REPORT | Charlton 2 Sunderland Women 2

Mel Johnson

A stoppage-time equaliser forced Charlton to settle for a point at The Oakwood, as they drew 2-2 with Sunderland on Sunday.

The Addicks had fought back from a goal down thanks to a Melissa Johnson brace, but substitute Grace McCatty was on hand to score at the death to deny the hosts.

Karen Hills' side started the game in the ascendency, pressing from the beginning but created few chances. Their best first opportunity came 20 minutes in when Heidi Logan had a dipping shot from 20 yards out that Claudia Moan claimed at the second attempt after initially spilling it.

Skipper Emily Simpkins had a couple of early efforts saved by Moan, while Angela Addison drove a free kick wide of the target.

The visitors started to claw their way into the tie as the first half went on and had some good chances. Jessica Brown played a good ball to the byline for Neve Herron but Sian Rogers did well to come out and foil. The resulting corner caused havoc. After Elisha N’Dow headed clear, a shot came in that Rogers got down well to save well and Charlton scrambled clear.

Next time it was Brown who caused problems by running at goal. Corinne Henson did well to stick with her and allow Rogers to clear, but the loose ball only fell to Emma Kelly, whose shot was cleared by Kiera Skeels and Rogers got back to save the rebound.

Charlton again started strongly after the restart, though it took them 10 minutes to produce a meaningful chance. Lauren Bruton played Johnson through who stung the palms of Moan before Simpkins failed to get enough on the rebound and the keeper saved again.

It was then Addison’s turn to break free of the Sunderland defence and was almost one-on-one with Moan, but Esther Morgan made an excellent recovering challenge.

Despite Charlton’s dominance, it was the visitors who opened the scoring just after the hour mark when a Brown cross evaded everyone in the penalty area and sailed into the net.

With about 15 minutes remaining, Charlton clawed themselves back into the match, Johnson netting twice in the space of two minutes. Both goals came from defensive mix-ups by the away side.

First, N’Dow launched a ball forward that two Sunderland defenders went for at the same time and missed. Johnson was on hand to slot home. Then Moan and a defender exchanged passes, one of which was short of the mark, and Addison pounced. Moan saved her effort but the ball fell to Johnson, who slotted home.

Sunderland pushed for a leveller as the game ebbed away, with Elizabeta Ejupi heading a cross wide at the near post. The seemingly elusive goal came well into stoppage time when Brenna McPartlan flicked a cross on and McCatty converted.

Charlton: Rogers, N’Dow, Johnson, Simpkins (Bashford 58), Bruton (Hennessy 75), Addison, Logan (Ayisi 58), Skeels, Roche,  Henson, Roe.

Subs (not used): Gray, O’Rourke, Bell, Lindbaek.

Goals: Johnson (2)

Sunderland: Moan, Beer (Griffiths 81), Herron, Westrup, Morgan, D. Brown, McPartlan, Kelly (McInnes 90), J. Brown (McCatty 81), Ejupi, Watson.

Subs (not used): Cowling, Borthwick, Ede.

Goals: Brown, McCatty

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