Kylie - Setbacks spurred us on to Title
Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 11:23PM BST, Wednesday, 22 April 2015
Kylie Manktelow believes the setbacks suffered by the Charlton women’s reserve team this season gave them the “kick up the bum” they needed to push on and win the FA Women’s Premier League (FAWPL) South title.
The Addicks defeated Chichester City 4-0 at Sparrows Farm on Sunday, with Manktelow bagging all four goals, to win the league with one game to play.
It means they can go to Basildon next weekend and enjoy the occasion, as they look to press home their advantage at the summit.
And, after a season that saw them prematurely eliminated from two cup competitions, lose 5-1 to Crystal Palace and draw 1-1 with the eight players of QPR, Manktelow feels the adversity suffered has made her team stronger.
There were mitigating circumstances for some of those incidents, with Palace putting out an almost identical team to that which took Charlton’s first team to penalties in the FA Cup fourth round just weeks later.
But Manktelow feels that did her side a favour, making them fully focused on the task in hand: to retain the title Brighton & Hove Albion won off them last season.
She said: “It’s good for the team. Being out of the [FAWPL and Kent] cups, we needed something to get us up there and show that we have done well this season.
“We have had a couple of games throughout the season which have been a bit of a kick up the bum to get us into gear.
“We were at our lowest point [after losing to Crystal Palace] but I think we do need games like that so we don’t get complacent.
“It did really show us what we needed to do to sort ourselves out and to win the league. Major things we needed to work on, even simple things like passing and controlling the ball, that comes out in games like that.”
“I think we wanted to hit a target we were aiming for, a couple of cups were in there that we wanted to get but once we were out of the cups, winning the league was our main priority.”
With just a single match left to play, Manktelow looks to have the league’s top goalscorer honour wrapped up, sitting six goals ahead of Portsmouth’s Elizabeth O’Callaghan with 22 in just 18 games.
The winger-turned-striker, though, is not getting too carried away on that front just yet, despite being hailed a “goal machine” by manager Warren Clarke.
“I had a couple of games where I have been out of sorts, two weeks ago I think it was I just couldn’t score at all, it was just one of those games,” she said.
“But it was good to get back on Sunday, it’s obviously a team performance and I have just finished my goals.
[This season] has been good. I didn’t start up front, I started left and right wing and then Warren changed my position according to what he feels is best and I’ve started scoring more goals as I should for a striker.
“It boosts my confidence to score, makes me feel better, which is what you need sometimes.”
Adding to the plaudits for his star striker, Clarke said simply: “She’s been on fire.”
He went on to add: “I think Sunday was real good because the goals that she scored were through her own good ability, whereas sometimes I feel some of the goals she has scored have been as a result of her team mates. It was a nice mixture of goals on Sunday: team work-built goals and individual goals.
“She’s had a good season, scored quite a few goals, hopefully she’ll be able to finish as the league’s top goalscorer as well.
“That’s ultimately what the difference was on Sunday – [Chichester] had an opportunity to make it 2-1 and straight from their saved shot, [goalkeeper Alex] Baker hit it long, caught them on the break and we were able to score the third and put us in a comfortable position.”