Charlton 7-0 Maidstone United (Ryman Cup - Quarter-Final)
Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 9:59AM GMT, Tuesday, 23 December 2014
The Charlton women’s team eased into the Ryman Cup semi finals with a 7-0 victory over Maidstone United last night, thanks to five goals from leading scorer Kit Graham.
Graham rounded off a prolific 2014 with an impressive performance, taking her tally for the calendar year to 44 goals from 32 games and moving her into second place in the club’s all-time scorers list.
The other two goals came in the first half from midfielder Charley Clifford, setting up a potential semi against Gillingham, Tottenham Hotspur or Carshalton Athletic.
Perhaps the most significant point to take from the game was the return of Kim Dixson, playing her first match in over a year and dictating play in midfield.
After a 15 minute delay due to a lack of officials, replacements were found and the game, which was pretty much one-way traffic, began.
The ever-dangerous Graham drove through the Maidstone defence early on, feeding Stef Simmons on the left but the winger’s cross flew harmlessly over the bar.
The first clear-cut chance was once again made by Graham, sliding Emma Harrison in for a one-on-one chance that was easily saved by goalkeeper Emma Hogben.
Charlton tried to exploit the flanks a lot in the first half, with one Megan Mulholland cross setting up an opportunity for Simmons. Her volley struck the post and Rosie Paye’s follow up header was well saved by Hogben.
A combination of the woodwork and keeper Hogben continued to keep the scores level despite heavy pressure: Paye headed two corners goalwards, seeing one cleared off the line and one cannoning back off the crossbar; while Simmons had two volleys saved.
It was on 33 minutes that the deadlock was broken when Paye crossed from deep and Clifford rose highest to head over the committed Hogben and into an empty net.
Alex Witham had the hosts’ best chance shortly after, seeing her shot curl just wide, but the Addicks doubled their advantage on 38 minutes, with Graham grabbing her first of many with a long-range strike.
Charlton added two goals in as many minutes directly before half time: Graham rounded Hogben before Clifford sent another long-ranger past the Stones custodian.
Three minutes after the break Graham had her hat trick, racing onto a through ball from deep to poke past Hogben.
Substitute Dominique Harris almost made it six from a nearly impossible angle, turning her defender on the left and powering a shot on goal but it flew narrowly past the far post. The young striker was then denied by Hogben, who got down well to tip an effort onto the post.
Graham made it six on 76 minutes, while the home side’s midfielder Chelsea Wallace almost pulled a consolation back with a long-range chance.
And it was left to Graham to have the final say when Dixson whipped in a wicked cross that the 19-year-old met with a bullet header into the top corner in stoppage time.
Charlton: Baker, Paye, Flack, Coombs, Butler, Dixson, Clifford (Hardaker 56), Mulholland (Howlett 52), Simmons, Graham, Harrison (Harris 52).