Gemma - New Game New Challenge
Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 10:18AM UTC, Friday, 26 September 2014
The Charlton women’s team will hope to get back to winning ways this weekend when they host bottom-of-the-table side Keynsham Town at Sporting Club Thamesmead on Sunday (2pm).
The Addicks won the reverse fixture on the opening day of the season in record-breaking style, but striker Gemma Shepherd says the team will treat it as ‘a new challenge’.
That 12-1 victory, and their subsequent 5-0 thrashing of Queens Park Rangers, raised hopes of a shot at the FA Women’s Premier League South title this season.
However, they were brought crashing down to earth when losing 5-2 away to league leaders Tottenham Hotspur, before succumbing to Portsmouth 2-1 last Sunday.
And striker Shepherd hopes her side will put the two early season results out of their minds and get their campaign back on track.
She said: “I’m very much a person that thinks every game’s a new challenge and you’ve got to put to bed what happened before.
“They’ll obviously have that fresh in their heads. They’ve struggled during the season so they’ll have nothing to lose and they’ll come at us.
“Sometimes those games are harder to prepare for when you’ve played them before and had such a good victory, you’ve got to ward against complacency but we’ll go in, shake Sunday off and go into it like a new challenge.
“It’s lovely that we’re at home because it’s a good surface so hopefully we can go back to doing the things we do well.
“I think we have been hampered by a few iffy pitches. I know it’s the same for both teams but I think we are a team who play better football on a better surface.”
Charlton were unfortunate against Portsmouth – creating a number of chances but finding goalkeeper Sadie Blakely in-form, and having some refereeing decisions go against them.
Shepherd, who is one of three Charlton players in the FAWPL South’s top 10 goalscorers list with four goals in four games, was not too downbeat with the performance, admitting it was ‘just one of those days’.
“I think [Blakely] had a good game,” Shepherd added, “and I think we weren’t as clinical as we have been in the past, but I think we had a lot of half chances and not so many clear-cut ones as they perhaps did.
“I think the referee didn’t give a few penalty decisions which I think we could have had that would have changed the dynamic of the game but we’ll just have to put that down as one of those games where were just weren’t going to score – it just wasn’t our day.
“It wasn’t a terrible performance, it was just one of those days, so we go again. Obviously we played Keynsham and played really well first game of the season at their place so that should be a slightly better outcome this weekend.”