Sunday’s game between Coventry United and Charlton Athletic in the FA Women’s Championship, a game that saw the two team’s at the bottom of the table looking to gain points to help lift themselves up the table and towards staying in the FA Women’s Championship. The game would be no doubt a tense and important game as the sun shined down on Barkers Butts Arena as the two teams lined up and the game kicked off with the referee’s whistle.
Both teams would look to get the early upper hand, Coventry were first out the blocks as Destiny Toussaint had the first effort but her shot went over the bar on the 6th minute. But Charlton were not far behind as Emma Plewa tried to get The Addicks on the scoresheet but some good defending saw the ball go behind. Both teams couldn’t make their possession count as they tried to open the scoring. Ella Rutherford was fantastic for Charlton as Fran Orthodoxou battled and made sure that Charlton didn’t have an easy time on the ball. Anna Wilcox nearly opened the scoring in stunning style as her volley just went over the bar on the 15th minute. Ella Rutherford called Sue Wood into action before Sue Wood tipped Ellie Dorey effort over the bar.
It seemed like Ella Rutherford was always in the action as Charlton tried to press, it was The Addicks that had the next chance but Anna Wilcox stopped Ellie Dorey’s effort by getting in the way of it the shot. Charlton were in the ascendancy in the second half of the first half as they applied the pressure as Jess King, Ella Rutherford and Emma Plewa was making themselves known in the Coventry half. Coventry were defending well with Nikki Miles and Anna Wilcox working hard to stop the pressure from Charlton as the first half came to an end with the score at 0-0 and all to play for in the second half.
The worst start possible for Coventry United as 5 minutes into the second half Ella Rutherford became the created as she picked out Jess King with a perfect ball who slotted it past Sue Wood on the 50th minute as Charlton went 0-1 up in this key game. Coventry weren’t going to lie down as they nearly equalized on the 53rd minute when Helen Dermody’s effort hit the woodwork and came out to Destiny Toussaint, who’s head was saved on the line by Eartha Cumings. Nikki Miles and Anna Wilcox ended up in a pile on the keeper it seemed and some nonsense of a scuffle broke out but thankfully order was restored. The introduction of Beth Merrick gave Coventry something different and it nearly paid off straight away as Beth drilled the ball into the danger zone but a great cutout by Olivia Smith made sure it came to nothing as we passed the hour mark.
It seemed as if Coventry could find a way back into the game but could they make their pressure count as they looked to pull back level. Becky Anderson tried to pull off an expansive effort as she tried something you’d try on Fifa when 5-0 up but the effort went over the bar. Another fantastic ball into the box by Beth Merrick that saw Destiny Toussaint’s diving header go wide of the target but a fantastic effort for Coventry to pull level. But as many times in football when you don’t take your chances, the score could have been 1-1 but become 0-2 when once again Ella Rutherford’s vision picked out Lois Heuchan who slots the ball into the back of the net on the 67th minute to give Charlton the 0-2 lead.
Coventry seemed deflated as they tried to get something from the game but hadn’t given up but it was nearly 3 when Jess King went close on the 76th minute. And once again it was Jess King who nearly got her second of the game but it went wide as we entered the final 10 minutes of the game. The 83rd minute didn’t bring a goal but a talking point as after a challenge, that I’m not even sure if Anna Wilcox made but with her saying something to the referee a red card was brandished to everyone’s surprised and Anna Wilcox’s shock. But with 10 players and 0-2 down with minutes remaining the game had gone away from Coventry United. The game played out to the referee’s whistle with a 0-2 victory for Charlton. Two different camps after the game with Coventry now looking and needing to pick up points in their remaining games and Charlton having a bit of breathing space as they moved up the table.
Coventry United: Sue Wood, Hayley Crackle, Nikki Miles, Anna Wilcox, Ashlee Brown, Alice Hassall, Helen Dermody, Destiny Toussaint, Fran Orthodoxou, Becky Anderson, Amber Hughes.
Subs – Beth Merrick & Georgia Stevens for Alice Hassall & Helen Dermody (56)
Charlton Athletic: Eartha Cumings, Olivia Smith, Grace Coombs, Ellie Dorey, Charley Clifford, Jess King, Ella Rutherford, Shauna Vassell, Elisha Sulola, Lois Heuchan, Emma Plewa.
Subs – Ella Powell & Vyan Sampson for Emma Plewa & Ellie Dorey (71), Ciara Waitling for Ella Rutherford (77), Katie Godden for Jess King (84).