Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 9:08PM BST, Saturday, 15 September 2012
The Charlton women’s team host Leeds United Ladies at Bayliss Avenue on Sunday (KO 2pm) in what is a “must win game” according to caretaker manager Bill Long.
The Addicks have just one point from their opening three league games this season and are coming off the back of a 2-1 defeat against Aston Villa.
And with their sole point coming in a 4-4 draw at home to Manchester City, Long is hoping their form in Thamesmead will help them get off the mark this term.
He said: “Sunday was the first league game under the guidance of myself and I learnt a lot by observing the girls and the way they play. Hopefully we can turn it round and start winning games.
“It’s never too early to start winning games and I think this is a must win game for us to get the confidence going.
“I think winning becomes a habit so once you get the first then that rolls into another and the girls have got a smile on their face.
“When you look at the sides like Leeds, Sunderland, Man City, there is a lot of travelling in this league so you have got to get amongst them early doors because they have a long journey, as we do when we go there. You hope we can use that to our advantage.”
Striker Gemma Bryan is in the running for a return after an ankle injury and she came off the bench against Villa with devastating effect, winning a late penalty which Gemma Shepherd tucked away to give Charlton hope they could pull back from an early two-goal deficit.
In the end, though, it was the Villains who broke their winning duck on the day and Long was disappointed with his side’s start, considering the way they ended the game.
“Aston Villa were a good side,” he added. “For an hour they were very much in our face, they worked very hard and played some nice football.
“I was disappointed that we never competed as well as I thought we should for the first hour and then with 30 minutes to go all of a sudden we kicked in, everything was great, we hit our straps and we looked the better side.
“We got the penalty, scored and then I thought we would run on to get the draw or even nick it at the end. If we had taken the chances we created in the last half an hour we could have walked away 3-2 winners.”