After a promising 3-3 draw with West Ham Ladies last weekend, Gillingham Ladies Reserves enjoyed another positive afternoon away at Charlton Athletic.
Making it two victories in two weeks for the Kent outfit against their local rivals, Gills Ladies travelled home with three points as they convincingly beat the Addicks 4-1.
Manager Bill Long was full of praise for his team’s work ethic and stamina, “The girls played at a great tempo for ninety minutes, working hard off the ball and showing ability on the ball. I felt our fitness levels showed especially as we played 97minutes.”
“The back led by captain Emma wood, Bonnie Long, Kat Cooper and Emily Laker subdued any threat of a Charlton attack. Goalkeeper Courtney Shanely had a really good secure second half of the match.”
And whilst Gills Ladies defence kept the Addicks attack blunt, Bill also applauded his midfield quartet of Holly Learmouth (making her first senior start), Charlotte Long, Rhea Vale and Emma Michelmore describing them as “instrumental in our winning performance.”
The tough tackles of Long unsettled the opposition and substitute Emily Lyons impressed off the bench scoring on her debut for Gillingham Ladies.
Gillingham worked well as a collective and were lead outstanding by Megan Carroll and Nikita Whinnett who terrorised Charlton’s defence. Bill beamed with pride as he praised his forward partnership, “Our two forward runners Carroll who led the line and worked tirelessly with the quick pace and tenacity and skill of Nikita Whinnet constantly proved a threat.”
A fantastic team performance and one that made the manager especially proud, “Overall I am very pleased with the progress we are making. There will be times when our inexperience will show and we will have to take the bad times and learn from them, but today’s result was a good one and we should enjoy the good results.”
Bill also took the time to give special praise to Gillingham Ladies unused substitutes, “ I would also like to congratulate Kayleigh Galvin, Annie Morrison and Alex Fagan for their professional attitude and support of the team on the team.”
“It was extremely pleasing to take such a young side to play last year’s league winners and win in such a comprehensive manner.” Bill added, “As one player’s parent quoted it’s like Christmas day today. The team atmosphere and feelings were high and that showed in our performance.”
Manager Bill Long and his team were not the only ones feeling high. First team manager James Marrs and assistant manager Jack Wheeler put on record their delight to hear the news of the girl’s 4-1 win.
“We are buzzing with the reserves. We had big changes with regards to the reserves last season and they’ve won 4-1 today. They’re flying and I think all their players are under 21 and that’s a big deal for us as they are our future and squad wise we’re looking very strong and we’re happy at the moment. “
James added, “I can’t wait to talk to Bill and find out how certain individuals get on.”
We’d love to be a fly on the wall for that conversation!