Women’s football round-up: Charlton challenging at top of Championship, Eagles suffer narrow Spurs loss

Goals from Liz Ejupi and Lily Agg guided Charlton to a 2-0 victory over Lewes in the FA Women’s Championship.

The Addicks grabbed their sixth league win in seven thanks to a goal in each half at The Dripping Pan.

Charlton started well as Ejupi went close and Ellie Bailes fired a shot wide of Faye Baker’s goal.

But the home side grew into the game as Danielle Lane’s low cross reached Leeta Rutherford at the back post, but the Rooks midfielder could not get her shot on target.

Grace Coombes could not keep her effort down as the Addicks kept pressing for a opener.

With 40 minutes gone the Addicks did score, Ejupi poking in Agg’s cross to take the lead.

It could have been 2-0 a few minutes later but for Baker, who foiled Amber Stobbs with her feet.

Charlton had the first opportunity of the second-half, with Bailes hitting Baker’s right-hand post from just inside the area before the Lewes keeper turned Harley Bennett’s shot out for a corner.

The Addicks second-half pressure eventually paid off when Agg crashed in a shot off the underside of the bar leaving The Rooks a mountain to climb.

The hosts’ best chance of the second period came when Georgia Robert headed to Sarah Kempson, who nodded over from close range.

Charlton’s Amelia Ritchie said: “It’s good to get the three points, we’re fighting to go up, so every game is an opportunity for us to do that.

“We can catch Man United, there’s no reason why we can’t. Everyone says United are the favourites but we’re equal [on points]. When they come to us, we need to give them a game. It’s in our hands just as much as it is theirs.”

Charlton host West Ham on Wednesday in the League Cup.

“It’ll be another physical test and it’ll be fast as obviously they’re in the league above. We gave Arsenal, who are also in the Super League, a game. The scoreline didn’t reflect it.”

Rianna Dean scored the only goal as Tottenham ended their two-game winless run with a 1-0 victory against Crystal Palace Ladies.

The Eagles did well to remain in the contest but a lack of goals continues to leave them in relegation trouble.

Dominant Tottenham should have grabbed the lead early on but Anneka Nuttall’s superb goal-line clearance denied Dean an opener.

Angela Addison then skied a one-on-one effort after good work and Dean was denied by the offside flag after tapping into an empty net.

Palace were restricted to speculative efforts from distance as Leesa Haydock blasted over and Ashlee Hincks curled wide.

But the deadlock was soon broken when Ashleigh Neville’s cute flick teed up Dean, who showed composure to bury her 11th goal of the campaign.

Crystal Palace had goalkeeper Shanell Salgado to thank as she saved superbly from Addison in first-half stoppage time.

Sarah Wiltshire’s pinpoint cross deserved a better finish from Dean who could only direct it over after the break.

Goal-shy Palace nearly returned home with a precious point as Chloe Burr forced a smart save out of Chloe Morgan late on.

They face London Bees on Thursday in the League Cup.

Palace boss Dean Davenport said: “The players battled really well.

“I know Tottenham have been a little fragile over the last week or so, they’ve conceded a few goals against the teams they’ve played so we thought we’d come here and have a little bit of a mess-up. Try and get in their faces, try and be aggressive – which I think we did. The goal came from a mistake again from one of our players at the back. We could have just cleared the ball.

“It was a performance that overall deserved a draw.

“It was a scruffy affair and we wanted it to be scruffy because if we let Tottenham play the football they can play it would be hard for us to get back into the game. It gave us half a chance of nicking something. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be today but most importantly we’re competing in games which is what we need to do in this league.

“We are improving. The major thing for us at the moment is we’ve got four players out, four main starters. We played midweek against Brighton and we had nine players out. It’s about trying to stay compact until these first team players come back.

“Hopefully we’ll have a few back for the London Bees game on Thursday but if not everyone should be fit and raring to go after the new year.

“It’ll be no different for the Millwall game. They’ll be looking to take points off us. Obviously neither of us want to finish bottom of the league, we’ll carry on and try and pick points up against the top sides. We don’t really earmark anything as such. The Millwall game is going to be a big game for us, like London Bees.

“But London Bees will just give us an opportunity to play some of the fringe players to give them some game time. We beat London Bees 1-0 before in the league so I’m sure Thursday night will be another difficult game but a game that we’ll look to win.”

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