Grace - Ryman Cup win is big confidence boost
Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 12:53PM BST, Friday, 17 April 2015
With two more cup finals to play for this season, Grace Coombs was pleased the Charlton women’s team have already got one piece of silverware under their belts.
The Addicks overcame Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 after extra time in the Ryman Cup final at Ware FC on Thursday thanks to a double from Kit Graham.
Charlton still have the FA Women’s Premier League Cup against Sheffield FC (3 May) and the Capital Cup against West Ham United (6 May) in their sights as they target successful cup campaigns this term.
And Coombs believes that victory against Spurs takes some pressure of, as well as avenging a 5-2 defeat suffered at the same ground earlier on in the season.
She said: “It’s nice to get [the first trophy]; it’s a bit of confidence going into the next two, that we’ve already got one in the bag.
“It takes the pressure off a little bit because people do obviously want to win silverware but we’ve already got one so it’s a good start.
“This was always going to be a hard game, coming here again after they beat us 5-2 but I think we came here and did the job.
“We wanted to prove a point: that [the 5-2 loss] shouldn’t have happened then and isn’t going to happen again.
“I think it was in the back of our minds, just that we needed to prove that we are a better team than what we showed when we came here in September.”
It was yet another hard-fought game, just four days after Charlton had gone toe-to-toe with FA Women’s Super League 2 side Everton, taking them all the way to penalties in the FA Cup quarter final.
Despite bowing out 4-3 in the shootout, the south-east Londoners showed character to peg their opponents back to 1-1 having gone a goal down in the 87th minute.
And they had to show that same character in North London when Leah Rawle’s rather fortuitous 89th minute equaliser cancelled out Graham’s first-half opener.
Graham then struck again five minutes into overtime and her side saw out the game after a barrage of high crosses and one effort that struck the outside of the post.
Coombs believes her side’s character will help them through the season, especially in a period where of 13 games in 49 days during April and May.
“I think it’s a confidence boost,” the defender, who was named PHSC plc Player of the Match on Thursday, added.
“We’ve had a couple of games where we’ve gone 1-0, 2-0 down and we’ve come back, especially Sunday [against Everton].
“That was tough going down so late after we’d worked so hard and it was the same on Thursday, working hard and then giving away a goal that’s a bit of a fluke.
“But we have got character in our team, we’ve bonded a lot over the last couple of months and I think it shows in performances like this where we can come back and I think at the end we looked like getting a third goal rather than them equalising.
“It’s been a long couple of months; it feels like we had game after game, but I think everyone’s enjoying it and you can see it, even games where we might be a bit lethargic we’ve still got something to pull out the bag and push until the end.”