Ellie making her mark in midfield
Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 6:37PM GMT, Friday, 15 January 2016
Ellie Baxter hopes two impressive performances in the middle of the park will help her cement a more permanent place in the first team for their end of season run-in.
Baxter, a summer signing from Chelsea, replaced the injured Charley Clifford just 10 minutes into a crucial top-of-the-table clash at the Amex against Brighton and Hove Albion.
Despite a poor performance overall from the Addicks in a 2-0 defeat, Baxter shone after switching her usual position on the wing for a more central role in the midfield alongside captain Kim Dixson.
And manager Jeremy Parsons rewarded the performance with a start in the SSE FA Women’s Cup against Plymouth Argyle on Sunday, a 9-0 win. And his decision paid off, as the 18 year old played a Player of the Match part in the victory that set up a third round tie at home to Newcastle United.
And, although Baxter acknowledges she is currently in the side by default, the youngster hopes to impress in the meantime.
She said: “I enjoyed it, it was good; just want to keep playing now – go onto next week!
“Playing in the middle was so different because I’m so used to playing on the wing.
“I had the game against Brighton at centre mid so I had a bit of a warm up for it but Kim helped me so much, really got me comfortable in there and at the end I was settling in to what I was meant to do.
“I’d love to play in centre mid [going forward], I see it as quite a key position. I played in such a different style to what I normally do. It was different but I liked it - you’re always busy and I love being busy so it was good.
“I’m filling in at the moment because Charley’s injured but I enjoyed that so much. I don’t necessarily want to make it as a permanent position but a position I can play quite comfortably so if they need me to play in there I’ll always be able to step in.”
Charlton will be hoping for a cup run similar to the one they enjoyed last season, where they reached the quarter finals before being knocked out on penalties to eventual runners up and FA Women’s Super League side Everton.
For Baxter, this was her first taste of FA Cup football, having played only FAWSL Development and centre of excellence level before this campaign, and she is determined to prolong the experience.
“It’s the first FA Cup I’ve played in and it was such a nice feeling that all the girls were buzzing at the end of the game,” she added.
“We just want to keep going and going now; I reckon if we can just keep playing the way we did on Sunday and keep performing at training and keep pushing, I think we’ve got this.
“We got so close last year, we just want to keep going and see if we can go all the way. There’s a different atmosphere in the changing room, we’re all so buzzed and want it so much more.
“It’s good to be in a team that wants to win so badly; it makes you want to play for each other so much more.”
Next up for the Addicks, they prepare to begin their defence of the FA Women’s Capital Cup with an away tie against Fulham, who went down 10-0 against Lewes in the FA Cup last Sunday.
Charlton have won the trophy three times in a row and are going for a fourth. The final ended in a 5-0 rout against West Ham United, with their other two vanquished opponents being Arsenal reserves and QPR.