• By football reporter

Addicks draw 0-0 thanks to Cumings late save


Charlton Athletic 0-0 Sheffield United


Charlton and Sheffield United played out another goalless stalemate at the Oakwood in the FA Women’s Championship.


The reverse fixture in November also ended 0-0 and, as both sides played their first league match in seven weeks, there was a sense of déjà vu to the occasion.


Courtney Sweetman-Kirk should have won it for the visitors with two minutes to play, but her point blank header was perfectly tipped onto the bar by Eartha Cumings.


Jorja Fox made her first start in the Addicks defence after joining on loan from Chelsea.


Meanwhile Ellie Wilson played the first half for United, the defender’s first appearance in over a year following an ACL injury.


The best early chances for the Blades came from free kicks. First, Lucy Watson placed one just wide, and two minutes after, Bex Rayner hit the wall with a central effort.


The first attempt on target came after 35 minutes, when Alethea Paul’s shot for the visitors was accurate, but without the required pace to challenge Eartha Cumings.


The hosts had the better of the second half. Substitute Lois Heuchan broke through the United defence with 25 minutes to play, but was unable to put any power behind her shot at Blades goalkeeper Fran Kitching.


Kitching was later injured in a collision with Elisha Sulola, causing a lengthy hold-up, although the United shot-stopper eventually continued.


Sweetman-Kirk’s later header should have stolen the three points for the Blades, but Cumings was able to tip it onto the bar and Charlton cleared the danger.

To follow the action and sign up for The FA Player’s live Barclays FA Women’s Super League coverage, visit womenscompetitions.thefa.com



Charlton goalkeeper Eartha Cumings said: “I think it’s disappointing not to get the win but a clean sheet is super important.

“It’s a good way to start the year without a defeat - that would not have been good, and they’re a good team. We never really fully got going. A point is not the end of the world.


[On her late save] “I just saw it coming across. My goalie coach sent me a video of Yann Sommer this morning. That’s a goalie I try and look at. That’s what he does, he just waits and waits and waits deep on his line and tries to make the save.


“Before the Christmas break, we won three games on the bounce. We were just a bit slow to get started, but we were solid. It was good we never conceded.


“Sheffield (United) are a good team. We’ve got a solid starting place at the back. We just need to get things clicking again up front, like it was before Christmas.”


Sheffield United forward Courtney Sweetman-Kirk said: “I think for most of the game, we put in a good performance. We looked at the analysis and the threat was they overload in wide areas. I think we dealt with that really well.


“That chance at the end, the keeper’s made a fantastic save from my header.


“It was a great cross from Jess [Clarke]. We’ve played together for years in different teams. I’ve tried to do everything right – got a good connection on it, gone back across goal. But sometimes you’ve got to hold your hands up and say it was a fantastic save.


“We’ve got to keep plugging on, and hopefully in the weeks to come, those kind of chances go in.”



“It would have been a lot better if we’d seen that go in. I think we did enough to win the game, but it’s a tough place to come. Coming away with a point is quite good.”



STATS


Charlton Athletic (3-5-2): Eartha Cumings, Beth Roe, Kiera Skeels, Anna Filbey, Jorja Fox, Lois Roche, Mia Ross, Elisha Sulola, Megan Wynne, Ella Rutherford, Jess King


Substitutes: Lois Heuchan for Wynne 63, Becky Jane for Sulola 75, Elise Hughes for King 90+1


Substitutes not used: Rachel Newborough, Hannah Godfrey, Natalia Negri

Bookings: None

Red Cards: None


Sheffield United (4-4-2): Frances Kitching, Ellie Wilson, Charlotte Newsham, Georgia Robert, Kasia Lipka, Courtney Sweetman-Kirk, Maddy Cusack, Lucy Watson, Alethea Paul, Rebecca Rayner, Sophie Bradley-Auckland


Substitutes: Tara Bourne for E. Wilson 45, Jess Clarke for Watson 55, Sophie Walton for Cusack 85, Mia Enderby for Rayner 90


Substitutes not used: Nina Wilson, Tamara Wilcock, Ocean Rolandsen

Bookings: None

Red Cards: None


Referee: Lauren Impey

Attendance: 173