again their finishing threatened to let them down.
Winger Ellie Stenning, who later came off after twisting her ankle, was the first of a trio of Addicks to strike the post, seeing her well-guided header drift just wide of the target and rebound back into play.
Almost straight afterwards Bryan dragged a shot wide of goal as Charlton stamped their authority on the match with Reading struggling to get out of their own half in the opening exchanges.
Royals goalkeeper Grace Moloney then scrambled to push a Bryan effort round her near post before the imposing centre forward was the second to strike the woodwork, albeit from a much easier chance.
A Stenning cross was controlled by Bryan but her point blank shot slammed against the upright when it was easier to score. Just a minute later an Alden cross caused mayhem in the penalty area but Emma Beckett could only hit the post after a Gibbons shot was blocked.
The hosts ended the half with two half-chances; Watts shot straight at Megen Lynch, who held on well, while Kerrie Ryan flashed one just wide of the post.
The Addicks came out after the break intent on making their dominance pay off and, on 49 minutes, Gibbons raced onto a Beckett pass and lifted the ball over the onrushing keeper and into the net.
Soon after they doubled their lead, in the 50th minute, when Bryan pounced on a mistake from a Reading defender and flicked the ball past Moloney.
Four minutes later Reading were afforded a glimmer of hope when Lynch palmed a long range free kick onto the bar and Wiggins reacted before any defender to slam home.
Alden then curled one past the post and Sinead Boyer was fortunate to see her defensive volley come back off her own crossbar before Charlton restored their two-goal advantage.
With 67 minutes on the clock, Gibbons played Bryan out wide and the striker squared to Dixson in the penalty area and the skipper turned her marker and fired the ball across the keeper and in.
A controversial goal then saw Reading pull one back on 71 minutes. Lynch riskily called for Jordan Butler to leave the ball for the keeper, only for Turner to seemingly kick the ball out of her hands and stroke into an open goal. On another day, the goal would have been disallowed.
Yet again the visitors extended their lead, this time into an unassailable one. Dixson played Bryan out wide, the striker drove to the byline and fired the ball into the six yard box where Newman had gambled and finished under pressure from a defender.
It was then a moment of magic from the winger that finished her side’s scoring as she picked a Dixson pass up wide right, took a touch and unleased an unstoppable effort that went in off the upright with 10 minutes remaining.
There was still time for Watts to almost pinch Newman’s goal of the game accolade with a curler from the edge of the area but it was only a consolation and Charlton held out for the win.
Technical Director Paul Mortimer was delighted his side got back to winning ways in such a convincing manner, despite a couple of errors that allowed Reading to reduce the margin of defeat.
“It should have been more emphatic,” he said, “but I can’t fault the girls, they were fantastic. Our football was good, the way the girls passed it through midfield, and they deserved what they got.
“We should have had many more goals, there is no disputing that and I don’t think the Reading lot would disagree, but the way the girls played was brilliant.”
Rserving special praise for Player of the Match Newman, he added: “I spoke to the subs this season and said ‘you will all have the opportunity and it is up to you to grasp it’ and she made a fabulous impact.
“She is a good finisher and she took her chances really well. She has a good head on her shoulders and understands why she is in the team or not, but knows I will give her a chance and she took it today.”
Charlton: Lynch, Boyer, Alden, Butler, Duggan, Bennett (Clifford 67), Beckett (Sherwood 83), Dixson, Gibbons, Stenning (Newman 33), Bryan.