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Charlton Athletic added the Capital Senior Cup to the Premier League Cup and the Ryman Cup with an excellent team performance to beat West Ham Utd at Harrow Borough FC.
After three close encounters between the clubs earlier in the season, this Final was expected to be a tight battle, especially in view of the 120 minute match Charlton had played three days earlier. In fact Charlton showed no ill effects from the Premier League Cup final and raced into a five-goal lead in an hour. A sound defensive display denied the Hammers even a consolation on a disappointing evening for the East Londoners.
West Ham started brightly but Charlton nearly scored with their first attack, Emma Harrison being unable to turn the ball home in front of goal on six minutes. Charley Clifford netted the first after a Kim Dixson free kick had looped up off the wall on 13 minutes. The Hammers continued to press but were met with a very sound defence and Megen Lynch was rarely tested.
Katie Flack was heavily involved with good Charlton pressure on the half hour, twice playing good balls from the left then providing a cross for a Dixson header which drifted wide.
Charlton doubled their lead on 42 minutes when Kit Graham robbed a defender and her blocked shot was instantly returned by Amy Howlett with a high shot beyond Nikki Duncan.
Any thoughts of a West Ham comeback were soon crushed as Charlton hit them with three goals in fifteen minutes. Player of the match Graham latched onto a through ball and lobbed Duncan, then Howlett crossed for Clifford to challenge and Harrison finished from close range. Clifford added a delightful fifth from another Howlett pass, powering home a cross shot on the run.
The final half hour saw Charlton denied by a couple of fine saves from Duncan and series of flowing attacks involving most of the team, including a cameo from Nikita Whinnett who had been injured on Sunday, ending the afternoon with her arm in a sling. but now going very close to adding a sixth goal.
West Ham showed spirit in adversity, having their best efforts in the final ten minutes. Jade Smith fired in a dangerous low cross, cleared by Sam Pittuck then Adele Sale had a good long shot clawed away at full stretch by Lynch to deny the Hammers a consolation goal and keep her second clean sheet in four days.
This was Charlton's second Capital Senior Cup win and a third win in a row, including its predecessor, the London F A Cup which the Addicks lifted in 2013. A crowd of 222 watched a commanding performance full of fine individual displays and team discipline.
Charlton Athletic: Megen Lynch, Katie Flack, Grace Coombs, Sam Pittuck, Rosie Paye, Kim Dixson, Charley Clifford, Kit Graham, Amy Howlett, Emma Harrison, Gemma Shepherd. Subs: Stef Simmons, Nikita Whinnett, Katie Hardaker.
West Ham Utd: Nikki Duncan, Vicky King, Katie Bottom, April Bowers, Ruby Baxter, Danica Revell, Stacey Little, Emma Sherwood, Vicky Kinsman, Kelley Blanchflower, Lily Mellors. Subs: Adele Sale, Jade Smith, Kayleigh Xidhas, Kerry Stimson.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Vicky King beats Emma Harrison in the air
(middle) Gemma Shepherd under pressure from Danica Revell
(bottom) Charlton Athletic with the Capital Senior Cup
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