QPR Ladies v Charlton Athletic
QPR LADIES suffered a heavy defeat to FA Women’s Premier League leaders Charlton Athletic on Sunday.
Kit Graham’s hat-trick, a brace from Gemma Shepherd and an unfortunate Elly Maggs own goal handed the South Londoners a 6-0 victory at Honeycroft.
Martino Chevannes’ side were looking to gain some much needed points in the fight for FAWPL survival. Instead, defeat leaves Rangers bottom of the table with five games remaining, two points behind both West Ham United and Swindon Town.
Charlton started the faster of the two sides, bringing a possession-based style to Uxbridge. This payed off early on when a corner was diverted in off a heavily pressured Maggs within three minutes.
The R’s knew they needed to start scoring in order to fight for their FAWPL status with both Alexandra Nord and Sara Lopez looking lively early on. Sarah Staples was the first to try her luck from long range, seeing her free-kick fly over after Charley Clifford’s handball stopped a dangerous attack.
Wing play seemed to be a feature for both sides as Avilla Bergin constantly tried to break the offside trap without success before Seun Odeniyi challenged down the left at the other end.
The best chance of the first half for Rangers fell to Jo Blodgett when she wriggled through before being fed by the ever lively Maggs. However, her shot squirmed wide of the mark on the half hour.
It was the dangerous duo of Shepherd and Graham who were to do the damage, though. Shepherd curled an effort around Sophie Cheadle to extend The Addicks’ lead, before Graham added her name to the scoresheet just before half time to send the R’s 3-0 down at the break.
Charlton continued to press after the re-start and Graham added her second after she controlled Bergin’s cross before knocking in from close range.
Rangers looked for a way back with both Nord and Engels forcing Alex Baker into some work with long-range efforts. At the other end, Cheadle was also called into action making a series of strong saves to deny Kim Dixson and Graham.
With 65 minutes played, Chevannes’ side needed a response and were given a golden opportunity when Maggs was tumbled in the box. Lopez stepped up to take the resulting penalty but her spot-kick straight down the middle was comfortably caught by Baker.
The missed chances cost Rangers again as Shepherd netted her second of the game after breaking through the high defensive line.
Chevannes was then dealt another blow as substitute Dominika Netschova succumbed to a knee injury, forcing the R’s to finish the last ten minutes with ten.
Charlton again capitalised five minutes from time as Graham completed her hat-trick, netting her 30th goal in 22 appearances this season and send the visitors top of the FAWPL.
Next up for the Ladies is a fourth consecutive home tie when C&K Basildon make the trip to Uxbridge next Sunday.
QPR: Cheadle, Lopes, Engels, Nicholson, Sseninde (Butts 60), Staples (Netschova 60), Blodgett, Maggs, Nord (Petit 75), Lopez, Odeniyi.
Sub (not used): Denny.