Our thoughts go out to all those involved in the incident at the King Power stadium last night at the Leicester City game.
It was most certainly a day to forget for the Lionesses, or even a week to forget as Millwall suffered back to back 8-0 defeats. The home side were made to pay for errors in their own box as Charlton picked up an impressive win on the road.
The first 20 minutes saw an even and cagey affair between the two sides from South London. Millwall had a number of corners and saw some good work through the wingers, while Charlton showed their quality in getting forward through the very well-known striker, Kit Graham. Charlton came closest in the opening 20, but Graham could not get enough power in her header to make the hosts pay.
The visitors broke the deadlock with 24 minutes on the clock, when Ejupi fired past Chloe Sansom. Millwall had done well to hold the Addicks to a blank, but some good play by the visitors allowed them to take the lead. Charlton were in a goal scoring mood and from the resulting goal they won the ball back very quickly. Millwall tried to hold on and our vistor's efforts resulted in another corner.
With the Lionesses trying to hold on and avoid going even further behind, the pressure became too much and just like last week, conceded two quick-fire goals that all but killed off the game. The first of the two came through Lily Agg, before 4 minutes later just past the half an hour mark, Ejupi got her second and Charlton's third. The Addicks were in fine form and were being prolific in front of goal. Millwall were really under pressure as Chris Phillips and Mario tried to get their side upbeat and improve the current situation.
Millwall had been off the par so far, but had a 10 minute spell where they were able to hold off Charlton and compete better on the ball - matching them physically as well as technically. However, with one minute to go until the break, heads switched off and the visitors capitalised again. Another crazy minute saw Charlton grab another two and just before half-time had even been reached, the visitors found themselves 0-5 to the good. The fourth saw Ejupi complete a first-half hat trick - quite the accolade for the winger, before former Lionesses Charlotte Gurr made it 5 and really rubbed salt in the wounds of the home side.
The second half saw a double switch for Millwall with Freya Bailes and Gabby Ravenscroft being introduced for Leanne Cowan and Riva Casley. Despite the changes and Gabby's energy going forward, the visitors remained on top. Millwall were backs to the wall and couldn't stop a Charlton side who then made in 6 only 10 minutes into the second half and 7 a minute later again. It seemed more of the same after conceding one, not being switched on quick enough as Bowers got the sixth and Ejupi, who was having one of her best ever games, had her fourth and the Addick's seventh.
After last weeks result, the team couldn't prevent a repeat against a very good Charlton side. It wasn't for the heart and desire of the home side, it just wasn't clicking for the players in which Chris Phillips described as a bad week for Millwall in his post match interview. It had been a bad week for the Lionesses and with 20 minutes on the clock just wanted to see this one thorugh and move on.
Millwall tried to hold Charlton out but it was eight with 5 minutes to go and Kit Graham finally got her goal. A routine goal many will call it, as that goal ended what was a convincing win for the away side and made Millwall feel more pain in the closing stages. A repeat from the Spurs game as the Lionesses conceded 8 without reply. Granted, Charlton had some good quality, but errors on the ball made matters worse for Millwall who have to turn to November's fixtures in search of their first league win of the season.
The full time whistle blew and Millwall now have to go to second bottom Villa next Sunday coming off the back of two consecutive 8-0 defeats. As always, Chris and his side will be working extremely hard on the training ground to see an improvement in the performances which have let it slip in recent games.
Millwall Lionesses Starting XI:
Sansom, Cowan (Bailes 45), Priest, Casley (Ravenscroft 45), Giddings, Powell, Rossiter, Fitzgerald, Lumsden, Cataldo (Charles 77), Clarke
Millwall Lionesses unused subs: Taylor, Guzowska, Harford, Bailey
Charlton Starting XI:
Startup, Kerr, Coombs, Gurr, Stobbs, Graham, Bennett, Agg (Nicol 65), Maple, Bowers (Clifford 65), Ejupi (Bryan 63)
Charlton unused subs: Bailes, Wheeler, Churchill