Women's Report: Charlton 2-0 Saints

2023-24/Women's Team/Barclays Women's Championship/Charlton (A)/A78I0716_nu22kz

Southampton FC Women's Barclays Women's Championship season ended in a defeat against Charlton at The Valley.

Saints were on the road in South London for a challenging last dance of the 2023/24 season, with the travelling fans in full voice to see out the season.

The loss still saw Saints secure their highest ever finish in the Championship, and beat their total points from last season.

Marieanne Spacey-Cale's line-up was unchanged following last weekend's 3-1 victory at home against London City Lionesses.

Saints were unchanged on the final day. (Photos: Isabelle Field)

Charlton took the lead in fortuitous fashion in the fourth minute through Tegan McGowan, who was quick to pounce on a back pass before Kayla Rendell could clear, giving the home side an early advantage.

Saints struggled to get into the game, often working their way into the final third but losing possession against the pressing Addicks.

The first big chance for Spacey-Cale's side came after a Charlton throw in was skilfully intercepted by Emma Thompson who found Lucia Kendall, but her well-struck effort looked goalbound but came off the crossbar.

Saints came close to an equaliser again just moments later, however Lexi Lloyd-Smith's shot from distance would see the same fate against the woodwork.

Thompson found herself one-on-one with Charlton's Sian Rogers with another opportunity for Saints to level the scoreline, but she couldn't find the target on this occasion as the hosts led at half-time.

Molly Pike in action.

Saints came back out from the break showing intent, and came agonisingly close to scoring in the 52nd minute when Pike's attempt from outside the box came off the bar, the third such chance of the match.

McGowan doubled the Addicks' lead just before the hour, as she took advantage of another chance to put another one past Saints from close range.

Despite a handful chances and an impressive work rate across the board, Saints couldn't find the breakthrough they were looking for to turn the contest around.

This afternoon's result may have been a disappointing one, but it Saints wrap up an eventful season, with an impressive fourth place in the Barclays Women's Championship and securing their highest points total in the competition yet.

Charlton: Brooks, Murphy (Seed 83), Coan, Toland, Richards (captain), Williams (Walters 66), Hornby (Thomas 83), Taylor, Shepherd (Dahou 77), Hutchings (Chandarana 77), Robertson.

Subs not used: Salgado, Doyle, Knox.

Goals: Hornby 5, 12.

Saints: Rendell, Collett (Lloyd-Smith 76), Mott, Peake, Purfield, Primus, Griffiths (Thompson 82), Morris, Kendall (captain), Pike, Pharoah.

Subs not used: Haaland, Rafferty, Milne, Wynne,.

Goals: Pike 38.

Attendance: 985.