A late, scrappy Georgia Robert goal saw Charlton Women fall to their third successive FA Women’s Championship loss as London Bees secured 1-0 victory at The Hive on Sunday.
In a game of few real chances, it was the Bees who deservedly edged the London derby, with Rachel Newborough seeing two yellow cards in the dying minutes to compound the Addicks’ day.
Manager Riteesh Mishra made two changes from the side that surrendered a two-goal lead against Coventry a fornight earlier, with goalkeeper Eartha Cumings having an impressive debut, on return from an injury that had curtailed the start of her Charlton career. Elsewhere, Beth Lumsden was recalled to replace Ellie Dorey.
A number of stoppages meant the first half went a full 10 minutes over time, with an early clash of heads between Shauna Vassell and Marianne Taho seeing Vassell taken off early into the encounter.
London Bees started the brightest, with Brooke Nunn their outlet for the most part, going close from long range before crossing for Flo Gamby, who could not get enough contact on to divert past Cumings.
The hosts continued to look to create, though never really threatened Cumings for the most part, with the keeper saving easily from Amelia Hazard twice and Sophie McLean shooting well wide.
It took Charlton a full 38 minutes to fashion something that amounted to a half-chance, with a looping Lumsden cross evading Bees stopper Sarah Quantrill, but also Newborough at the far post.
And the home side looked to finish the half strongest with Cumings called into action again to deny Merrick Will, McLean and Nunn, the latter if which was the best chance of the period, saved down low at the near post.
Charlton seemed to fine their stride finally as the half moved into added time with Charley Clifford shooting wide across goal and Lumsden seeing a long-range shot blocked by a defender. But it was too little too late to put any real pressure on their opponents, halted soon after by the half time whistle.
The visitors started brighter after the interval, with Beth Roe shooting wide early on, though again it was London Bees who carved out the better chances; Robert fired a free kick from near-halfway that grazed the crossbar before former Charlton loanee Charlie Estcourt sent a set piece off target.
Numerous times Charlton managed to slide the ball in behind the Bees defence for forward players to run onto, but the passes all seemed to be a shade too long with Quantrill alert to thwart Newborough and King on a couple of occasions.
With 19 minutes remaining on the clock and the game looking likely to peter out into a scoreless draw, London Bees won a corner that was looped to the back post, bounced around and fell for Robert to bundle past Cumings and over the line to open the scoring.
Charlton did liven up in the final sixth of the contest, with substitute Dorey curling wide, the ever-dangerous midfield runner Alice Griffiths firing a powerful attempt straight at Quantrill and were unable to convert a last-ditch corner.
But in the end, after Newborough had been sent off with around five minutes left to play, it was London Bees who came out victorious.
Charlton are next in action in the FA Women’s Continental Cup against Super League side Brighton, before a trip to face Durham in the Championship.
London Bees: Quantrill, Robert, Taho (Pickett 63), Nunn, McLean, Gibson, Estcourt, Gamby, Hazard, Will (Filis 45), Gane. Subs (not used): Hazleton, Brooks, Gould.
Goal: Robert 71.
Yellow card: Nunn.
Charlton: Cumings, Newborough, Roe, Griffiths, Coombs (Gurr 77), Clifford, King, Watling (Legg 63), Vassell (Gotch 15), Heuchan, Lumsden (Dorey 63). Subs (not used): Startup, Powell, Laudat, Fordjour.
Yellow card: Newborough.
Red card: Newborough.
Report: CAFC Women