Golden Girls held to a draw by Charlton in final league clash

Megan Wynne in action for Watford Ladies against Charlton Ladies. Picture (c) T. Siegfried Ip
Megan Wynne in action for Watford Ladies against Charlton Ladies. Picture (c) T. Siegfried Ip

Charlton Athletic Ladies 1
 Watford Ladies 1

Watford Ladies FC have finished the season 20 points better off than last year after a battling draw against Charlton Women.

Sarah Wiltshire gave the Golden Girls the lead after 27 minutes when she poked home from close range, but Charlton levelled nine minutes later with a looping effort from distance.

Despite finishing the campaign with a draw, upbeat Watford boss John Salomon said: “We gave absolutely everything to try and win. The players wanted it so much and, but for a performance of the season from Charlton keeper Megen Lynch in the Charlton goal, we would have had three or four.

“On the balance of play, we’re extremely disappointed not to have come away with a win.

“Having said that, we have to look at the bigger picture and be proud of our season.”

Watford sit at the top of the National Premier League, but can be pipped to the title if either Sunderland or Leeds make the most of games in hand.

“Whatever Sunderland and Leeds do in their games we are guaranteed a top-four finish and are currently top of the league, in a season where we were on a mission to avoid relegation,” said Salomon.

“This club and these players have unbelievable potential and I’m proud to have been a part of our journey this season.”

Watford started the game much the brighter and almost took the lead after just four minutes when a long Megan Wynne throw was flicked on by Emma Beckett to Jo Wilson, who saw her shot well saved by Lynch.

Charlton had their first effort three minutes later, which forced Watford’s Lauren Davey to parry out for a corner, but it was the only real chance the South Londoners could muster before Watford took the lead.

The yellows were awarded a free-kick from 25-yards out that was struck with venom by Beckett, but her effort deflected off the Charlton wall and spun its way into the path of Wiltshire to poke home.

The away side almost added a second immediately afterwards following a burst down the right wing by Wilson that saw her cross for Wiltshire, but her effort was well blocked by a red shirt.

It was seven minutes later that Charlton equalised when a long-range effort from Gemma Shepherd looped over keeper Davey and out of her reach.

Watford almost regained the lead straight away when Cally Rowell floated a wonderfully weighted pass to Wiltshire on the left side of the area, but her vicious half-volley was straight at Lynch.

The second half started in near darkness due to a floodlight issue at Thamesmead, which could be the reason both teams struggled to create chances in the opening 15 minutes.

Wynne had the first real chance of the half after 64 minutes when she shot wide from distance, which was followed up by an effort by Wilson, who cut inside from the left before shooting straight at the Charlton keeper.

Charlton’s number one had one of those days where everything went her way, brilliantly saving a rasping left-footed effort from Wiltshire that looked destined to find the bottom corner.

The top of the table Hornets then had a scare when another long range Charlton effort cannoned back off the crossbar.

The last chance of the game fell to Wilson after 80 minutes, but once again Lynch was there to deny her.