Charlton 6-2 Millwall Lionesses Reserves
Report by Colin Robertson
Page last updated at 10:27PM BST, Monday, 26 September 2011
Charlton Women’s reserve team beat Millwall Reserves 6-2 in the Reserve League Cup at Sparrows Lane on Sunday as Abigail Igbavboa scored a second half hat trick, Sam Rowland netted a brace and Stef Simmons converted from the penalty spot.
The local derby was the first time the sides had met since the final of last year’s Kent County Cup which Charlton won on penalties. The game was well attended as the teams kicked off in warm weather.
For such an occasion the game lacked any real bite in the opening stages but Charlton began to exert their dominance with neat passing in midfield and a good use of width. It became one way traffic and Kallie Balfour, Rowland and Jade Keogh all took opportunities to shoot but could not find the target.
On 27 minutes Rowland found the most dangerous opportunity when she dispossessed the Lions left back but made a hurried effort on goal – many on the touchline held their breath as the striker may have taken the ball in closer.
In the 35th minute a Millwall player looked to be offside in the left corner but the reds were left scrambling back after a pause and no reaction from the referee. The ball was played across the box in the melee and there was little Alex Baker could do as the Millwall forward struck home.
In the 41st minute a piece of individual brilliance from Rowland levelled the scores when she dribbled between three players to make a cool finish with a side foot to the bottom right corner from the edge of the box.
Just minutes later what looked to be a relatively innocuous piece of play by the visitors deep in Charlton’s half became dangerous when too many players backed off the ball and the ball popped out for a Millwall player to shoot from range. The high ball wrong-footed Baker and the visitors were back in the lead to the Addicks dismay.
Igbavboa replaced Balfour at halftime and after some very neat work by Keogh on the left she equalised in the 51st minute, with a firm shot from the winger’s well weighted pass into the box. Two minutes later Rowland found a bit of room on the edge of the area and decided to try her luck which she found when the ball nutmegged the keeper.
With the home side finally in the lead some felt the tide could be turning but then Charlton left back Ellie Manning was adjudged her to have handballed as the ball bounced up and hit her on the arm. Millwall looked for a lifeline to stay in the tie but Baker was more than equal and her save palmed the shot out of harm’s way before the ball was cleared.
Igbavboa was back in the heat of the action in the 68th as she was felled just inside the box, it was one of several fouls she had won through an industrious mentality and clever feet since her entry to the game. Simmons made no mistake from the penalty spot.
Ibavboa was in again in the 75th and scored from close range before rounding off the game and an impressive hat trick, with an excellent strike from 25 yards after carving herself the opportunity out of the blue, eluding a well-placed set of defenders with clever turns and changes of direction.
Manager Bill Long stated, “Overall we deserved it. After the 1st half, it went really well and we took it to Millwall and ran out comfortable winners. The players took on board the information given to them at half time and responded well which was pleasing.”
Igbavboa has scored five goals in the last two games. Long said, “She had an hour last game and a half today, she has been away all summer and so is coming back to fitness. She had done really and it’s a big positive for her and for the team.”
Team: Baker, Manning, Goldsmith, Patel (Yennaris 77mins), Duffy, Chandler, Sellar (Tapp 77mins), Simmons, Keogh, Balfour (Igbavboa 45mins), Rowland