WOMEN'S TEAM | Addicks hoping to lay down a marker

David Brenchley reports

The Charlton women’s team will look to “make a massive statement” and sign off 2016 with three points when they host Cardiff City at Sporting Club Thamesmead on Sunday.

The Addicks, currently sitting second in the FA Women’s Premier League South, take on fourth-placed Cardiff, who are just one point behind their forthcoming opponents with two games in hand.

Defender Grace Coombs says cup victories in the two previous weeks against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park and West Bromwich Albion in the FAWPL Cup quarter finals have given her teammates a timely boost in confidence.

However, Coombs, who scored the winning penalty in the shootout against the Baggies, is expecting yet another tough match against a side they failed to defeat in three matches last season.

She said: “It would be great to get three points and it would be a nice little boost before Christmas. We’ve been unbeaten for quite a few games now so we want to keep that going.

“Cardiff are always up there. They’re a very, very good team; always organised. I think they are one of the best teams in this league so to get three points would be massive and would make a big statement."

After victory in the FAWPL Cup, the draw for the semi-finals has pitted Charlton at home to Blackburn Rovers, who lie in second position in the FAWPL North – three points behind leaders Middlesbrough but with four games in hand.

Like Cardiff, Rovers are unbeaten but Coombs feels Charlton were more than good enough to defeat West Brom, the reigning FAWPL Northern Division champions, in normal time.

The Addicks won the competition two seasons ago and the 26-year-old wants a repeat of that feeling.

“We knew West Brom would be physical because most of the teams from the Northern league are." said said. "We knew that if we just stuck to our game we'd have enough quality to win the game and we got there in the end.

“We felt that we should have got more for our dominance in the first 20 minutes, but that’s football.

“We let them come into it a little bit but I think we settled in the second half and had spells where we were on top.

“With the cup it’s always just getting the result no matter how you end up getting there. We worked to the end and that shows a lot about how the team has grown in the past couple of weeks, with the Palace game as well.

“It’s very pleasing for us and it’s great to get to the semi-final of a cup. We won it two years ago, we loved the feeling then and we want to try to get it again and go as far as we can.”

Kick off for the match is 2pm on Sunday, December 18th at Sporting Club Thamesmead. Admission is free for Charlton Athletic season ticket holders and entry is otherwise £3 for adults and £1 for concessions.

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