Charlton 2-2 Durham
Report by Chloe Pizzey
Page last updated at 3:00PM UTC, Sunday, 23 September 2018
Amelia Ritchie’s 84th minute header sealed a 2-2 draw for Charlton Women in a fiery encounter against high-flyers Durham at New Ferens Park on Sunday afternoon.
Riteesh Mishra’s side fought valiantly against the North-East side, and their efforts paid off six minutes from time when Ritchie’s looping header found the back of the net to ensure Charlton left with a share of the spoils.
It was an open game right from the off, with neither team dominating possession. Katie Startup was called into action on the 10 minute mark when she punched a dangerous-looking Durham corner away.
Minutes later at the other end of the pitch, Charlton were causing the hosts problems from set plays, a well-worked corner forcing the Durham defence to hack it clear for another set-piece.
Graham almost opened the scoring on 15 minutes when she turned away from her marker and smashed the ball inches past the post.
Moments later Bryan did well to pinch the ball off a Durham defender, the forward unselfishly squared the ball to strike-partner Graham whose effort was a whisker away.
At the start of a busy few minutes, it was Durham who opened the scoring in the 21st minute. Hepple found herself in space at the edge of the box and found the bottom corner.
One minute later Graham equalised for the Addicks, the 22-year-old muscled off her defender and slotted the ball past Reid to make it 1-1.
Seconds later, Durham were back in front. As Charlton failed to clear the ball in the box, Roberts capitalised and curled the ball in past Startup.
The hosts continued to apply the pressure after their second goal, as they went searching for a third. On the stroke of half time, Startup made a stunning save, tipping a thunderous strike over the bar.
Charlton came out the better team in the second half, winning a corner straight after the restart.
New signing Leigh Nicol sent in a lovely ball over the top for Bryan, but it was just too fast for the striker to get a foot on.
The Addicks made three changes just after the hour mark, with Hannah Churchill, Bryan and Nicol replaced by Lily Agg, Liz Ejupi and Charley Clifford.
The game started to become more and more fiery as time went on, with Ness being booked for dissent.
Charlton kept attacking at Durham, with 20 minutes to go Ejupi flicked the ball on for Graham whose strike was brilliantly tipped over the bar.
A minute later Charlton won a free-kick as Amber Stobbs was hacked down just outside the area. Agg stepped up to take it and had her shot superbly saved by Reid.
Charlton screamed for handball at the resulting corner, but claims were waved away by the officials.
The hosts attempted a counter attack with 10 minutes left on the clock, but Startup was quick off her line to head the ball away before it could become a one-on-one situation.
As the clock ticked closer to 90 minutes, it didn’t look like it would be Charlton’s day. Agg tried a speculative effort which was tipped over, and Graham had a shot blocked on the line just a minute later.
Charlton’s attacking efforts finally paid off just six minutes from time as Ritchie met Charlotte Gurr’s corner and her looping header found the back of the net, giving the Addicks a well deserved goal.
The defender was then called into action straight away as the Welsh youth international made a heroic block to prevent what would have been a certain goal scoring opportunity.
And it was the visitors who had the best chance to win it, with the last kick of the game. Graham was fouled on the edge of the box and Gurr stepped up to take the free-kick. But Reid made an outstanding save to deny Charlton snatching a last-minute winner.
Mishra’s side face Lewes next on Sunday 30 September (2pm kick off) at The Oakwood, Crayford.
Charlton: Startup, Kerr, Ritchie, Coombs (C), Bryan (Ejupi, 61), Gurr, Stobbs, Graham, Nicol (Agg, 61), Churchill (Clifford, 61), Maple
Subs (not used): Griffin
Goals: Graham (22), Ritchie (84)