After more than four hours of football in four days, Charlton Athletic have clinched their first trophy of the season, winning the Ryman Cup with a 2-1 extra-time victory over Tottenham.
The side built and nurtured by Stuie Weston and managed with distinction since his departure by Jeremy Parsons put Sunday’s agonising FA Cup penalty-shootout defeat by Everton behind them to finally shake off a dogged Spurs on their opponents’ own ground.
Kit Graham was once again the hero, scoring both Charlton’s goals to take her tally in a sensational Premier League and cup campaign to 39 in 30 games.
Leah Rawle had taken the final into extra-time with an 89th-minute equaliser.
It was another strength-sapping match for Charlton, who were beaten 4-3 on penalties by Super League Everton on Sunday after the sides could still not be separated by 120 minutes of play.
On that occasion, it was the Londoners who had taken the game into extra-time, Nikita Whinnett equalising Ellie Stewart‘s goal a few minutes from the end of normal time.
But Charlton, the only non-Super League club in the quarter-finals, finally bowed out 4-3 on penalties.
— Toni-Anne Wayne (@01taw) April 16, 2015
Tonight they made up for that disappointment with a narrow, hard-fought victory in the Ryman Cup – and with Capital and Premier League Cup finals still to come, they are still in the running for a hat-trick of knockout honours – with the Premier League title still not an impossibility.
What’s more, Charlton’s Reserves are just a point away from regaining the FAW Premier Reserves League following their 5-0 victory over Lewes Development on Sunday, and their development side still have a chance of winning the South East Counties Division One East title.
Their second string need a solitary draw from their final two fixtures – against sides in the lower half of the table – to regain the FAWPL Reserves League title they relinquished to Brighton last season.
They cruised to victory against Lewes with goals from Kylie Manktelow, Shaana Giordani (both 2) and Hope Nash – sending the Sussex second string back to the bottom in the process.
But their development side – who have threatened to disrupt the two-club monopoly at the top of SECWL Division One East in recent weeks – were held to a 2-2 draw by bottom club Aylesford Reserves.
Helena Jefferies put the Kent side ahead, but goals from Lauren Parsons and Victoria Campbell put Charlton ahead by half-time. But they could not capitalise on Aylesford’s injury problems and were hit by a breakaway equaliser from Paige Daniels.
With a game in hand of the leading two, Charlton are still in the running for the championship – and the prospect of a club-record six trophies in a season.