Charlton 8-1 West Ham
Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 9:14PM UTC, Sunday, 11 October 2015
The Charlton women’s team eased to an 8-1 victory over West Ham United at Sporting Club Thamesmead on Sunday to keep the pressure on the top two in the FA Women’s Premier League South.
The Addicks stay third after both Brighton and Cardiff won, but are within touching distance, despite those two teams having a game in hand, which they will play next weekend.
There were six players on the scoresheet for Charlton, including braces for Kit Graham and top scorer Gemma Shepherd, who now has 10 goals in just nine league games.
It was a routine victory, with the first three goals, from Stef Simmons, Rosie Paye and Charley Clifford coming within the first 12 minutes. Strikes from Graham, Shepherd and Nikita Whinnett, and a consolation from Romina Pinna, gave the hosts a 6-1 lead going into the interval.
As tends to happen, Charlton had the luxury of being able to take their foot off the accelerator in the second period, with Graham and Shepherd adding to their tallies after the break.
Charlton were unchanged for the first time this season from their previous match, a 3-0 FAWPL Cup loss against Cardiff, with Lauren Parsons and Ruby Southgate on the bench in place of Darcy Wells and Ellie Baxter.
And it took just six minutes for Charlton to break the deadlock, with Shepherd seeing her shot saved by Aditi Chauhan and Simmons racing onto the follow up to slam into the roof of the net.
Three minutes later their advantage was doubled when a Kim Dixson free kick was headed for a corner by Hammers captain Katie Bottom. Clifford swung the set piece towards the back post and Paye snuck around the back of the West Ham defence to head unmarked through the legs of the defender on the line and in.
Clifford got in on the action a further three minutes later as the impressive Whinnett nicked the ball on the halfway line and fed Graham down the right. The striker put in a lovely ball on the floor and midfielder Clifford sidefooted home for 3-0.
West Ham had a few forays forward but struggled to get many clear-cut chances, with Shirvae Edwards largely isolated up front. Their first effort came as the striker dropped deep to collect the ball but saw her long ranger fly well over.
Graham had a good chance to make it four, heading a corner straight at Chauhan but she made up for the miss four minutes later. A ball over the West Ham defence from Paye saw a defender miss the clearance, leaving Graham with only Chauhan to beat, and she gave the keeper no chance this time.
Charlton were stunned on 35 minutes, when West Ham broke with Italian Pinna racing down the right and driving at goal. Her heavily deflected shot nestled into the far corner to make it 4-1.
However, the hosts restored their four goal cushion just a minute later, as Shepherd raced to beat Chauhan to a through ball and turned to curl past a number of defender into the corner.
Chauhan was caught charging out of her goal yet again on 39 minutes and was beaten to the ball this time by Whinnett, who made her pay by adding the sixth Charlton goal.
It could have been worse for the visitors but Chauhan made an excellent stop from Simmons before Shepherd blazed a Paye cross over from close range.
The second period was a much more sober affair, with the Addicks stretching their lead by just two goals, although Sam Pittuck had the ball in the net early on, only to see the offside flag foil her.
Graham and Shepherd had further chance that went begging but, with 21 minutes remaining, Shepherd rose highest to loop a Dixson corner over Chauhan and make it 7-1.
Shepherd volleyed wide with her final attempt before being replaced by youngsters Lauren Parsons. And the 16 year old striker could have added her name to the scoring with her second touch of the game.
Graham slashed a powerful shot goalwards that was acrobatically stopped by Chauhan and the rebound well to Parsons, who threw a leg at it but could only direct into the arms of West Ham’s Indian international keeper.
That didn’t matter, though, as it was 8-1 just one minute after, and Parsons was involved in the build up. She held the ball up well before spreading play out wide to Whinnett and the PHSC plc Player of the Match saw her cross swept home by Graham, who is now up to three goals for the season.
It was the second match this season where Charlton had six goalscorers, and leaves them still in third place, two points behind Brighton and Cardiff.
Charlton’s next match comes in the Ryman Cup away to Billericay Town on Wednesday 21 October. Their next FAWPL match is away to Forest Green Rovers on Sunday 25 October.
Charlton: Lynch; Paye, Flack, Coombs (Southgate 46), Pittuck; Dixson, Clifford, Whinnett, Simmons (Newman 59); Shepherd (Parsons 78), Graham.