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Charlton Athletic 0 Coventry City 1
Coventry City gained a 1-0 away victory over Charlton Athletic at Sporting Club Thamesmead, a Destiney Toussaint strike after 35 minutes proving the difference in a highly competitive and intense battle in deterorating conditions.
The match had a special 'Pink' theme in support of breast cancer awareness month, with players wearing pink bibs pre match and a collection being made for the Pink Ribbon Foundation, an organisation which funds projects nationally and supports other charities working with cancer sufferers.
The visitors made a dynamic start, pinning Charlton in their own half and forcing the hosts into desperate defence. Toussaint was a constant menace, with Helen Demody and Nicole Dale linking effectively to create several dangerous situations. Toussaint cut in from the left to curl a 20-yard effort onto the far post and away on seven minutes whilst Megen Lynch in the home goal dealt well with two Dermody corners. It was 22 minutes before Charlton created a chance, Emma Harrison having an effort saved by Sue Wood.
Dermody rattled the bar when clever play by Dale and Toussaint left her with a clear sight of goal 15 yards out on 31 minutes. Charlton nearly took the lead when Harrison blocked a Wood clearance, but wihin a minute the visitors were ahead, Toussaint turning her marker to the right of goal before drilling the ball past Lynch.
Francesca Tye had an effort well held by Wood but it was fitting that Toussaint had the final goal attempt, being foiled by Lynch right on the break.
Charlton may well have escaped lightly with a single goal half time deficit but their young team responded impressively to take charge of proceedings for most of the second half. Lynch had to be alert to deny Dermody early on, but the hosts were soon creating a series of chances.
The set piece delivery of Stef Simmons gave the Sky Blues defence some anxious moments and Kit Graham had a header just wide. Jenny Newman was denied by a fine save from Wood then had another effort just wide a minute later. On 77 minutes Newman tuned provider, Sam Pittuck being foiled by a last ditch clearance for a corner.
As Charlton committed more players to attack, Coventry had a couple of good chances on the break, Callan Barber and Dermody shooting wide, but it was Charlton who finished the match pressing for an equaliser. Pittuck went close again, then another Simmons corner was well cleared by Sky Blues skipper Natasha Lynch. One final punch clear by Wood from right under her bar and Coventry had gained a hard earned three points.
Each side had dominated one half and played impressively at times but it was the visitors who moved up the table behind Gillingham and Cardiff City Ladies. Charlton had key players missing through injury and it was to their credit that they turned the tide against experienced opponents but in the end they were unable to find the way to overcome the Sky Blues back line.
Charlton Athletic: Megen Lynch, Stef Simmons, Rosie Paye, Jordan Butler, Emma Harrison, Sam Pittuck, Francesca Tye, Kit Graham, Jenny Newman, Olivia Cole, Ruby Southgate. Subs: Katie Flack, Harley Bennett, Charley Clifford.
Coventry City: Sue Wood, Nikki Miles, Annabel Johnson, Callan Barber, Natasha Lynch, Kim Walton, Nicole Dale, Hayley Ladd, Destiney Toussaint, Helen Dermody, Aime Savva. Subs: Becky Anderson, Maz Gauntlett, Ashleigh Neville, Emily March.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Nicole Dale takes on Stef Simmons
(middle) Kit Graham tries to win the ball from Destiney Toussaint
(bottom) Helen Dermody gets in a cross past Stef Simmons
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