Addicks crash at home 1-0 despite dominating leaders Liverpool
By Football Reporter
Jasmine Matthews' late winner helped Liverpool continue their march towards the FA Women's Championship title with a dramatic 1-0 win against Charlton Athletic.
The Addicks were the better side throughout, but the league leader's quality showed as a brilliant header from Matthews sealed the three points.
It took the Reds until the 83rd minute to force Eartha Cumings to make a save, and she was equal to the task.
A left-footed strike from Yana Daniels was tipped away superbly by the Charlton keeper, but from the resulting corner, she had no chance, as Matthews' header rifled into the back of the net to the delight of the travelling fans.
Liverpool held on for their 13th league win of the campaign and in arguably their most challenging game of the season so far.
The hosts started brightly and grew in confidence as the first half went on.
Ella Rutherford went close with a free-kick from distance that drifted just wide.
And ten minutes later, she nearly broke the deadlock with a strong header that was tipped onto the crossbar and over by Rachael Laws.
The second half started in a similar fashion to the first, with Charlton looking likely to break the deadlock, constantly getting into the final third but failing to make it count.
And ultimately, they were made to rue their missed opportunities as the Reds snatched the three points late on.
The Addicks and the Reds meet again next week on Merseyside.
Charlton Athletic (4-3-3): Eartha Cumings, Jorja Fox, Anna Filbey, Kiera Skeels, Beth Roe, Mia Ross, Lois Heuchan, Ella Rutherford, Lauren Bruton (C), Megan Wynne, Emma Follis
Substitutes: Katie Robinson for Follis 70, Lois Roche for Bruton 78, Jess King for Rutherford 79
Substitutes not used: Natalia Negri, Becky Jane, Elisha Sulola, Sophie Quirk, Elise Hughes, Hannah Godfrey
Bookings: Ella Rutherford 17,
Liverpool (3-5-2): Rachael Laws, Yana Daniels, Rhiannon Roberts, Niamh Fahey (C), Jasmine Matthews, Taylor Hinds, Rachel Furness, Jade Bailey, Missy Bo Kearns, Leanne Kiernan, Katie Stengel
Substitutes: Melissa Lawley for Stengel 56, Charlotte Wardlaw for Kearns 63, Ceri Holland for Bailey 73
Substitutes not used: Charlotte Clarke, Ashley Hodson, Meikayla Moore, Carla Humphrey, Megan Campbell, Hannah Silcock
Goals: Matthews 84
Referee: Amy Fearn
Jasmine Matthews, Liverpool defender: "Sometimes we win pretty, but sometimes it's ugly. Today wasn't a great performance, but it doesn't matter how we get the result, - ugly or pretty - 1-0, and we'll take that for sure.
"We've worked on set-pieces all season, and I'm always up there for attacking corners, but it never comes off, so I'm just so delighted that today I got the goal to get us the victory. It's the only header I've ever scored, so hopefully, I'll get another one, but I'll take one, that's for sure.
"The main message (at half-time) was just to be calm and play our football. I think sometimes we get wrapped up and stop focusing on the game, so we just need to be a bit more patient on the ball and move the ball to move them and create the spaces.
"Matt just said we need to keep our feet on the ground, which is totally understandable. Everyone's in a good mood, the atmosphere's great, so yeah we're just taking each game as it comes."
Karen Hills, Charlton Athletic manager: I'm disappointed. I don't like losing football matches, but I can't be any more prouder of my group of players.
"I thought they worked really hard and made Liverpool work really hard for the victory.
"I'm proud of the grit and determination from my players. We've come a very long way in such a short space of time. We've got a lot of young players - Mia Ross in the centre of the pitch today, 18 years old. She absolutely dominated and played so well. We've got a young squad that's up and coming, and it's taken Liverpool to get a set-piece from us. "We know it's a work in progress in the final third, and scoring goals is the hardest part of the game, and unfortunately, today, we weren't able to take our chances when we had chances.
"We've got to go up there next week and play them again. We know what we've got to do. We played some really attractive, nice football today. "We're not going to change too much. I thought the mentality, the work rate, the togetherness was outstanding. I thought we outplayed Liverpool today in patches and were the better team. All we need to do is be more consistent."