Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 11:58PM GMT, Thursday, 31 January 2013
After being praised by players and staff alike for her 40-yard, 119th minute winning goal against Watford on Sunday, Gemma Shepherd was quick to pay tribute to her team mates for the win.
The Charlton women’s team ended the Hornets’ 13-game unbeaten run with a goal deep into injury time and progressed into the FA Women’s Premier League Cup quarter finals for the second year running.
It was a fine strike by the No.9, who now has 23 goals in 14 games for the season, and sets up a date with last year’s runners up Leeds United.
Shepherd was pleased with how the Addicks fought against a team who currently sit second in the league, especially considering it was their first competitive outing in six weeks.
She said: “It wasn’t the easiest fixture to come back from the break. I was quite surprised at how well we did physically and performance-wise.
“I don’t think it showed we were particularly rusty, perhaps the first 10-15 minutes but after that it was a fairly even contest.
“I thought it was a good advert for the women’s game, it was competitive and physical with some good passages of play but I’m just relieved we did the job in extra time.
“I think we played some of our best football after we scored the goal, to keep possession and keep the ball in the corner. The fact that we kept going right to the end was really pleasing.”
Both sides could have won the game in normal time, with Jenny Newman hitting two identical chances straight at Watford keeper Lauren Davey and the hosts rattling the crossbar twice.
The two extra time periods were quiet until, with a minute remaining, Davey came racing out of her area to but could only clear as far as Shepherd, who found the top corner with a first time effort.
Five injury time minutes were added but the Watford just could not regain possession as Shepherd, Gemma Bryan and Kim Dixson all took turns shielding the ball in the corner and drawing free kicks to run the clock down.
“[The goal] was a bit of a surreal moment – a lot of people said it kind of happened in slow motion and it certainly felt like that,” Shepherd added. “It was a great feeling.
“It was one of those instinctive things you can’t plan for, you just hit it first time and I think everyone willed it into that top corner.
“I was saying it was a bit like when you’re playing a computer game when you’re little, you are kind of edging your body to angle the ball in, I was kind of doing that!”