Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 8:39PM UTC, Friday, 22 March 2013
Bill Long hopes the Charlton women’s team can reproduce the form they showed in their 1-0 Premier League Cup win over Watford in January when they travel back to Berkhamsted FC this Sunday – ko 2pm.
After more than a month-long Christmas break, the Addicks defeated the Hornets in the League Cup quarter final thanks to a 119th minute, 40-yard Gemma Shepherd strike.
This weekend they face the same opponents in the Premier League National with Watford sitting in second place, so caretaker manager long knows it will be a tough clash.
He said: “It will be very tough. Watford are a good side and in a way it’s one of our local derbies so it’s one of those times where we have to roll our sleeves up, dig in and be at the top of our game.
“We’ve got to do exactly the same [as in the cup]. We’ve got to battle from the first whistle to the last, put every ounce of effort into the game and hopefully we’ll get the same result.”
Charlton’s match last weekend was postponed due to the weather so they do into the game off the back of a 2-0 defeat away to third-placed Leeds and a goalless draw against Portsmouth.
The Pompey game saw central defender Sarah Jones break her metatarsal, putting her out for a while, but it also saw the re-introduction of current player of the year Sinead Boyer.
Full-back Boyer played the last half-hour of that match and managed a full 90 minutes in the reserves’ 2-0 win over West Ham United on Sunday.
Long admitted to being gutted for Sarah but is taking the positives from those two previous games, including Boyer’s return.
Leeds are a very good side and I think that was a fair result but the Portsmouth game we battled and battled,” he added.
“Certain things went against us that we can’t control and at the end the way things were 0-0 was a good result.
“A clean sheet, and we defended resolutely. The clean sheet is a big positive and that’s what we have to continue to build on.
“I felt for Jonesy because it’s the same foot she broke before and it’s a little niggly there so we will have to see how she goes for the rest of the season.
“It’s good to have Shinny back and we may have to utilise her in different ways, with her power and her pace and her experience so that is a positive as well.”