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Charlton up to third in Championship after 2-0 away win at Bristol City

Bristol City 0-2 Charlton

A stunning strike from Lois Heuchan set Charlton on their way to an impressive win at Bristol City that sees the Addicks climb to third in the FA Women’s Championship table.

Midway through the first half, Heuchan crisply connected with a cross on the half-volley that flew into Fran Bentley’s top corner and Elise Hughes then wrapped up victory 15 minutes from time with a close-range finish to end the Robins’ five-game unbeaten league streak.

Three points were just reward for a professional performance at the Robins High Performance Centre and ensured the Addicks, who were level on points with their opponents heading into the game, leapt to third in the table – although still nine points behind leaders Liverpool.

The first chance of the game fell to Bristol City when Chloe Bull failed to connect properly with a Ffion Morgan cross, yet it was Charlton who went ahead on 25 minutes.

From an attacking throw-in, Hughes whipped a cross into the box from the right and Heuchan expertly guided the ball into the top right-hand corner of Bentley’s net on the half-volley from about 12 yards out.

Despite a decent spell of possession before the break, the Robins were unable to test Eartha Cumings in the Charlton goal and the Addicks then almost doubled their advantage on 52 minutes as only Bentley’s diving save prevented Beth Roe’s 30-yard effort from finding the net.

Mia Ross did score for the visitors from close range shortly after but had it ruled out for offside before Brooke Aspin’s header from Aimee Palmer’s dangerous free-kick landed on the roof of the net at the other end.

The Addicks managed to put the result beyond doubt on 73 minutes when Lois Roche’s corner was headed goalwards and although Bentley made the initial save, the ball ricocheted to Hughes to lash home from a couple of yards out.

It was almost 3-0 at the death when Bentley managed to push Jorja Fox’s looped effort on to the crossbar but the points were already secure and Charlton kept their slim title hopes alive.

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Bristol City head coach Lauren Smith said: “I feel that Charlton have come and given us a good game.

“They’ve beaten us to every ball, we were second, their press was better ours and they’ve played better today, so they deserved the win. Congratulations to them.

“We know we can be better. That game didn’t show how we can play – we can play quicker, get the ball, be more confident in it and be grittier in the one v ones.

“I know that we can do all those things, so it’s not going to be a hard challenge, we just need to go and put it right.

[On a record crowd of 956 at the Robins High Performance Centre]: “That was amazing. The fans unfortunately didn’t get to see us win or score today, which is what we like to do for them but hopefully they’ll come back and watch us again.

“The crowd was excellent though, so thank you to them.”

Bristol City: Fran Bentley, Ella Powell, Brooke Aspin, Satara Murray, Lia Cataldo, Ffion Morgan, Chloe Bull, Aimee Palmer, Ava Kuyken, Aggie Beever-Jones, Abi Harrison

Substitutes: Gwen Davies for C Bull 45, Melissa Johnson for Kuyken 45, Jesse Woolley for Beever Jones 57, Naomi Layzell for Aspin 73, Izzy Cook for Morgan 78

Substitutes not used: Sophie Whitehouse, Simran Jhamat, Flo Allen, Jasmine Bull

Charlton: ​​Eartha Cumings, Anna Filbey, Elisha Sulola, Megan Wynne, Elise Hughes, Keira Skeels, Lois Roche, Beth Roe, Lois Heuchan, Jorja Fox, Mia Ross

Substitutes: Ella Rutherford for Heuchan 76

Substitutes not used: Becky Jane, Rachel Newborough, Hollie Olding, Natalia Negri, Vyan Sampson, Hannah Godfrey

Goals: Heuchan 25, Hughes 73

Bookings: Roe 18

Referee: Melissa Burgin

Attendance: 956

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