Katie Zelem celebrates after scoring the first goal against Charlton Athletic Women

United Women 3 Charlton Women 0

Sunday 14 October 2018 14:05

Manchester United Women returned to winning ways - and maintained their 100 per cent league clean sheet record - with a 3-0 victory against Charlton Athletic at Leigh Sports Village, where Katie Zelem, Jess Sigsworth and Lizzie Arnot provided the goals.

United were without the recently named Women’s Championship Player of the Month, Lauren James, who is away on international duty, but dominated from start to finish and could have been ahead after just three minutes. Amy Turner, getting on the end of Zelem’s teasing corner, headed over from close range.

The Reds' possession and pressure on Charlton was rewarded after 15 minutes though. Alex Greenwood found Zelem on the edge of the area and the number 10’s excellent turn gave her room to pick her spot and fire a precise left-footed effort past the visitors' goalkeeper, Katie Startup.
Zelem fired dominant United in front after just 15 minutes.
Casey Stoney’s side continued to dominate and seemed to have scored the so-far elusive second goal when Kirsty Hanson’s instinctive improvisation found the back of the net. The 20-year-old brilliantly backheeled an effort in from Greenwood’s cross, but the flag was up for offside.

Charlton’s attacking efforts were limited by an excellent United defence, but it could easily have been level at the break. Gemma Bryan, feeding on scraps for the majority of the half, had a rare opportunity for Athletic after getting the better of an otherwise resolute Turner. Her cross found Liz Ejupi whose header rebounded off the crossbar and was eventually gathered by Reds goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain.
The second half started much the same as the first, with United pushing forward and looking to be more clinical.

Sigsworth applied a ‘third-time-lucky’ finish to a passage of play 10 minutes into the second half that saw the Reds hit the crossbar twice. Mollie Green’s cross found Lizzie Arnot who headed an effort onto the bar, as did Sigsworth from the loose ball, but the rebound from the forward’s header fell kindly for her to fire in a volley from the follow-up to double the lead.
Sigsworth showed quick reactions to bury the loose ball after two United efforts hit the crossbar.
Set-pieces and corners were a constant threat and Turner could have had a hat-trick on another day. The centre-back headed a second opportunity over before having her third effort of the day cleared off the line to keep her waiting for her first United goal.

Arnot wrapped up the three points soon after with a tap-in, when a shot from Ella Toone - on for Aimee Palmer - was saved but only pushed out into her path.
Casey Stoney and Willie Kirk oversaw a fifth win in seven league and cup games.

Another clean sheet, a good performance and three points - the combination everyone was looking for after the frustration of the recent draw with Durham.


United Women:
Chamberlain; Smith, A Turner, M Turner, Greenwood (Harris 77); Palmer (Toone 55), Zelem, Green (Devlin 80); Hanson, Arnot, Sigsworth.

Substitutes not used: Ramsey, Salmon.

Scorers: Zelem 15, Sigsworth 55, Arnot 75.


After travelling to Leicester City in a fortnight's time on Sunday 28 October, United Women’s next home game will be against Tottenham Hotspur Ladies, at 12:00 GMT on Sunday 4 November. Match tickets for Leigh Sports Village will again be on sale via www.manutd.com/womenstickets.

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