Sam reflects on Cardiff Cup Victory
Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 1:49PM UTC, Wednesday, 18 March 2015
Sam Pittuck hailed an important milestone for the Charlton womenís team as they defeated Cardiff City 2-0 at The Valley to reach the FA Womenís Premier League (FAWPL) Cup final for the first time since 2006.
ďItís a great final to get to and we havenít been in such an important final for a long, long time so itís good for the club and itís good for the players as well.
Second half goals from Kim Dixson and Kit Graham set up a 3 May date with holders Sheffield FC to make it three finals this season for the Addicks.
They had already booked their place in the Capital Cup and Ryman Cup showpieces, against West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur respectively.
Pittuck feels the FAWPL Cup is the big one, though, saying: “It’s always nice to get through to a final and this is the most important of the three.
“It’s a great final to get to and we haven’t been in such an important final for a long, long time so it’s good for the club and it’s good for the players as well.
“We have a lot of games coming up – I’m not sure when I’m going to get my holiday this year – but it’s all good, it’s all experience.
“We’ve got such a young side so playing the likes of Coventry, Sheffield - different teams that we’re not regularly coming up against - will give our youngsters a bit more experience of what a big game can be and how we should play these teams.
“I’m hoping it’s not going to be as bad as it was last time we played [Sheffield, a 6-0 FA Cup defeat 13 months ago] because we were really, really poor last year.
“But we’ve got a completely different team this year; we’ve got a lot of people back from injury. And we know more about what they’re like, so hopefully that will help us in the game.”
Having shared 11 goals in two previous games this season with Cardiff, both sides knew it was going to be a close and keenly fought tie.
The visitors started off the better and had a couple of gilt-edged, included what will go down as an open goal by their number 10 Hope Suominen, although the attempt was saved by goalkeeper Megen Lynch.
But, after having weathered the first half storm and gone into the interval on level terms, Charlton improved after the break, creating more clear-cut chances for themselves.
Good work from Nikita Whinnett and Graham helped tee up Dixson for the opener on 66 minutes, before Graham herself added the finishing touch 10 minutes from time.
Analysing the match afterwards, Pittuck admitted her side probably underestimated the size of The Valley’s pitch initially but grew into the game.
“I don’t think we realised just how big that pitch is in the first half,” she added, “and, the way they were playing, it just felt like we were under the cosh for 45 minutes and we couldn’t get it in their half at all.
“I think our full backs were quite high, which didn’t help us at the back, and it just felt that as soon as it was going out, it was coming straight back again.
“We rectified that at half time and second half was such an improvement. We managed to get everything going a lot quicker from back to front.
“There was a bit of a switch with Gem and Kit and that worked really well, so going forward we had a lot more productivity, especially on the left-hand side, where Emma had a bit more of it going down the wing.”