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Addicks win thriller against Durham 2-1 at The Valley

By Football Reporter

Charlton Athletic ended their season in the FA Women’s Championship on a high after coming from behind to beat Durham 2-1 in a thrilling encounter at The Valley.

Durham started brightly and Dee Bradley forced Eartha Cumings into making a great save after just four minutes.

Charlton then had a great chance to take the lead in the 14th minute after some delightful build up play, but Ella Rutherford’s effort was straight at Naoisha McAloon in the Durham goal.

In the 26th minute, Charlton thought they had taken the lead after Elise Hughes prodded in from close range, only for the goal to be ruled out for offside.

After neither side could find the net in the first half, Durham opened the scoring in the second half when substitute Lauren Briggs caught Cumings out with a fabulous strike from distance.

Charlton responded in the 67th minute when Katie Robinson beat her defender and supplied a cross for Emma Follis to run on to and equalise from close range.

Robinson then got herself on the scoresheet in the 78th minute. The Charlton winger danced around a Durham defender, before firing her shot into the bottom corner.

Durham began to pile on the pressure in their search for an equaliser and a stunning effort from Briggs was only denied by the post in the 89th minute.

Charlton held on to their lead, and ensured they ended the season in fifth place, while defeat for Durham resulted in them dropping to sixth.

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Charlton Athletic goalscorer Katie Robinson said: “I’m really happy with the goal, but most importantly, I’m really happy the team played well and with the team getting the win.

“I think as a team we worked really hard the past month to improve our performances on the pitch and I think today rounded off the hard work we have been putting in.

“I’ve been working really hard since I joined the team, and I obviously want to score goals and help the team, so it meant a lot and especially with my family being here to see it obviously topped off the moment.

“I think finishing fifth in the league is something definitely we will take but I think we want to be higher up the table but I think all things considered we can say it’s been a pretty good season for us all and I know the girls will try to push even higher next year.”

Durham manager Lee Sanders said: “It’s been a bit like our season to be honest, just been up and down. Lauren has come on and scored a goal after a 50/50 first half to be perfectly honest.

“We were getting on top in the second half and we scored the goal and then we started to make changes and Charlton began to come into it a bit more. That’s how I would sum it up, disappointing but I can’t fault the effort of the players in the game.

Reflecting on the season, he said: “We were doing really well and then we have had a lot of issues off the field to deal with, losing players, injuries, and you can’t make it an excuse.

“But it does have an effect on what happens and it’s my responsibility to go away and try and improve us from top to bottom. We have to try and improve next season, because we can.

“There’s a lot of players in there who have done well. If you look at the season Beth [Hepple] has had for example as an individual, she’s scored 15 goals from midfield.

“There’s not another player in the league got anywhere near that so you’ve got to take the positives sometimes and we have had some good results.”

Charlton Athletic: (4-2-3-1): Eartha Cumings; Anna Filbey (c), Emma Follis, Elise Hughes, Ella Rutherford, Beth Roe, Katie Robinson, Hannah Godfrey, Lois Heuchan, Jorja Fox, Mia Ross

Substitutes: Megan Wynne for Heuchan 68

Substitutes not used: Sophie Hillyerd, Natalia Negri, Becky Jane, Vyan Sampson, Hollie Olding, Jess King, Elisha Sulola

Goals: Follis 67, Robinson 78

Durham Women: (5-3-2): Naoisha McAloon; Ellie Christon, Abby Holmes, Becky Salicki, Sarah Wilson (c), Sarah Robson, Beth Hepple, Dee Bradley, Rio Hardy, Mollie Lambert, Emily Roberts

Substitutes: Lauren Briggs for Bradley 52, Liz Ejupi for Roberts 62, Hannah Greenwood for Hardy 71, Bridget Galloway for Holmes 71

Substitutes not used: Megan Borthwick

Goals: Briggs 56

Referee: Paul Howard

Attendance: 710

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