Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Brighton & Hove Albion Ladies 2 v 0 Charlton Athletic Ladies

Sunday 6th December 2015
American Express Community Stadium, Falmer
Women's Premier League Southern Division
Admission: £4.00
Programme: £2.00
Attendance: 3,256
Match Rating: 4

Today I decided to take in my first women's game of the season, one that was appealing to me for several reasons. It would be the first match that Brighton's Ladies team have ever played at the Amex, it would be an opportunity to watch a Charlton team, with my current reluctance to watch the men's team due to my total frustration at the way the club is being run currently, and the match itself would be a clash of the top two in the division.

Goal difference of 6 was all that separated today's teams going into the match. Both had won ten and drawn two of their games, with Charlton having a game in hand having lost one game as opposed to Brighton's two. Today's teams have already met this season in south-east London in late August, with the match finishing goalless. A glossy programme was produced, although this was rather inconveniently in a fold out format although with some interesting reading over 4 pages, as well as the predicted line-ups, league table and fixtures on the back page.

With misty rain blowing into the stadium virtually throughout the match, Brighton put in a really good performance on their big day playing at the Amex, blowing the league leaders with an excellent display of attacking football, always looking creative with their passing and playing at a high tempo to prevent Charlton from getting into the game. Brighton took the lead on 8 minutes following a corner when Jay Blackie met the ball with a looping header and the ball dropped over the keeper and into the net. Brighton dominated the rest of the half, as Charlton struggled to get out of their own half, let alone have a shot on goal, and Brighton deservedly opened up a two goal lead in first half stoppage time. Charlotte Gurr took a lovely touch of the ball to guide the ball past a defender, and she cooly placed the ball past the keeper. In the fifth minute of added on time, they come close to scoring again when a shot skimmed the top of the crossbar, but at half time, Charlton had it all to do to get back into the game.

Charlton did improve after the break, and started to create some reasonable chances although they never really convinced that they would pull a goal back. And it was Brighton who came the closest to scoring in the second half. On 61 minutes, Kate Natkiel was sent through on goal following a flick on, but after trying to jink her way into a better position to shoot, her eventual shot was saved by the keeper. On 82 minutes, Brighton's Sophie Perry had a shot blocked on the line, but their two goals already scored was already plenty sufficient to take them to the top of the table.

Based on today's performance, it is hard to comprehend how Charlton were top of the table going into this game, but perhaps that was more down to an excellent performance from Brighton blowing the visitors away.

Video highlights of this match can be viewed by clicking here

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