Charlton 6-1 Carshalton Athletic (Ryman Cup semi-final)
Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 10:08AM UTC, Thursday, 29 January 2015
A Gemma Shepherd hat trick helped down the London & South East Premier Division side and set up a final appearance against either Tottenham Hotspur or current holder Gillingham, who play tonight (Thursday).
The Addicks’ other goals came from Sam Pittuck (2) and Kit Graham, while Carshalton’s was netted by their most impressive player on the day, Laura Curtis.
It was a stiff examination for Charlton, who took a while to get a proper foothold in the game with the visitors pressing early on but failing to fashion any real chances on Alex Baker’s goal.
Charlton still had plenty of chances, with Graham seeing an early header cleared off the line and Shepherd slamming the follow up against the crossbar.
Graham then freed Pittuck with a flicked pass but the midfielder brought a good save out of stand-in goalkeeper Janaya Spiteri.
It took just nine minutes, though, for the home side to break the deadlock and it came in emphatic style. Shepherd took the ball down the left flank before cutting in and pulling back for Graham. The striker saw her initial effort blocked on the line but the rebound fell kindly and she lashed home at the second attempt, almost bursting the net in the process.
A couple more chances came Charlton’s way when captain Kim Dixson had a shot pushed away by the busy Spiteri and Rosie Paye headed just over from close range.
Carshalton then had a good spell, albeit for a short period. Two chances fell to Ella Bale, the first from a Curtis through ball but her shot was straight at Baker; the second a volley that flew just over from a corner.
On 38 minutes, though, Charlton doubled their advantage throught Pittuck, who rounded Spiteri and stroked into an empty net.
Two goals in two minutes preceded the half time whistle: some nice build-up play from Charlton saw Graham storm into the area and play the ball to Emma Harrison, who laid back for Shepherd to pick her spot from 15 yards out.
Carshalton reduced the deficit on the stroke of half time. A long Georgie O’Halloran free kick was well tipped onto the crossbar by Baker but Curtis was on hand to follow up and tap home.
It took just 10 minutes of the second half before Charlton had restored their three-goal advantage and it came in the form of Shepherd’s second of the game. A Kim Dixson corner was well-weighted and Shepherd rose highest to head home unmarked just in front of Spiteri.
O’Halloran was unfortunate not to get herself on the scoresheet when for the second time another long-range free kick crashed off the woodwork.
With 12 minutes of the game remaining, Pittuck bagged her second of the night, rolling a first-time shot into the bottom corner from 20 yards out.
The victory, and Shepherd’s hat trick, was completed when Dixson squared and the striker turned her defender and shot into the far corner.
Charlton will await their opponents in the showpiece, with the date and venue to be confirmed. They host Wolverhampton Wanderers in the FA Cup third round on Sunday at Sporting Club Thamesmead (2pm).
Charlton: Baker, Flack, Simmons (Southgate 57), Paye, Coombs (Butler 46), Dixson, Pittuck, Graham, Whinnett (Howlett 57), Harrison, Shepherd.