Charlton 6-0 Forest Green Rovers
Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 10:34AM UTC, Monday, 26 October 2015
The Charlton women’s team moved to within two points of the FA Women’s Premier League South summit with a comprehensive 6-0 win against Forest Green Rovers on Sunday.
Two goals from top scorer Gemma Shepherd; one each for Jenny Newman and Stef Simmons, and a brace of own goals saw the Addicks take their goalscoring tally to 25 in their last three matches.
And, with Brighton losing to bottom of the table Queens Park Rangers and Portsmouth and Coventry drawing, Charlton now have their destiny back in their own hands.
Manager Jeremy Parsons made a number of changes to the side that beat Billericay Town 11-4 on Wednesday, with reserve team captain Alex Baker starting in goal in place of Megen Lynch.
Elsewhere, Simmons and Nikita Whinnett replaced Ruby Southgate and Amy Howlett, who both started on the bench but came on as second half substitutes.
And the Addicks got off to the perfect, albeit rather fortuitous, start as Shepherd turned her marker brilliantly to the right of the goal and fired over a cross for Newman. The striker got something on it but the ball eventually deflected into the net off an unfortunate Forest Green defender to give Charlton a third-minute lead.
The goal certainly settled Charlton into a rhythm and they were almost unplayable during the first period, with the hosts having just one meaningful attack all half.
Captain Kim Dixson sent a long-range effort just wide after some flowing football, but it was a rather more route-one move that led to their second goal on 13 minutes.
Baker sent a long goal kick towards Shepherd, who flicked on for Newman to chase. The striker turned provider this time, squaring for her partner to tap home from five yards out.
Newman then had the ball in the net again, but this time saw her header ruled out for offside. But the third goal was not long in coming, on 23 minutes, as Shepherd latched onto a perfectly weighted ball over the top from Simmons to lob home.
It was the striker’s 12th strike of the season from 10 league matches and sees her hold a five goal lead over Cardiff’s Hope Suominen in the race for the FAWPL South’s golden boot award.
Six minutes later it was four, as Shepherd reverted to being provider, crossing deep to Simmons, whose centre was again knocked on by Newman but diverted in by FGR defender Jodie Shepherd.
The hosts’ only effort showed glimpses of what they can do, with some good build-up play seeing the ball drop to Naomi Marshall. The striker turned well and curled goalwards but just beyond the far post.
The tireless Newman finally got her name on the scoresheet, chasing a throughball and lobbing over the keeper to make it five, nine minutes before the break. It could have been worse for the home side going into the interval, with Shepherd’s header cleared off the line before Sam Pittuck fired high and wide.
And it was a fast start to the second half, also, with the sixth coming just four minutes in; Shepherd dong the good work once again, squaring to Dixson who was standing on the penalty spot. The skipper then fed the advancing Simmons to the left of the box and the winger slammed home comprehensively.
The rest of the half was extremely quiet, with very few chances of note, as Forest Green improved with the half time additions of twins Kayanne and Karolayne Castro-Alencar. They could only force two further challenges to the Charlton goal, though, both through Charlotte King – one of which was saved by Baker and one that flew well off target.
Charlton’s final effort fell to Dixson, but her left-footed shot from range went narrowly wide.
The win, and Brighton’s defeat, sets up an interesting Sunday to come, with Charlton hosting Portsmouth and second-placed Cardiff City travelling to league leaders Brighton.
Charlton: Baker; Paye (Southgate 54), Flack, Pittuck, Coombs; Clifford (Baxter 64), Dixson, Whinnett, Simmons; Shepherd, Newman (Howlett 58).