Stef - This win could kick-start our season
Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 5:40PM UTC, Wednesday, 28 October 2015
Stef Simmons was pleased with an improved performance from the Charlton women’s team as they eased to a comfortable 6-0 victory over Forest Green Rovers on Sunday.
Simmons completed the scoring four minutes into the second half, having seen a brace from Gemma Shepherd, one for Jenny Newman and two own goals give the Addicks a 5-0 lead by half time.
That takes Charlton’s goal tally in the last three matches to 25, following on from 8-1 and 11-4 victories over West Ham United and Billericay Town respectively.
Despite that, though, the side was happier with the clean sheet, just their third of the campaign so far.
Simmons said: “It’s good to go out and put in a better performance, and to get a clean sheet give us a bit more confidence to go into the next game against Portsmouth. We’re going to have to defend well against them.
“The passing was so much slicker [against Forest Green], even though the surface wasn’t great. The movement was good.
“Jel [manager Jeremy Parsons] said from the start ‘make sure you concentrate and do your game’. We played our game and got the end result.”
Simmons also had words of encouragement for young keeper Alex Baker, who made only her seventh start for the first team in place of regular number one Megen Lynch.
Despite having relatively few things to do, Baker looked assured in between the sticks and helped set up her side’s second goal, as Shepherd flicked a long goal kick on for Newman before receiving a one-two and finishing.
“Alex definitely helped with her talking,” added Simmons, “and her kicking ability is technically out of this world. I think the clean sheet was our main objective and we got it so that was pleasing.”
The top of the FA Women’s Premier League South became even more interesting during that day, with unbeaten league leaders Brighton & Hove Albion losing to basement side Queens Park Rangers.
That result means Charlton moved to within two points of the summit, and victory against reigning champions Portsmouth this Sunday at Sporting Club Thamesmead will see them climb up from their current third spot.
Depending on the result of the top-of-the-table clash between Brighton and Cardiff City, they could be in pole position come Sunday evening – and that is a fact not lost on the left-sided player.
“That Brighton loss to QPR, Pompey drawing [with Coventry] – I think we can kickstart from this game,” she said.
“We know we haven’t played great the last few games but we can take this game and go from there. Now we can try and take that top spot and try to stay there for the rest of the season.
“It’s always a tough one against [Portsmouth] but we got a 4-1 away win earlier in the season so hopefully we can get some more goals and keep a clean sheet this time at home.”