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  • By Football Reporter

Addicks women open Championship account with 2-0 win at Southampton

By Football Reporter

Mel Johnson grabbed a debut goal as Charlton Athletic beat newly-promoted Southampton 2-0 on the opening day of the Barclays Women’s Championship at St Mary’s.

Emily Simpkins opened the scoring from the spot, to open her account since moving from Brighton & Hove Albion.

It was a frosty welcome to the second tier for the hosts, who were also playing their first competitive match as a full-time club.

But Charlton were ruthless and deserved to inflict a first Southampton defeat in nine months, with Angela Addison’s second-half saved penalty their only blemish.

For 20 minutes the sides were evenly matched, Saints striker Katie Wilkinson going closest with a dipping free-kick.

But the visitors soon took the lead after an almighty scramble in the six-yard box was temporarily cleared by the Saints defence.

New signing Addison was felled in the box, with captain Simpkins dispatching the penalty emphatically to the right.

Charlton continued to threaten, Heidi Logan laying off when she should have shot and Emma Follis flashing a cross past the goalmouth.

And later Southampton keeper Kayla Rendell had to backpedal to tip a looping Sophie O’Rourke effort round the post.

Two minutes after the interval, Charlton had a second, but not before Lucia Kendall headed into Rogers’ gloves from close range.

Johnson, who scored five times for Bristol City last season, skipped into the area and fired low into the far corner.

And with 20 minutes remaining, Addison could’ve wrapped up the match, only for Rendell to brilliantly save her spot-kick.

To follow the action and sign up for The FA Player’s live Barclays Women’s Super League and Championship coverage visit

Charlton Athletic manager Karen Hills said:

On Angela Addison's performance: “Incredible. What a signing. I’m super pleased with how she’s come into this environment. She’s focused, willing to work so hard for the team, all the attributes I knew the kid had. She was unlucky to miss the penalty. She deserved to stand up and take it but obviously it's not a strength of hers. But we know what her strengths are, and I’m just pleased that she’s with us and no one else in this league because she’s going to be a frightening talent this season.” On the team's performance: "We needed to come here and get those three points however it was going to look and I don't think we looked pretty in the secod-half. I don't think we were at our best. I think there's obviously a hell of a lot more to come from us. But at the same time, like any opening game, all you want is your team to get three points and keep a clean sheet and we achieved that today." On the crowd (2,444 attendance): "It was fantastic and fair play and credit to Southampton for pulling in the crowd. I thought they got behind the team really well but it was our job to come here and try to spoil the party and to quiet the crowd and I think we did that with the opening goal. But our fans, we could hear them. I thought they were fantastic. We had a really good following today and rightly so. I think those girls deserved and needed that little bit of extra encouragement towards the back end of the game just to get them over the line." On Mel Johnson's performance: “I thought she put in a really big shift for the team. She held the line really well and pressed from the front. She had a lot of work to do in tough conditions - warm day, big pitch and the feeling of that first game as well.”

Southampton boss Marieanne Spacey-Cale said:On the team's performance: "Today's a valuable learning experience for us. We wanted to come and put a bit of a marker in the sand but you've got to learn how to play in this division. No matter what you've done in pre-season it doesn't prepare you for what the Championship is going to be like. We'll take some positives from the game but then we'll need to work hard on the areas we need to be better in. We knew as soon as we were promoted that this season was going to be a tough challenge because everything’s changed. We’ve gone from part-time to full-time and we’re playing at St Mary’s which is amazing. But it’s about what we learn whilst we’re on the pitch and it’s important we do that.” On keeper Kayla Rendell's performance: “She’s a fantastic goalkeeper and she’s one of those keepers who looks so laid back but you know inside there’s such a drive to be better. She made the difference between maybe a 4-0 scoreline. Kayla’s worked really hard to keep us in the game, now we’ve got to be more clinical at the other end." On bouncing back from defeat: "This is one of the things we talked about is resilience because we know that we're going to have to perform really well in this league. We know we're not going to pick up points every week. It's about how we adapt and deal with that. But also the understanding of not getting too high when results do go our way."


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