Gemma aiming for three out of three
Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 11:52PM BST, Tuesday, 13 September 2016
The Charlton women’s team face their toughest challenge of the season so far on Wednesday night when they travel to Bromley FC to play Crystal Palace Ladies
The Addicks are two from two so far in the FA Women’s Premier League South, having defeated newly promoted Swindon Town and Essex side C&K Basildon 4-0 and 6-0 respectively to start the season.
Palace are the other side new to this division, having won the FAWPL South East title last term, but already have four points from their first three matches, including an impressive draw with Coventry.
And striker Gemma Shepherd knows her side cannot take anything for granted, with the local rivalry heightened by the fact that the majority of their opponents are former Addicks.
Shepherd, who currently leads the FAWPL South goalscoring table with five from two, says her side will have to be wary of their opposition having a point to prove.
She said: “You know for a fact those girls are going to be up for it - a lot of them will have points to prove. And we know their fans are quite colourful characters!
“So it will certainly feel like a proper derby, we just need to start well and settle; as long as we don’t panic I think we’ll have a very good chance of winning the game but it’s one of those that can go either way on the night, it just depends on who turns up and who does the right things better.
“The fact they’ve come up from the league below is completely irrelevant; now they’re here they should be considered as a contender, like we do for everyone we play.”
Charlton were not in action at the weekend, due to the withdrawal from the league of scheduled opponents Forest Green Rovers; Palace, meanwhile, had a tough run out against Tottenham Hotspur, losing by a single goal.
Despite this giving her side some extra rest and time to prepare for the Wednesday night clash, Shepherd admits she would rather have played and carried on the momentum they have gained so far this campaign.
“From a personal point of view I’d rather have had the game on the Sunday and I think the majority of the girls would agree because when you’re gathering momentum it’s nice to keep playing,” Shepherd added.
“It was a little bit frustrating that we had the break but we used that opportunity well, to prepare for the Palace game because we know that will be a completely different proposition to what we’ve faced so far.
“We know the players they’ve got, we know that their style of play is going to be more direct, probably more physical than what we’ve come up against and they are a decent outfit.
“It’s going to be tough, we’re under no illusions, but we know what we’re going to have to do to beat them.”