REPORT | Charlton 1 Sheffield United 1

Charlton 1 Sheffield United 1

A late Sheffield United equaliser saw the Addicks share the spoils at The Valley in the first game of the 2023/24 season.

Charlton opened the scoring in the 14th minute through Kayleigh Green as she showed great composure in front of the Blades’ goal to score on her debut. Unfortunately, a solid first-half performance from Charlton was cancelled out in the dying embers of the clash as Bex Rayner curled her strike into the top corner from 25 yards to draw level.

It was the opposition who claimed the first clear-cut opportunity of the game as Isobel Goodwin slipped through. The centre-forward took it past Elisha N’Dow as she surged in on goal, eventually sending her effort wide of the net.

Just moments later, the Addicks took the lead. It was fantastic work from Green who intercepted a poor backpass from the Blades’ left back. The 35-year-old, summer signing, showed great composure to tap it past the keeper and fire into the back of an empty net on her debut.

The visitors continued to threaten towards the Covered End. This time an excellent chance for them to level the scoring as the ball was cut back to Ashley Hodson on the penalty spot however, the forward rifled her effort over the bar.

Charlton received the opportunity to extend their lead on the half-hour mark, as a deep set piece from Carla Humphrey was fired into the box towards Mia Ross. The 20-year-old sent a headed effort toward goal, unfortunately, it was straight at Fran Stenson in the sticks for the Blades.

Sheffield United came close to grabbing their equaliser through a mishap at the back from the Addicks. N’Dow’s backpass towards Sian Rogers was short and Goodwin honed in on the Charlton shot-stopper, Rogers’ attempted clearance cannoned off the centre-forward and bounced just inches wide of the post.

Karen Hills’ side came close to extending their lead through an outstanding passage of play out on the left-hand side. Angela Addison carried the ball into the box thanks to some intricate passing and cut the ball back towards Green, eventually teeing up Humphrey on the penalty spot before the midfielder scuffed her strike just shy of the hour mark.

Fantastic work from Rogers in the Charlton goal denied Goodwin yet again. The striker intercepted a poor pass from Beth Roe and charged into the penalty box, eventually thundering an effort toward the near post which was parried behind for a corner by Rogers.

The Charlton stopper, who had a superb afternoon between the sticks, denied another clear-cut chance for the away side. A Sheffield United set piece was lofted into the box, and the ball fell to Charlotte Newsham who fired into the palms of Rogers from close range.

There was constant pressure from the visitors as they continued to push for that all-important equaliser, sending a handful of efforts towards Rogers. 

Despite the heroics from Rogers in between the sticks, the opposition received their reward in the dying embers of the game. The ball was slipped into Rayner who set herself and curled her effort into the top left from 25 yards, gutting for the Addicks.

With very few minutes remaining on the clock, Charlton had the opportunity to regain the lead through new signing Karin Muya. The ball was sent over the top of the Sheffield United defence for Green to latch onto, there was some great work from the forward who squared to Muya, unfortunately she fired her effort straight into the palms of Stenson from close range.

Charlton: Rogers, McKenna, Ross, N’Dow, Johnson (Muya 63) , Addison (Godfrey 63), Humphrey (Ayisi 84), Longhurst, Green, Skeels, Roe

Goal: Green 14

Booked: Longhurst 36, Johnson 48

Sheffield United: Stenson, Newsham, Barker, Graham, Cusack (Adebowale 79), Rayner, Goodwin, Hodson (Sigsworth 61), Hutton (Bourne 79), Kinzett (Haywood 66), Brown

Goal: Rayner 90

Booked: Barker 69, Hutton 71

Attendance: 932

Read Time: 4 mins