Addicks hat-trick hero Hughes puts South Londoners top of the league after 4-0 rout of Watford
By Football Reporter Elise Hughes’ hat-trick inspired Charlton Athletic to a 4-0 victory over Watford at Vicarage Road, as they climbed to the top of the FA Women’s Championship. Meanwhile, Watford remain winless in five games and sit rooted to the bottom of the table. Charlton got off to a flying start when Anna Filbey tapped her effort from close-range past Georgie Ferguson with only three minutes gone, as Watford failed to clear the danger from Lois Roche’s resulting corner. The Addicks doubled their advantage six minutes later when Megan Wynne’s fine cross found Hughes, who sent a looping header into the top corner. Watford registered their first effort on target in the 14th minute when Helen Ward struck a curling effort towards the near post parried away for a corner before Chiara Meola’s powerful strike flew over the bar. Clinton Lancaster’s side almost pulled a goal back, with Amber-Keegan Stobbs finding Ward as she looked to slot her effort into the bottom corner, forcing Eartha Cumings to produce an astounding save. The visitors tripled their lead before the hour mark when Lois Roche forced Ferguson to make a save with her legs as Hughes converted the rebound to slot the ball into the empty net. Three minutes later, Karen Hills’ side were awarded a spot-kick after Yliena Priest brought down Filbey and Hughes converted into the bottom corner to complete her hat-trick. Charlton continued to frustrate Watford, keeping their defensive shape as time ticked down, to earn a clean sheet and a comfortable win. To follow the action and sign up for The FA Player's live Barclay's FA Women's Super League coverage visit womenscompetitons.thefa.com Watford defender Anne Meiwald said: “I think it’s just a lot of basics – keeping the ball, putting my heart and soul on the pitch. We didn’t show that enough today and I think against a Championship side like Charlton or any team in this league, we need to show that and it’s the absolute minimum that we didn’t do today. “This has happened far too often and it’s something we need to put right, especially when one goal goes in. We cannot concede the second goal to stay in the game. "We have the possession and chances; it’s just being that touch more clinical in front of goal at the right time and we will start getting goals and hopefully, we will get the results that we need. “The adjusting time is over, we got to step it up and got to play better.” Charlton Athletic manager Karen Hills said: “I couldn’t be prouder of the girls for the whole week of work which was capped off with a comfortable 4-0 win at Vicarage Road. We started really well which probably put us in a comfortable position in that first ten minutes. “Timing of goals is so critical in this league. We came out of the blocks and were on the front foot as we took the game towards Watford. We got the corner set-piece straight away which was great to see because it’s an area we have been working on. "It’s always nice to score an early goal, but to score two, it gives you a little bit more momentum. "Elise has come into this team as an unknown and we now know the calibre of a young player she is. "Her standards are high and she works exceptionally hard on the training pitch to improve her technique. She's still got a lot to learn and game time is going to help. "Those goals will give her a lot of confidence and I really do believe we will see Elise grow this season."
Watford: (4-3-3): Georgie Ferguson; Ryah Vyse, Anne Meiwald, Ylenia Priest, Rosie Kmita; Amber Stobbs, Jenna Legg, Helen Ward; Chiara Meola, Flo Fyfe, Adekite Fatuga-Dada Substitutes: Corrine Henson for Fyfe 46, Francesca Ali for Legg 57, Ronnell Humes for Fatuga-Dada 69, Rubie Smith for Meola 79, Substitutes not used: Mia Smith, Gemma Biggadike, Aaliyah Charles Bookings: Kmita 38 Charlton: (4-3-3): Eartha Cumings; Rachel Newborough, Hannah Godfrey, Kiera Skeels, Bethan Roe; Lois Roche, Anna Filbey, Mia Ross; Emma Follis, Elise Hughes, Megan Wynne Substitutes: Hollie Olding for Roche 70, Lois Heuchan for Follis 71, Jessica King for Wynne 77 Substitutes not used: Sophie Hillyerd, Vyan Sampson, Elisha Sulola, Sophie Quirk Goals: Filbey 3, Hughes 9, 54, 58 (pen) Bookings: Roche 67 Referee: Lauren Impey Attendance: 448