Charlton kicked off the new Barclays Women’s Championship campaign with a 2-0 win against newly promoted Southampton at St Mary’s Stadium on Saturday.
A first-half penalty from skipper Emily Simpkins and a silky finish from Melissa Johnson shortly after the interval wrapped up the first victory of the season.
The opening stages were even with Southampton enjoying more possession in the final third. Megan Wynne had the first effort of the new season from a tricky angle and Sian Rogers saved easily.
Beth Roe then defended well under pressure from Wilkinson at the back post to head out for a corner, while Wilkinson saw a long-range free-kick pushed over by Rogers.
The Addicks fought their way back into the contest, with a rather tame strike from Beth Roe comfortably gathered by Kayla Rendell.
Moments later, after 22 minutes of play, the deadlock was broken after a goalmouth scramble was eventually cleared out to Simpkins, who knocked the ball back into the area. Addison picked up the loose ball and tripped in the area to win the penalty that Simpkins coolly slotted away.
Charlton kept knocking on the door as they tried to bag a quickfire second. Addison played Heidi Logan in over the top of the Saints defence, but the winger took too many touches when in on goal and was forced to lay back to Mia Ross, whose shot was fired well over.
Mel Johnson then slipped Emma Follis out wide. Follis’s cross was clawed at by Rendell and landed just out of the reach of Johnson who was ready to pounce at the far post.
The final 15 minutes of the first period were end-to-end. Wilkinson lobbed another long-range effort just wide of goal before Addison saw a shot blocked wide.
Ross then pounced on a poor clearance to feed Johnson, whose shot was weak and saved.
The best chance fell to Sophie O’Rourke, who powered forward down the left, cut inside and chipped goalwards, only to see Rendell make an excellent save to palm wide.
The hosts had a chance just before the half-time whistle but Rogers jumped on the ball after it ricocheted off Griffiths and fell kindly for the Addicks.
But Charlton made the perfect start to the second half, winning a throw 90 seconds in that Logan took quickly to Johnson. The striker turned her marker well and stroked home past Rendell.
Lucia Kendall wasn’t far from pulling a goal back five minutes later when Lucia Kendall grazed the roof of the net from 20 yards out before substitute Megan Collett shot straight at Rogers just seconds after replacing Leeta Rutherford.
Charlton had the chance to make it three when Ella Morris bundled Roe over in the penalty area but Addison’s spot kick was a nice height for Rendell, who pushed it away from danger.
The visitors started to try and run the clock down with as many as 12 minutes remaining. Southampton managed some forays forward but Beth Lumsden dragged her shot wide across the goal from a difficult angle.
Kendall then found herself free on the right of the 18-yard box but shot well over instead of crossing.
Ella Rutherford then saw a shot from range saved before Lumsden once again came forward and forced a good save down low from Rogers. Paige Peake headed the corner wide at the back stick.
Charlton held out comfortably for the three points, with Southampton’s late efforts never really troubling Rogers in the visitors’ goal.
Charlton: Rogers, Johnson (Rutherford 78), Follis, Simpkins (Ayisi 66), Addison, Logan (Henson 66), Skeels, O’Rourke, Roe, Godfrey, Ross. Subs (not used): Soper, N’Dow, Watson, Bashford.
Southampton: Rendell, Morris Mott, Kendall, Parnell, Wynne (Freeland 78), Ward (Collett 55), Griffiths, Wilkinson (Lumsden 66), Rutherford (Williams 66), Peake. Subs (not used): Watling, Harris.
Charlton will host their first fixture of the 2022/23 campaign on Sunday, August, 28th (KO 4:30 PM) Welcoming fellow capital rivals London City Lionesses to The Oakwood in Crayford click here for tickets.
Fans looking for the best value can still purchase a season ticket to get behind Karen Hills' side ahead during the forthcoming Barclays Women's Championship campaign.
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