WOMEN'S TEAM | Addicks make it back-to-back 5-0 victories

David Brenchley reports

The Charlton women’s team made it back-to-back 5-0 wins by thrashing basement side West Ham United at Sporting Club Thamesmead on Sunday.

Midfielder Charley Clifford continued her fine goalscoring form with a brace, while Ruby Southgate scored from the spot before Kit Graham and Bupe Okeowo made sure of all three points for Charlton.

The win moves the Addicks into second position in the FA Women’s Premier League South, albeit having played at least two games more than their nearest challengers.

First-team coach Riteesh Mishra named an unchanged side after their FA Cup rout of Portsmouth at The Valley at the beginning of the month, with Gemma Shepherd and Stef Simmons making returns to the bench after injury.

It was in the 45th minute that the hosts got their noses in front with Avilla Bergin crossing for Clifford, who converted well into the corner. Shortly after that, deep into first-half stoppage time, they doubled their advantage from the penalty spot.

As Bergin was winding up to take a corner, the referee spotted a foul off the ball – which appeared to be shirt-pulling on Grace Coombs – and pointed to the spot. Right back Southgate, perhaps a surprising taker, stepped up and coolly slotted the penalty into the corner out of reach of Chauhan.

After the interval, Charlton kept pressing and trying to extend their advantage, with Kim Dixson coming agonisingly close after prodding the ball past Chauhan, but a defender managed to get back and backheel the effort off the line.

The away side had few chances, with Albuery shooting ambitiously from long range but seeing it fly well past the upright.

Graham then went close to converting a Bergin free-kick, volleying wide of the near post. The striker then showed quick feet to get the ball away from her marker and shoot goalwards but the strike was off target again.

With 15 minutes remaining, it was three. Bergin stung the hands of Chauhan from long range – it was a good parry by the Indian keeper but Clifford was on hand to finish from an acute angle.

Seven minutes later, Graham was on the scoresheet, capitalising on a poor defensive clearance to stroke home one on one with Chauhan.

Shepherd, on her return from injury, had the ball in the back of the net after Chauhan had saved from Okeowo but was standing in an offside position so had it ruled out.

Okeowo then finished the tie a minute from time when slamming home at the far post from a Shepherd cross.

Charlton are back in action on Thursday evening, weather permitting, when they’ll contest a Ryman Cup semi-final match against Worthing in Thamesmead. Next Sunday they are in FA Cup action against FA Women’s Super League side Sheffield FC, also at Thamesmead.

Charlton: Baker, Flack, Dixson, Sullivan, Coombs (Shepherd 74), Clifford, Bergin (Simmons 82), Lee (Okeowo 65), Graham, Bottom, Southgate.

Subs (not used): Nash, Monaghan.

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