Sunday, 7 February 2016

Match Report - Charlton Athletic Women v Newcastle United WFC

 This Sunday it's the FA Women's Cup 3rd Round Proper. The draw had thrown up 14 very tasty looking ties, this is the round where the FAWSL 2 sides enter the competition. There was one tie that jumped out at me when the draw was made an opportunity to see two sides I have wanted to see play for some time so this tie was perfect, Charlton Athletic Women v Newcastle United WFC.

   Both sides compete in the FAWPL National Division's, Charlton Athletic Women in the Southern and Newcastle United WFC in the Northern. The FAWPL Northern and Southern Division sides entered the FA Women's Cup in the previous round. 

   Charlton Athletic Women won big, beating fellow Southern Division side Plymouth Argyle Ladies on home soil. Are riding high in the league in 3rd place several points behind current leaders Brighton & Hove Albion WFC but do have 3 games in hand. Have a potent strike force in Kit Graham and Gemma Shepherd who have both scored over 20 goals already this season.

  Newcastle United WFC were on home soil too in the previous round taking on Mossley Hill Ladies from the FAWPL Northern Division One, beat them 4-1 to advance to the 3rd Round Proper. Lay in 8th spot in the FAWPL Northern Division. Reached the semi-finals of the FAWPL League Plate travelling down south last Sunday to take on Gillingham FC Ladies won 3-0 a result that will give them confidence as they make the journey south again this Sunday.

   My 1st trip to Sporting Club Thamesmead and although I knew the way I wanted to go, my Sat Nav had a different approach so I decided to follow it, I didn't know there was a Woolwich Free Ferry across the River Thames until I drove onto it! Had I not had to wait for the ferry it would have been the quickest way, but going home the Sat Nav will be staying off. 

  Sporting Club Thamesmead is a nice recently renovated sporting complex, featuring a good sized carpark that was packed as the ground was a buzz with various other matches already taking place, a 3G pitch behind the main pitch and in between a smart clubhouse with bar and eating facilities upstairs leading down into the main stand. The pitch looked in good condition sees alot of action and despite the recent rain looked firm and drained. With the sun in my eyes I retreated to the opposite side to watch the match, few dark clouds about it was possible we'd get a shower and promptly did as soon as the two sides lined up for kick-off.

  Charlton Athletic Women starting XI - Megen Lynch, Katie Flack, Rosie Paye, Grace Coombs, Samantha Pittuck, Kimberley Dixson (C), Jenny Newman, Ellie Baxter, Nikita Whinnett, Kit Graham & Gemma Shepherd.
  subs - Stefanie Simmons, Charley Clifford, Amy Howlett & Ruby Southgate.

  Newcastle United WFC starting XI - Alison, Cowling, Megan McKenzie, Jessica Foster, Kate Brooks, Jessica Havelock (C), Alisha Smith, Ellen Turnbull, Millie Lambert, Elle Dobson, Bethanie Gardner & Emma Hewitt.
  subs - Emily Ellis, Laura Robson, Abbie Stevens, Danikka Purdham & Jade Anderson.

It's the home side Charlton to kick off this FA Women's Cup tie, are lined up in red shirts with white across the front and sleeves, red shorts and red and white hooped socks, with Newcastle kitted out in their traditional black and white vertical striped shirts black shorts and black socks with a blue band at the top. No sooner had the game got underway then it started raining the wind blowing it across the pitch, retreating to the opposite side had been a good idea as their was a high fence that offered some protection but two minutes later and it was gone a rainbow appearing above the stadium.

   GOAL! The heavy but brief cloudburst over, Charlton were about to inflict their own upon Newcastle. Having tested out the left flank early on and got no joy from Newcastle full back Jessica Foster the ball is back with their defence Grace Coombs plays the ball into Kit Graham in the centre circle the Newcastle defence is pushed up on halfway, Graham carries the ball into their half with strike partner Gemma Shepherd peeling away to her left she plays the ball forwards, releasing Shepherd in for a run at their opponents box left of the goal, Newcastle goalkeeper, Alison Cowling comes out, Shepherd pulls the trigger 20 yards out sending the ball past her as she dives in vain and puts Charlton 1-0 up with just 4 minutes on the clock.

  Newcastle look to respond straight from the restart, Millie Lambert playing the ball out to the right wing for Ellen Turnbull, showing good strength on the ball she takes the ball down to the byline wins her side a corner kick, the ball from the right is good into the middle of the six yard box, it's a Charlton head that gets it away for a throw.

   GOAL! 6 minutes on the clock and Charlton race into a 2 goal lead, pushing players forwards Jenny Newman plays the ball into Shepherd 30 yards out on the right side she sends her pass into the feet of Graham ahead of her and is immediately on the move looking to get into a central position as Graham holds the ball up right of the area, returns it to Shepherd who opens her body up to lift the ball up and around the keeper into the back of the net from the edge of the area 2-0.

  Fantastic start from Charlton going 2 nil up inside the opening 10 minutes players are looking to get in on the action all over the park as Coombs carries the ball out of defence is allowed to cover a lot of grass with it before sending it out wide left for Nikita Whinnett to chase down, surges into the box, Newcastle's Emma Hewitt has tracked all the way back and slides in with a perfectly timed challenge to win the ball. The match is being played at a high tempo, Charlton keep possession down that end from the resulting throw the ball is put into Shepherd inside the D she looks to hit it 1st time shouts for handball as it strikes Newcastle captain, Jessica Havelock's arm, did hit her elbow but looked accidental, nothing given. 

Newcastle United WFC's, Emma Hewitt looking to attack

  GOAL! Not so moments later this time Havelock does handle the ball her hands raised inside the box as Charlton building up a head of steam push forwards down the left side the ball is fed into Graham outside the box looks to lift it over the defence in front of her, the handball is spotted and the referee points to the spot. Shepherd steps up to take on a hat-trick with just 15 minutes on the clock, cool as you like sends the goalkeeper the wrong way 3-0. 

A hat-trick in the opening 15 minutes for Charlton's Gemma Shepherd

3 down in the opening 15 minutes has left Newcastle rattled, have more defending to do as a free kick is conceded wide on the right 30 yards out, Coombs over the ball lifts it in towards the far post, Havelock calls for it and with a fir header gets the ball away for a throw. The Newcastle captain with the ball at her feet brings it out from the back a powerful run is challenged until she reaches the edge of the Charlton area, left of the D looks to come inside for the shot, Hewitt there for the lay off, Charlton close both down get the ball up the other end.

  Winning a free kick inside their own half Newcastle play the ball long the target Hewitt, 25 yards out turns her header into the run made by Lambert on the right closing in on the area her shot is blocked and close range by Katie Flack the ball spinning away for a corner kick. The set piece from the right is aimed towards Havelock 10 yards out coming for it near post, looks to hit her shot on the turn, just too many bodies to get through. 

   With Newcastle pushing forwards trying to get themselves back into the match they are vulnerable to the counter, Graham is the player who springs the offside trap is through centrally for a run at goal. Cowling comes running out to the edge of her area, Graham looks to shoot send a right foot shot low past her, the Newcastle goalkeeper gets down throws out a glove making firm contact with the ball, isn't safe rolls out to the right, Newman is bearing down upon it looks to hit it 1st time across goal Shepherd has covered alot of ground on the left can't quite turn it home as she throws herself at it, wouldn't have counted if she had as the linesman has his flag up.

   Haven't mentioned Charlton captain Kimberley Dixson yet, however she is playing a huge role in the game, breaking up play in the middle preventing Newcastle getting much going from back to front as the home side look to be quick to close everyone down. Turnbull comes back into the centre to get her foot on the ball plays a pass forwards for Hewitt, who lets it run on for Bethanie Gardner coming in from the left side behind her outside the D, Gardner can't find away through, Coombs or her centre back partner Samantha Puttuck lays the ball back for Lambert racing in 20 yards out hits it hard no way through the shot is blocked. 

  GOAL! Shepherd has definitely got her shooting boots on today as she nets Charlton's 4th on the half an hour mark. The Charlton strike force links up again with Shepherd coming out to the left the receive the ball just over halfway passes it into Graham ahead of her, Graham looks to take the ball on, gets caught up under her feet for a moment, this actually benefits her as the Newcastle defence are drawn to close her down, Shepherd has raced beyond to her left Graham gets the ball through to her for a run at goal, Cowling starts to come but Shepherd takes the shot on sending the ball across her and into the back of the net 4-0.

  Charlton continue to attack, Newcastle's, Lambert has done alot of tracking back tackles well winning the ball from Whinnett 20 yards out as she looks to set her sights on a shot coming in from the left. 

  GOAL! 37 minutes gone and Charlton make it 5! This time though Shepherd is no where to be seen as Kit Graham gets her name on the score-sheet. Newcastle are attacking the ball is won back played through the centre comes into the feet of Graham on the edge of the box back to goal no one closes her down as she turns and hits it hard and low past the keeper into the back of the net 5-0.

Charlton Athletic Women's
Kit Graham 
   Megen Lynch in the Charlton goal has had little to trouble her, the defence in front of her putting in the blocks not letting Newcastle in behind. Is needed to make a save her positioning spot in as Newcastle's Lambert does get one on target from distance the ball rolling back to her 30 yards out a good connection the ball is rising, Lynch see's it all the way. Havelock with another storming run out from the back pushes her way deep into Charlton territory 25 yards out puts everything into the shot Coombs' gets her bottom in the way makes the block.

   GOAL! A minute left to play in the 1st half Shepherd and Graham combine again, the former the provider this time as she plays the ball through for Graham, Cowling starts to come has no chance as Graham lifts the ball over her to fill the empty net beyond 6-0. This I understand is Kit Graham's 100th goal for Charlton in all competitions so I happily add my congratulations to those she has already received. 

Half-time Charlton Athletic Women 6-0 Newcastle United WFC

 Well I'm probably as shell-shocked as Newcastle United WFC are sitting in their dressing room at half-time was not expecting quite such a dominant display from the home side. Charlton have been excellent, clinical and determined have created the chances and converted them to put themselves well in control of this FA Women's Cup tie with another 45 minutes to play. 

   Newcastle get the 2nd half underway, put the ball long from the whistle, Charlton make a mess of clearing it falls favourably for Lambert 25 yards out, is not afraid to have a strike on goal, does so sends it in low doesn't have the pace to worry Lynch who drops and holds.

 GOAL! Charlton start the 2nd half where they left off the 1st score again to make it 7 and it's Graham with her hat-trick now, (take away half-time and it's quicker than Shepherd's too). The ball is played long the Newcastle defence struggle to clear falls Graham unmarked on the right corner of the area takes on the early shot looping the ball up and over Cowling into the goal beyond 7-0, 47 minutes on the clock.

  Newcastle make a change Kate Brooks coming off for Abbie Stevens. Charlton win a free kick wide on the level, Dixson is over the ball, fires in a great delivery cutting through the six yard box, Shepherd coming in throws herself at it, there is a touch off her of the defender trying to track her run the ball is deflected wide off who I'm not sure a goal kick is awarded she has to go down as a Shepherd miss.

Abbie Stevens on the ball for Newcastle United WFC

   Charlton are pressing hard at the start of the 2nd half looking for more goals, Whinnett is covering the ground on the right flank taking the ball down wing has both Graham and Shepherd breaking into the box wanting the cross she looks to sweep it in, Cowling has come to her near post gets in front of both Charlton strikers and claims the ball. 

  GOAL! Charlton get their 8th. The attack starting with Ellie Baxter in the centre of midfield a fantastic ball into the right channel to release Whinnett for a run into the area is closing down on Cowling covering her near post, could shoot but has Shepherd to her left unmarked lifts the ball into her and Shepherd lifts a leg high to turn the ball into the net 8-0.

  Whinnett blasts a shot high and wide as Charlton continue to attack, Dixson plays the ball forwards into Shepherd, she puts Graham through on goal, Cowling stays back on her line this time defenders close Graham down she lays the ball back to Whinnett coming in from the right inside the box her 1st time shot is off target. Last action of the tie for Whinnett as she is replaced by ex Ipswich Town Ladies player, Amy Howlett. 

  Newcastle's Turnbull manages to stay onside as Foster brings the ball out from the back spinning off her marker inside the D, Turnbull is moving away from goal manages to hook a shot back in towards goal, goes straight into Lynch's gloves. The goalkeeper set's up a rapid counter move the ball worked up the right quickly into Howlett her cross evades Cowling covering her near post rolls across the face of goal Newman lunges trying to turn it home at the far stick, misses. That's Newman's last action of the tie as she comes off for Stefanie Simmons.

Newcastle United WFC's, Jessica Foster

  GOAL! Super sub! Charlton make it 9! Simmons the scorer. Charlton have possession around the Newcastle area win a throw... (the rest of the build up I miss I'm trying to change the batteries on my camera) look up see the ball dropping for Simmons outside the box hits it on the volley smashes against the goal frame and over the line, I'm looking forwards to seeing this one on the highlights as everyone else 9-0.

   Cowling has found herself caught one on one several times in the tie is exposed again as Shepherd whips a ball over the top to send Howlett away on the right, reading the move, Cowling makes the decision to come early goes in on Howlett as she enters the box gets her legs on the ball 1st it loops past her Howlett stumbling tries to retrieve before it runs out of play but can't.  Final change for Charlton as Ruby Southgate comes on at right back replacing Rosie Paye with 25 minutes left to play.

  Gardner finds herself the furthest forwards for Newcastle in front of the D, Dobson plays the ball into her feet shows good hold up play with Turnbull making the run for her into the box on the left slides the pass into her, goes to shot the effort blocked by the newly introduced Southgate. Gardner comes off for Newcastle, Laura Robson coming on.

  Cowling with the best save of the match to deny Simmons as Charlton counter through the middle Graham given the ball rolling her marker and releasing Howlett on the right side Simmons makes the run far post, Howlett sweeps the cross in picks her out Simmons looks to shot on the volley play the ball over Cowling is on target, the Newcastle keeper throws herself backwards gloves the ball over the bar for a corner kick. Final change for Newcastle, McKenzie coming off, Emily Ellis coming on at right back. 

  GOAL! Couldn't be more crueller as Newcastle concede a 10th an own goal. Graham puts Shephard through on goal on the right into the box, Simmons is available far post, with the keeper caught between both, Ellis tries to intercept the cross ends up turning the ball into her net 10-0. 

  Charlton come again with Howlett carrying the ball down the right channel lofts a high cross in for Graham to attack closing in on the near post, gets a boot up to meet the ball try to hook it around Cowling the keeper gets as glove on it and falling claims at the 2nd attempt with good shielding from Ellis. Flack finds herself up with the attack for Charlton late on the ball falls favourably for her she bursts into the box  tires to lift it over Cowling the keeper gets a glove to the ball falls loose but Shepherd closest can't pounce before Havelock clears.
   Newcastle throw players forwards trying to get at least a consolation goal out of the tie Turnbull and Hewitt link up to good effect outside the box with Charlton sitting off them Hewitt getting the ball into Dobson right of goal 8 yards out she shoots the ball is palmed away by Lynch before her defence clears. 

  Cowling tips another Charlton shot over her bar late in the game as Simmons takes on the shot from distance. The 1st corner is headed behind for another corner the 2nd is planted near post a spot of head tennis ensues before the ball drops behind for a 3rd corner. This one is swept in centrally under the bar, Cowling looks to try and punch it over ended up going in however the referee awards a free kick against Charlton for fouling the keeper. 

  The final whistle blows and Charlton Athletic Women win the match 10-0 with a dominant display to reach the 4th Round Proper of the FA Women's Cup and based on this display no one will want to pull them out of the hat come the draw on Monday. Were clinical in front of goal and the early lead had them in a strong position for the whole 90 minutes.

  Certainly wasn't expecting to see a 10-0 today, haven't seen one for a while, but Charlton Athletic Women were by far the better side today. Sure Newcastle aren't a side that get's rolled over like that too often showed in patches what they can do just weren't able to settle on the ball the early goals certainly had them on the back foot, you can only look to put it right next game.

  Best of luck to Charlton Athletic Women in the next round, enjoyed my 1st trip to Sporting Club Thamesmead. 

  UPDATE : The draw for the 4th Round Proper of the FA Women's Cup was made earlier and Charlton Athletic Women will face North East opposition again this time on the road taking on FAWSL 2 side Durham FC Women, tie scheduled for Sun 28th Febuary.




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