Charlton were the dominant side away at The Hive and looked set for a deserved victory when a rocketing Charley Clifford header put them ahead with just 5 minutes left on the clock. But the Bee struck back with a last-minute equaliser, and both sides left with a point.
Charlton’s first attempt came from Devlin who set the precedent for a game brimming with energy from the inventive forward. Her pace was instrumental in setting up multiple chances for the Addicks, despite suffering a knock in the first 5 minutes.
Estcourt defended well throughout and played a key role in creating a dangerous-looking chance with a cross in from Newborough. Looking confident from the off, most of the early attempts on goal bothered the Bee’s end.
Charlton skimmed the net 17 minutes in when Newborough looped a powerful cross, followed up moments later by some impressive dribbling from Devlin past the Bee’s defence. Keeper Katie Startup had another strong game, making some great saves in the first half most notably saving a strike from Gibson at 19 minutes. A testing shot but Startup collected it with ease.
Despite Charlton putting on the pressure, it was a stalemate at half-time. However, the Addicks fashioned with a chance moments after the second-half whistle, when a whipped cross from Devlin looking dangerous but ended too high for anyone to connect.
The game was littered with questionable decisions from the referee, which were vocally contested by the crowd. The most contentious of these came on 52 minutes when Devlin was bundled down on course for a goal but the calls for a booking went unanswered. The Addicks were then put at a disadvantage when Grace Coombs was shown a red for bringing down Whinnett, leaving Charlton a player down.
The subs came thick and fast, Ellie Dorey, in particular, made her presence felt, with an excellent tackle on 69 minutes to wrestle possession from the Bees. Despite their reduced numbers, 86 minutes in Charlton took the lead when Clifford thumped home a header from Devlin’s corner.
Charlton enthusiastically tried to maintain their lead and see out the last few minutes but it was not to be as a last-ditch attempt from the Bees saw Hazard equalise. It was a frustrating end to a game where Charlton missed some key opportunities to bag 3 points.
Charlton Athletic Women can be next seen in action away at Crystal Palace on the 1st December.
Charlton Athletic: Startup, Newborough, Coombs, Devlin, Casley, Estcourt, Griffiths, Wilson, Maple, Clifford, Mustaki
Subs: Gotch 66, Dorey 67, Heuchan 80
Subs not used: Salgado, Griffin, Eggesvik, Legg
London Bees: Quantrill, Wilson, Alexander, Robert, Horwood, Giddings, Gibson, Whinnett, Gamby, Hazard, Will
Subs: Finburgh 90
Subs not used: Lynch, Brooks, Pickett, Dench