Women welcome Villa on Wednesday evening in Championship opener
Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 8:55PM BST, Tuesday, 18 September 2018
The Charlton women’s team take on Aston Villa in their first ever FA Women’s Championship match on Wednesday, September 19, at The Oakwood, Crayford (kick off 7.45pm).
Tickets for the game are cheaper to buy in advance at £5 for adults (£6 on the day) and £2 for concessions. Alternatively, you can secure your seat to all home league games at The Oakwood by purchasing a season ticket for £40 for adults or £15 for concessions [link]
In the build-up to the match, we thought we would take a look at our Midlands-based opponents.
Villa were promoted to the FA Women’s Premier League National Division the same year as Charlton, 2010/11. After two seasons in that league - finishing above the Addicks both times - they were accepted into the FA Women’s Super League 2.
Since, they have established themselves in the second tier, finishing mid-table in 2014, 2015 and 2016, plus the 2017 Spring Series.
Villa narrowly escaped finishing bottom last season, though, ending up in ninth place, seven points ahead of basement side Watford.
This summer was a period of change, with a number of key players, including Elizabeta Ejupi who joined Charlton, leaving. Four players were brought in, including Nadine Hanssen from Belgian club KRC Genk and Sophie Haywood, from US college Texas A&M.
Alison Hall, well known to Addicks fans from her time at Coventry United, also joined, alongside Sheffield FC’s Hollie Gibson.
They kicked the 2018/19 campaign with three losses from three matches, two of which came in the FA Women’s Continental League Cup. The first thanks to a late Sheffield United winner, before narrowly being edged out by professional FA Women’s Super League Birmingham City.
Their Championship campaign got underway in the toughest possible way, against the only fully professional side in the league, Manchester United, who won 12-0.
However, after a morale-boosting 1-0 victory over Leicester on Sunday, Villa will be tough opponents come Wednesday evening.
The two teams have met six times since 2003, with Charlton having a mixed record - three wins, one draw and a pair of losses.
The last time we met Villa, back in March 2013, ended in a tight 1-0 FA Women’s Premier League National Division victory for the Addicks in Thamesmead with then 17-year-old Kit Graham netting the only goal of the game just before the half time whistle. The reverse fixture had seen Villa run out 2-1 winners, Gemma Shepherd netting for the Reds.
The previous season, again Villa ran out winners in the first fixture, with a brace from Sherry McCue and one from Kelly Clarke seeing them ease to a 3-0 win. The away clash saw Charlton snatch a late point, with defender Cori Daniels heading home an Emma Beckett corner in the third minute of stoppage time to cancel out Emma Follis’s opener.
The two previous encounters came during Charlton’s 2003/04 FAWPL National title-winning season, with convincing 8-2 and 5-2 victories.