Charlton Athletic Women were denied a second FA Women’s Championship victory of the season by a 96th minute equaliser at Maiden Castle on Sunday, as the Addicks secured a point against league leaders Durham Women.
A closely fought contest saw Charlton defend stoutly and go on to take the lead with under 15 minutes to play thanks to a Lois Heuchan header. But, with time seeming to have run out for the hosts, Bridget Galloway tucked away a cross with the final touch of the game.
Manager Riteesh Mishra was forced into making at least two changes from the side that lost to London Bees last weekend, with the suspended Rachel Newborough and injured Shauna Vassell replaced in the starting eleven by Jaime Gotch and Ella Powell, while Ellie Dorey was restored to the line up in place of Beth Lumsden.
And Charlton started the game well, with good interplay from the frontline setting up a few early half-chances. Borthwick did well to stop a Dorey cross.
Jess King had the ball in the back of the net after a well-weighted, deft through ball from Powell, but the referee ruled it out for offside.
The Addicks had to wait until the 90th minute of their game last weekend for their first corner, but created many within the first half here, and Beth Roe’s delivery was consistently dangerous throughout, but the hosts were able to clear most set pieces.
It took the home side 10 minutes to find their feet, when Gotch cleared a Sarah Robson cross before Kathryn Hill curled an effort well wide from an angle.
Those two were once more in the thick of the action shortly after with both heading Hepple corners off target.
Up the other end, King was set free by a quick and accurate drop kick from keeper Eartha Cumings, but the striker selflessly tried to cross for Powell and saw the centre deflected for a corner.
Galloway almost had some luck in the first period when her cross veered goalwards and beat Cumings, only for it to graze the top of the crossbar. The final action of the opening 45 saw Powell slip the ball through to King, who was thwarted by Borthwick after a slightly too heavy touch.
Durham came out after the break with intent, threatening to open the scoring but Cumings did well to save down low at her near post before Mollie Lambert eventually followed up and shot over.
Cumings then had to be at her very best, backpedalling to push a long-range Galloway strike over at full stretch.
The away side’s first real second-half chance game just before the hour mark when a Dorey cross was just too close to Borthwick, who collected. In the immediate aftermath the hosts had a few half-chances, but nothing too dangerous for Charlton.
It was on 76 minutes that the breakthrough came, with a Charlton head finally connecting with a Roe corner and it was Heuchan who met the set piece unmarked to head home.
The final quarter of an hour saw Charlton look to have stood firm amid an onslaught from their unbeaten opponents, defending stoutly from numerous set pieces.
With the five minutes the referee had added on having passed 75 seconds before, the official decided to give Durham one final chance to pull the game level from a corner, which was lobbed to the far post where the unmarked Galloway met it to sidefoot home.
Charlton now have three home games in a row, starting with a derby against London City Lionesses this Sunday.
Charlton: Cumings, Roe, Griffiths, Coombs, Dorey, Clifford, King, Watling, Powell, Gotch, Heuchan. Subs (not used): Eligon, Laudat, Lumsden.
Goal: Heuchan 76.
Durham: Borthwick, Hill, Wilson, Christon (Crosthwaite 77), Briggs, Robson, Hepple, Galloway, Gears, Lambert, Roberts (Sharpe 63). Subs (not used): Reid, Lee, Ayre, Greenwood.
Goal: Galloway 90+6
Report: CAFC Women