Match Report: #CAFCWomen 4 Brighton 1

The Charlton women’s team stunned Brighton and Hove Albion with three early goals from which the league leaders never recovered in an enthralling match at Sporting Club Thamesmead on Sunday.


The Addicks played at a high tempo right from the kick-off and soon won a free-kick as Seagulls skipper Jay Blackie fouled Kit Graham. Brighton keeper Faye Baker made a good save from Charley Clifford’s free-kick.


On seven minutes the Addicks opened the scoring when a superb ball from centre back Grace Coombs picked out Gemma Shepherd. The striker pulled the ball back to Amy Howlett whose shot from the edge of the area was deftly glanced home by Graham.


Blackie then picked up the first booking of the game for a late challenge on Graham.


Three minutes after her opening goal the young striker doubled her tally, running on to a through ball from full back Megan Mulholland, cutting into the area and firing under the on-rushing Baker.


Minutes later the Addicks almost added a third as Baker parried a corner and Sam Pittuck sent an effort inches wide.


As the game started to gain momentum Shepherd picked up a yellow card for a late challenge on Amy Taylor and was quickly followed into the referee’s book by Charlotte Owen who elected to halt Howlett by pulling her ponytail.


Charlton were gifted a goal on 21 minutes as poor defensive play saw Shepherd intercept the ball and fire past the helpless Baker.


Brighton then made two quick substitutions with the injured Taylor and Amy Green replaced by Kirsty Barton and Charlotte Gurr.


The Seagulls began to press forward and a low effort from Charlotte Owen was comfortably saved by keeper Megen Lynch.


Brighton centre back Deanna Cooper then headed wide of the target before Lynch was quick to claim the ball with Gurr closing in.


The visitors were finally rewarded a minute before half time as former Addick Fliss Gibbons raced on to a ball through the heart of the home defence to fire low past Lynch.


Brighton’s hopes of a comeback were thwarted just two minutes into the second half as Howlett sent a lofted 20-yard strike over Baker into the top far corner of the goal to restore the Addicks’ three-goal cushion.


Two long-range efforts from Cooper were then comfortably dealt with by Addicks custodian Lynch.


Charlton hit back and a powerful volley from Charley Clifford flashed wide of the goal.


Gibbons wriggled free on the byline only to see her low driven cross claimed by Lynch, who minutes later made a superb point blank save from the same player.


The Addicks came within inches of extending their lead as a superb run and cross from Graham was met by Shepherd whose effort flew narrowly wide.


The final action of the game saw a Brighton free-kick powerfully punched away by Lynch.


The result was Charlton’s third win in just eight days, with 12 goals scored in the process and saw them move to within one point of the top of the FA Women’s Premier League South table.


Charlton: Lynch, Southgate, Mulholland, Coombs, Flack, Clifford, Harrison (Cole 95mins), Pittuck, Shepherd, Howlett (Simmons 89mins), Graham. Sub (not used): Paye.