Addicks’ Shepherd proves a real Gem
CHARLTON Athletic continued their unbeaten start to the season and underlined their title credentials with two wins in a week in the Women’s Premier League Southern Division.
The Addicks kicked things off last Sunday with a 4-1 victory over C&K Basildon and followed it up with a late 2-1 win at home to
Tottenham Hotspur on Thursday night. Bianca Baptiste actually opened the scoring for Spurs after 11 minutes but Charlton’s Gemma Shepherd, who scored a hat-trick against C&K Basildon, took her season’s tally to six in five games with the equaliser.
Jenny Newman then curled an 86th-minute winner past the despairing dive of Spurs stopper Toni-Anne Wayne to move the Addicks up to fourth.
Elsewhere last Sunday, the division’s top two met the two sides at the bottom, with neither Plymouth Argyle nor Queens Park Rangers able to upset the odds against
Brighton & Hove Albion and Cardiff City respectively.
Charlotte Gurr did the business for league leaders Brighton, slamming home a hat-trick while Deanna Cooper added another in a 4-0 victory.
Albion are still yet to concede a goal in six games this season, and top the table by a single point from Cardiff and Portsmouth.
QPR were left ruing their luck against Cardiff, as a disallowed goal cost them dear with second-half strikes from Michelle Green and Kelly Aldridge securing victory for City.
Portsmouth kept up the pressure at the top of the table with a 2-0 win at Lewes and
Tottenham Hotspur beat Forest Green Rovers 2-1 at home. In the Northern Division, Blackburn
Rovers moved above Sporting Club Albion in the standings thanks to an assured 2-0 home win.
Lynda Shepherd headed in Jess Holbrook’s cross and Saffron Jordan doubled Rovers’ lead six minutes after the restart.
Huddersfield Town and Nottingham Forest played out a thrilling 3-3 draw. Emily Heckler opened the scoring for hosts Huddersfield before Forest drew level through Meg Howard.
The hosts were back in front just eight minutes later when Kelly Kennaugh was unlucky to deflect a wide free-kick into her own net, but Forest were back on level terms on the stroke of half-time when Andi Bell coolly converted a penalty.
Bell then put Forest ahead for the first time in the match after half-time. However, Huddersfield were not done there and Heckler swept home a penalty of her own to earn her side a point on 77 minutes.
Stoke City remain top of the table after an emphatic 5-0 triumph over Guiseley AFC Vixens, while Derby moved up to second with a 2-1 home victory over Bradford City and Preston North End notched up their second win of the season by thrashing Loughborough Foxes 5-1.