Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 5:27PM BST, Saturday, 06 April 2013
The Charlton women’s reserve team are just three games away from being crowned as Premier League champions, but manager Stuart Weston knows the run in is not going to be easy.
The Addicks leap-frogged Arsenal and Chelsea last weekend into top spot of the Southern Reserve Division after a convincing 3-0 win against bottom side Gillingham.
And they travel to Bristol Academy on Sunday, looking to avenge the League Cup semi-final penalty shoot-out loss the Vixens inflicted on them – the only game Weston’s 13-game tenure they have not won.
He said: “I think we were the better side on that day and if it wasn’t for a few decisions going against us I think we would have won it. My side is easily good enough to go up there and beat them.
“Obviously the travelling is a bit of a pain – it can make the players tired and lethargic – but they have to get over that.
“If we want to win this league, which we are three games away from doing, we have to do these travels and we have to play the harder teams.
“I’m looking forward to it. It will be a good game and I think we have it in us to go up there and get the win.”
Although Academy ended our reserves’ chance of winning a treble of trophies, they are still very much in with bagging a double, with the Kent Cup final against Gillingham’s first team on Wednesday night at Sevenoaks Town.
Whether or not the Addicks can defeat Bristol tomorrow, they play second-placed Arsenal reserves the following weekend, a match that is more than likely to be the Premier League title decider.
Weston knows that they have a tough end of the season, despite already having beaten the Gunners 6-0, and it will go to the wire, with Cardiff City their other remaining match.
“We’re in touching distance of it now,” he added, “but we still have some big games to come, with Bristol and we still have to play Arsenal again, which will be a different story to the first time we played them.
“It’s going to be a tough game but I saw them at the London Cup final and there was nothing there that will scare my team.
“We have shown this year that we are good enough to beat anyone this season, having beaten Arsenal and Chelsea already.”
Elsewhere, there have been a number of new additions to the Charlton women’s reserve team recently, with Francesca Tye and Emma Harrison joining from West Ham and Bryony Smith from Gillingham.
It was Harrison who has made the biggest impact, scoring on her debut last weekend and Weston was quick to praise the striker, who netted 28 goals in 87 games in five years with the Hammers’ second string.
“It was a great debut, she worked hard, she tirelessly ran, she hit the post in the first half and the goalkeeper made a good save from her so, on another day, she could have had a hat-trick.”