Bryan taking positives from Manchester United loss
Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 1:33PM BST, Tuesday, 16 October 2018
The Charlton Women can take a lot of positives out of their first FA Womenís Championship defeat, according to Gemma Bryan.
Itís nice to be back at home next week and hopefully we can take the positives from Sunday and turn it into a good performance.
The women’s team were downed 3-0 by league leaders Manchester United at Leigh Sports Village on Sunday, but held their own for a large proportion of the match - and could even have gone into the break on level terms.
A long range Katie Zelem strike just after the quarter of an hour mark gave the home side an early lead. But Bryan, who impressed throughout the contest as Charlton’s lone striker, showed good strength to power past her marker and cross for another impressive performer, Liz Ejupi. But the midfielder’s header could only find the crossbar on the stroke of half time.
Despite in the main limiting the hosts to long-range efforts, they struck twice in the second half through Jess Sigsworth and Lizzie Arnot to end the Addicks’ unbeaten start to the league campaign.
But Bryan said she was pleased with how her side stuck to the game plan devised by manager Riteesh Mishra and coach James Marrs. “I think we made it difficult for Man United to create chances,” she said.
“The girls worked really hard for one another and we managed to restrict them to efforts from outside the box. We didn’t really let them create much in and around the wide areas, which is probably where they’re strongest.
“We were a little but unlucky not to take one of our chances, but if you don’t do that, when you play against a team with their quality, they will punish you. And that’s what they did.”
Bryan, who recently reached 100 appearances for Charlton in her previous match against Lewes, had the unenviable job of playing up front on her own. “It was challenging,” she explained.
“My job was just to retain possession, try and keep and protect the ball for as long as I could and then try to bring other players into play. That was our main focus against them and I think it worked well to a certain extent.”
Charlton return to The Oakwood this Sunday as they take on Sheffield United, looking to continue their 100% record at their new home.
And Bryan is looking to bounce straight back. She added: “It’s nice to be back at home next week and hopefully we can take the positives from Sunday and turn it into a good performance. The main aim is another three points and to get back to winning ways.”
Tickets for the Sheffield United game, which takes place at The Oakwood, Old Road, DA1 4DN and kicks off at 2pm, are available to purchase in advance.