Charlton Athletic Women bowed out of the FA Cup on Sunday to 2019 semi-finalists Chelsea.
Two goals apiece from Drew Spence and Emily Murphy saw the visitors progress through to the next round of the competition.It was a valiant performance from the Addicks, who were unlucky to go into the break a goal down.
On the stroke of half-time the visitors took the lead as Spence received the ball and slotted it into the bottom corner.
The Addicks defended brilliantly throughout, and had the first chance of the game in the third minute when Charley Clifford was fouled in the Chelsea half.
Lily Woodham delivered the ball but it just evaded the head of Grace Coombs.
Brave defending from Rachel Newborough just a minute later saw her get shoved into the advertising hoardings by a Chelsea player as she was seeing the ball out for a goal-kick.
Coombs was back in action shortly after as Murphy looked to break through on goal, but the Addicks captain did brilliantly to get back and clear the ball.
Katie Startup did well to calmly collect Chelsea crosses and shots, as the visitors pushed for an opener.
Both teams were forced into substitutions in the first half, with Charlie Estcourt coming off for Georgia Griffin in the 11th minute and Chelsea’s Ramona Backmann coming off for Guro Reiten in the 36th.
More courageous defending in the 38th minute saw three Charlton players put their bodies in the way of a powerful Chelsea strike before the re-bound shot from Magdalena Eriksson was comfortably saved by Startup.
Jenna Legg worked tirelessly throughout the game to force Chelsea into passing backwards.
Charley Clifford was booked in the 42nd minute for a tough challenge, which saw two Chelsea players go down.
The sucker-punch came on the stroke of half-time as Spence received the ball and slotted it into the corner to give the visitors the lead.
Straight after the interval they got their second. Murphy who was one on one with Startup had her initial shot saved, scored the re-bound to make it 0-2.
Ten minutes later the visitors got their third of the afternoon from a penalty. Coombs, who looked to have made a brilliant challenge on Charlotte Fleming, was deemed to have fouled the forward.
Spence stepped up and got her second and Chelsea’s third of the afternoon, sending Startup the wrong way.
The Addicks did well to battle on and win a corner in the 64th minute. A good ball whipped in by Alice Griffiths was dealt with well by the visitors.
Chelsea were pushing for a fourth goal, hitting the post in the 66th minute and forcing Startup into another excellent save in the 67th minute.
Newborough did well again to stifle a Blues attack, after intercepting and clearing a ball over the top.
The visitors got their final goal of the afternoon with six minutes left. Deanna Cooper played the ball to Murphy who powerfully struck the ball into the back of the net.
Charlton: Startup, Newborough, Coombs, Dorey, Clifford, Woodham (Gardien 55), Estcourt (Griffin 11, Janbu Eide 69), Griffiths, Legg, Heuchan, Mustaki
Subs (not used): Salgado, Espinosa
Bookings: Clifford 42
Chelsea: Telford, Blundell (Wardlaw 59), Ingle, Carter, Eriksson, Cooper, Bachmann (Reiten 35), Spence, Naiper, Fleming (Bright 90+2), Murphy
Subs (not used): Berger, England, Mjelde, Andersson