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Sheffield steal the show
 Women's Football News 17 Feb 2014
Sheffield steal the show - 17 Feb 2014 - Women's Football NewsCharlton Athletic 0 Sheffield FC 6
Sheffield FC cruised into Round Four of the FA Women's Cup by brushing aside Charlton Athletic by six goals to nil at SC Thamesmead. 
Four goals in ten first half minutes settled the tie before the half hour mark and the visitors maintained their control with two additional strikes, despite an improved performance from the hosts. Sheffield will now travel to WSL 2 side Durham Women in Round Four.
Nothing in the opening fifteen minutes suggested anything other than a tightly contested tie with neither team creating a real opening. However once Sheffield started to find their passing range the chances came thick and fast. Charlton keeper Megen Lynch made a fine point blank stop from Ellie Gilliatt but was powerless to stop Carla Ward's low finish from Lisa Giampalma's chipped through ball on 18 minutes.
Suzanne Davies added a delightful second, controlling a high pass before thumping a 20-yard shot beyond Lynch on 23 minutes. Two minutes later Kerry Parkin added the third from the edge of the area before Jodie Michalska headed a fourth as she rose unchallenged to head home after a clever coner routine undid the home defence.
With the outcome all but settled with an hour still to play, Sheffield continued to move the ball around impressively to create openings whereas Charlton struggled to make an impression on the experienced Sheffield rearguard. Claire Wallhead in the visitors goal made one impressive save from a dipping cross but was otherwise untroubled before the break.
Charlton returned with better attacking intent and Sam Pittuck was inches away from reducing the deficit on 53 minutes with a cross shot, then Kit Graham went equally close with glancing header from a free kick. Play was held up when home skipper Jenny Newman was injured in a challenge and any lingering hopes of a stirring comeback were squashed when Davies powered her way to the line and sent in a perfect cross for Michalska to volley home at the far post for the fifth on 67 minutes.
Sheffield added a sixth when Davies was denied by a fine block by Katie Flack, only for the ball to fall for Ward to lash in her second from close range on 77 minutes.
The power and excellent teamwork of the victors was highly impressive. Even when Pittuck had a late chance to grab a consolation she was denied by a fine sliding block by Natasha Cooke as Sheffeld confirmed a convincing win. It was easy to see how Sheffield are riding high at the top of the Northern Division of the Premier League as the team has strength and experience all over the pitch and clinical finishers to convert the chances created.
Charlton Athletic: Megen Lynch, Stef Simmons, Rosie Paye, Grace Coombs, Emma Harrison, Charley Clifford, Sam Pittuck, Leigh Houlihan, Kit Graham, Jenny Newman, Katie Flack. Subs: Katie Hardaker, Eliz Ibrahim, Alice Singyard, Gemma Hyland.

Sheffield FC: Claire Wallhead, Natasha Cooke, Becky Lee, Abbie McManus, Ellie Gilliatt, Lisa Giampalma, Carla Ward, Kerry Parkin, Lynn Goodman, Suzanne Davies, Jodie Michalska. Subs: Kirsty Richardson, Aimee Johnson, Jess Heald, Leanne de Silva, Issy Hayes.

(Report by Patrick Higgins)

Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:

(top) Lisa Giampalma fires a shot straight at Megen Lynch
(middle) Grace Coombs challenges Kerry Parkin
(bottom) Carla Ward is tackled by Katie Flack

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