REPORT | Charlton 2 Durham Women 1

Hughes

Charlton capped off the season with a 2-1 victory over Durham Women at The Valley to secure a fifth-placed finish in the FA Women’s Championship table.

Second-half goals from Emma Follis and Katie Robinson cancelled out a Lauren Briggs opener to secure the victory for the Addicks.

Eartha Cumings had to be at her very best to keep Durham from opening the scoring inside five minutes. A free kick was headed goalwards but Cumings showed great reflexes to acrobatically palm it away from danger.

Charlton followed that soon after with a free kick of their own, but Beth Roe’s delivery was just too high for Anna Filbey, whose header flicked just over.

Yet another free kick up the other end went over from Beth Hepple for the visitors.

Charlton had the ball in the back of the net 26 minutes into the tie. The ball found its way out to Robinson whose cross was diverted goalwards but McAloon saved well. Elise Hughes was on had to poke home the rebound but was judged to have been in an offside position.

Late chances came for both sides with Cumings saving easily from a long range Emily Roberts effort. Up the other end, Robinson’s cross was cleared by Durham’s defence and Mia Ross dipped an effort over the bar.

Rutherford had a great chance to break the deadlock just moments after the restart when Lois Heuchan broke and fed her the ball, but the shot was saved by McAloon.

Robinson then was back in the thick of the action when she broke through the defensive line and pulled back for Follis, who could only drag her effort wide.

It was 10 minutes into the second half that Durham opened the scoring when substitute Briggs found herself with the ball and no support 40 yards out. The midfielder speculatively went for goal and was fortunate that Cumings tripped over her own feet when backpedalling and the ball sailed over her and in.

It took 67 minutes for the hosts’ first goal, but it came just in time. Charlton broke and the ball once more found its way out to Robinson, who dribbled past her marker and crossed for Follis who slammed home from 12 yards out.

The Addicks had built up a head of steam at that point and their pressure was unrelenting. Megan Wynne saw a shot blocked and McAloon brilliantly tipped a Hughes header over.

There were 10 minutes left on the clock when the winning goal came and it was the reward that Robinson deserved after a highly impressive performance. Once more she weaved her way through the Durham defence and fired into the far corner.

Cumings was called upon a couple of times to deny Durham from a free kick and a Liz Ejupi shot down low.

With moments left of normal time, Briggs almost had her second when she sent an effort on goal that beat Cumings and cannoned back off the post.

Charlton: Cumings, Filbey, Follis, Hughes, Rutherford, Roe, Robinson, Godfrey, Heuchan (Wynne 67), Fox, Ross. Subs (not used): Hillyerd, Negri, Jane, Sampson, Olding, King, Sulola.

Durham Women: McAloon, Christon, Holmes (Greenwood 71), Salicki, Wilson, Robson, Hepple, Bradley (Briggs 52), Hardy (Galloway 71), Lambert, Roberts (Ejupi 62). Subs (not used): Borthwick.

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