COVENTRY UNITED LADIES 2 - 0 CHARLTON ATHLETIC WOMEN
Ella Rutherford created both goals as Charlton Athletic beat Coventry United 2-0 in a thrilling relegation six-pointer in the FA Women’s Championship.
Rutherford teed up Jess King and Lois Heuchan for decisive strikes as the Addicks pulled three points clear of United at the foot of the table.
The bottom side’s misery was compounded when Anna Wilcox was sent off for foul & abusive language in the latter stages at Butts Park Arena.
The Addicks dominated the first half with their best chance coming through Ellie Dorey, but her shot was well blocked by Wilcox after a flowing move involving Rutherford, King and Emma Plewa.
It took just five minutes for the visitors to make their dominance tell after the break. Rutherford slipped in King who cooly slotted past Coventry United captain Sue Wood in goal.
The hosts almost levelled three minutes later when Helen Dermedy crashed a free-kick off the crossbar and Destiny Toussaint couldn’t quite scramble home the rebound.
Charlton sealed the victory on 67 minutes when Rutherford rolled a low free-kick into the path of Heuchan, the left-back wrapping her foot around the ball and finding the bottom-right corner.
Coventry’s disappointing afternoon was complete seven minutes before full time as Wilcox was given her marching orders for abusing referee Georgia Ball following the award of a free-kick.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
Heuchan’s superb finish for the second goal made sure of a crucial three points for the visitors in their fight against relegation.
Coventry United winger Destiny Toussaint: "It’s a tough one. It’s frustrating, very, very frustrating.
"I thought in the first half we played very well, we played some good football and we should have been more aggressive and took one or two chances in the first half, which we couldn't.
"We went in at half time with a game plan and I just don’t think we executed it very well. They scored a goal in the second half and then I think our heads dropped and it just wasn’t good enough all over the pitch.
Charlton Athletic manager Riteesh Mishra said: "Ella has got great quality and a great personality and character. She’s has a real tough time over the last six months and we’re trying really hard to help her.
"I don’t think she’s there yet, she’s got a long way to go but today you saw some of her quality and she’s a big player for us.
"When you look at things it’s a huge win, we knew that coming into the game and for us it wasn’t just about the points but for us to prove the football we’re playing is being represented.
"For us of course it was about the points but also to try and set a bit of a marker. We want to be kicking on and we feel that we’re better than where we are in the table."
Coventry United (4-3-3): Susan Wood, Ashlee Brown, Nikki Miles, Anna Wilcox, Hayley Crackle, Fran Orthodoxou, Alice Hassall, Becky Anderson, Amber Hughes, Destiny Toussaint, Helen Dermedy.
Substitutes: Georgia Stevens & Beth Merrick for Hassall & Dermedy 56
Substitutes not used: Olivia Clark, Holly Chandler, Phoebe Warner, Amy Wathan, Katy Morris, Jenna Roberts
Red Cards: Wilcox 83
Charlton Athletic (4-2-3-1): Ertha Cumings, Shauna Vassell, Olivia Smith, Grace Coombs, Lois Heuchan, Charley Clifford, Elisha Sulola, Ellie Dorey, Ella Rutherford, Emma Plewa, Jess King
Substitutes: Ella Powell & Vyan Sampson for Plewa & Dorey 72, Ciara Watling for Rutherford 78, Katie Godden for King 85
Substitutes not used: Alice Griffiths, Jaime Gotch, Simone Eligon
Goals: King 50, Heuchan 67
Bookings: Heuchan 6
Referee: Georgia Ball