Niamh Charles expressed her delight at beginning a busy run of fixtures with a pleasing 8-0 victory over Leicester City in the Women’s Super League at the King Power Stadium on Saturday.
Charles, deployed at left-back for the trip to the East Midlands, shone at both ends of the pitch with a goal and a clean sheet as the Blues recorded a resounding victory to regain our three point advantage at the top of the table.
Guro Reiten, Jessie Fleming and Fran Kirby were on target before Charles added a fourth just shy of half-time, rising highest to glance the ball home from Reiten’s corner, as we continued to show our attacking prowess from set-pieces.
There was calmness, composure and balance to our play with a clean sheet complementing a devastating performance in front of goal, with six different goal scorers evidence of the quality at our disposal across the pitch.
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There is an art to striking a balance between attack and defence, something we excelled at against Leicester. Charles was delighted with the scoreline and alluded to the goal contributions which arrived from different areas of the pitch.
‘It was good, we’re pleased with the win and with the clean sheet as well. We got a lot of different scorers in the game and we started well. We probably dropped off at times but overall, we can be pleased we got a lot of goals.’
At first, the defender wasn’t sure whether our fourth goal had been credited in her favour. However, Charles was pleased to see confirmation and talked through another set-piece goal which put the game beyond reach.
‘The ball came in, I just competed and got a flick-on. I turned and saw it go in! I said to Sam [Kerr] was it my goal, as I didn’t know if it hit someone behind me, but I’m glad it got given to me.’
One more league encounter awaits before the Christmas break, while there are three Champions League matches to navigate before the festivities, starting with a trip to Real Madrid on Thursday. Charles says the squad are relishing the fixtures ahead in the coming weeks.
‘We’re really excited! We train for loads of games and I think we’ve had quite a break now. It’s felt strange, so it’s exciting to go into a good run of games and we’ve started well today.’