Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 9:54PM BST, Monday, 20 August 2012
Gemma Shepherd believes the Charlton women’s team were unlucky to have lost to Coventry on Sunday but stressed they need to be more clinical in order to be successful this season.
The Addicks dominated large spells of the game, particularly in the second half, but were undone by two goals from Sky Blues striker Courtney Sweetman-Kirk, who also hit the crossbar late on.
PHSC plc Player of the Match Shepherd went close when she got in between defender and goalkeeper but her poke rolled agonisingly wide.
Charley Clifford had two good chances with the score at 1-0 while a Stef Simmons corner prompted a goalmouth scramble which was untidily cleared but Charlton’s equaliser was never came.
Shepherd said: “I don’t think the result was necessarily a fair reflection of the game, 2-0 was a bit flattering to them. I don’t think today was too much of a negative.
“We were dominant in spells and we played some pretty good football but they were just more clinical with their chances and we could have done with that as well as being a bit more creative.
“Hopefully next week we can be a bit more positive, maybe support me a little bit more. We will definitely get goals and the good thing about this team is that the goals will come from everywhere.”
With Gemma Bryan missing through injury Shepherd was deployed as the lone striker, an unfamiliar role but one that she excelled in.
She was happy with her individual performance and believes one the likes of Bryan, Fliss Gibbons and Courteney Gibson return to the line up the Addicks will be a formidable force.
“I worked hard, which was difficult in the heat,” she added. “It was frustrating at times, I felt a bit isolated playing up there on my own but as the first game it was good.
“I think I held the ball up well and turned the defenders when I could but obviously the goal was elusive and it would have been nice to have got a [debut] goal.
“I think in the wider context of things we were a bit short numbered today. Certainly Fliss will be a massive help to us and Gemma is a bit of a talismanic sort of player for this team so it can only be a good thing when they are back fit and firing.
“Hopefully next week and the week after, once everybody is fit, beds in and understands and adapts to their roles we can improve.”