Charlton 7-0 Copsewood (Coventry)
Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 8:21PM BST, Sunday, 26 April 2015
The Charlton women’s team eased to a comfortable 7-0 victory over Copsewood (Coventry) at Sporting Club Thamesmead on Sunday.
Gemma Shepherd led the way, bagging a hat trick, while Kit Graham netted a brace and Amy Howlett and Kim Dixson grabbed a goal apiece. Graham’s second of the game was especially significant, being her 50th strike of the season.
Charlton didn’t have it all their own way, though, with Copsewood having the better early chances. Indeed, the home side were lucky not go find themselves a goal down within the first five minutes.
The two best chances fell to Leah Williams, as the big number four shot narrowly wide first and then wildly off target just seconds later after some generous defending from Charlton.
Another chance came and went for Copsewood, with Williams turning provider and laying the ball back to Sarah Rowles but the midfielder could only shoot wide.
The visitors would rue those missed opportunities, though, as the Addicks worked their way back into the tie and could have taken the lead earlier than they eventually did when Rosie Paye’s header from a Kim Dixson corner struck the crossbar.
Katie Hardaker should have opened the scoring shortly after but her first-time flicked effort was instinctively saved at point-blank range from Copsewood goalkeeper Stacey Christie.
Those misses never mattered in the end, though, as two quickfire goals within the space of four minutes put Charlton on their way. From Hardaker’s shot, Copsewood put the ball behind for a corner and Dixson’s set piece found its way to the far post, where Shepherd converted.
On 24 minutes, Charlton doubled their advantage, with an excellent, deep cross from Stef Simmons finding Amy Howlett and the winger headed home into the opposite corner.
With the first period winding down, Graham put even more of a buffer between the two sides, latching on to a Shepherd flick on and burying into the far corner.
Charlton did suffer one blow, with Paye limping off just before the interval and Ruby Southgate replacing her but the injury doesn’t seem as bad as it initially looked.
It wasn’t long after the break that Charlton hit their fourth, with sub Southgate playing the ball forward into the path of Graham. The youngster turned away from her defender and squared for Shepherd, who slid home.
Up the other end, Megen Lynch had to be alert to foil a rare Copsewood attack before Shepherd completed her hat trick on 57 minutes.
A fabulous team move started with Grace Coombs spreading the ball wide for Howlett, who beat the left back to the byline and whipped in a cross. A sensational touch and turn from Graham got it under control and allowed her to set Shepherd up to slot past Christie.
The away side saw another wasted chance after Hardaker was penalised, but Rowles’ drove her set piece wide.
Graham netted her 50th goal of the season in just 34 matches in all competitions on 72 minutes, converting a Shepherd cross before captain Dixson got herself on the scoresheet, volleying into the top corner from the edge of the penalty area.
Charlton now face two cup finals in the next week, the first being the FA Women’s Premier League Cup final against Sheffield FC at Nuneaton Town FC on Sunday (3pm). That is followed up by the Capital Cup final against West Ham United at Harrow Borough FC on Wednesday (1945).
Charlton: Lynch; Flack, Simmons, Paye (Southgate 46), Coombs; Dixson, Hardaker, Howlett, Whinnett (Blowers 59); Graham (Spice 75), Shepherd. Subs (not used): Clifford, Pittuck.