WOMEN'S TEAM | Addicks bow out of FA Cup to Super League side Sheffield FC

David Brenchley reports

Poor finishing and two defensive errors were the downfall of the Charlton women’s team as they exited the SSE Women’s FA Cup at the third-round stage to FA Women’s Super League side Sheffield FC at Sporting Club Thamesmead on Sunday.

On the whole it was a valiant performance from Charlton - who play one division below Sheffield - and they certainly dominated the stats board, with a plethora of chances throughout the contest.

However, a Sophie Jones header and Natasha Flint strike ensured the Yorkshire side took the spoils and moved a step closer to Wembley.

After resting a few players for the 8-0 win over Worthing Town on Thursday, first-team coach Riteesh Mishra reverted to the side that demolished West Ham 5-0 the weekend before.

It was a pretty tight contest throughout, with Charlton in fact seeming to have more and the better chances against a side preparing for their second season in the FAWSL.

Kit Graham had an early sighter within the first 10 minutes but shot straight at Juliana Draycott in the visitors’ goal, before Charley Clifford, who has been in good goalscoring form, had the first real chance. Avilla Bergin flicked on a ball forward from Graham but Draycott did well to come out and get something on Clifford’s shot and followed that up by smothering the rebound.

Sheffield came into it more after 20 minutes. Chloe Dixon and Natasha Flint had long-range efforts saved or off target before Bergin crossed for Graham to flick goalwards, but her header was saved.

The second period began in the worst possible way for the hosts, who gave away a free-kick in a dangerous position to the right of the penalty area. Dale floated in the delivery and somehow Jones ended up alone in the six-yard box to head past Baker.

Again, chance after chance went begging for the Addicks, with Graham and Clifford both shooting wide and Draycott then saved comfortably from Bergin and Graham.

The closest Charlton came was 20 minutes from time when Graham swivelled and shot goalwards but saw her shot headed off the line by a covering defender.

And the gloss was put on the scoreline six minutes later when a ball out of defence put Katie Bottom under undue pressure from a Sheffield attacker. The ball ran loose to Flint, who made no mistake and fired past Baker to double her side’s advantage.

In the final quarter of an hour, Charlton pushed to get their way back into the competition but to no avail and Sheffield saw the game out well.

Charlton now travel to Wales to take on unbeaten Cardiff City next Sunday.

Charlton: Baker, Flack, Dixson (c), Sullivan, Coombs, Clifford, Bergin, Lee (Shepherd 64), Graham, Bottom (Nash 82), Southgate (Simmons 79).

Subs (not used): Okeowo, Dunne.

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