Gillingham Ladies firsts stayed top of their group in the League Cup after a convincing 3-0 victory away at Chesham United last Sunday afternoon.
With windy and wet conditions to contend with, the Gills set the tone for the game early on when Fliss Gibbons nearly opened the scoring in the first few minutes after going one on one with the keeper. With a slightly heavy touch it took her too close to the keeper and Gibbons was unable to lift the ball over her.
Next, Charlotte Gurr set up Danielle Carlton from a free kick and the Gills midfielder’s near post shot squeezed wide. The early signs were good for Gillingham as they continued to dominate possession and create the game’s better chances.
Lauren Davis nearly put Gillingham ahead with a left footed shot that narrowly passed the far post after good build up play between Emma Wood and Gurr.
Whilst Gillingham had enjoyed the majority of opportunities, Chesham were almost presented a chance, a cross from deep found a Chesham forward who ended up one on one with Faye Baker. Baker was able to make herself big and put off the forward who put her lob wide. This was another reminder for Gills to be wary of a Chesham counter attack.
After a defensive error, Baker was confronted with another one on one against the onrushing attack. Chesham managed to navigate the ball around Baker but Amy Taylor made amends for her earlier error to clear the ball off the line.
Taylor made a great challenge moments later when her clearance put Gibbons one on one on goal. The Gills loanee attempted a smart lob but the Chesham keeper managed to get a strong hand and clear for a corner.
Gills’ work rate was finally rewarded after 49 minutes when Emma Tune scored her second in the two games, driving through midfield and floating the ball over the goalkeeper. This was after some patient build up play and Gills pressing Chesham high up the pitch.
Gillingham’s next opportunity came from a corner from the left. Jade Keogh rolled the ball to Carlton who side footed the ball into the top corner, Chesham’s keeper did fantastically to get a hand to nudged the ball over the cross bar.
Gillingham pushed forward from the back and it was centre backs Taylor and Deanna Cooper in on the action next for Gillingham Ladies.
Cooper delivered a cross from the left, which Taylor rose highest to head at the back post. The effort went just over.
Gills continued to enjoy the majority of possession and were creating the game’s best chances.
Their dominance was reflected when Cooper put them two up with 10 minutes to play. Cooper made a strong run from the back and after a great period of build up play, the ball returned to Cooper who hit a right-footed shot into the top corner – a fantastic team goal for the Gills to celebrate.
Gills kept pressing to extend their lead as Carlton whipped in a ball to Lauren Phillips who dragged the ball back and struck a great shot. The ball hit the angle of the goal and went out of play.
As the Gills continued to press, they were rewarded on the 91st minute as Carlton was involved in piecing together play to find striker Lisa Fulgence, who took a smart touch inside the defender and placed the ball past the outstretched keeper.
A polished performance for Gillingham Ladies who take three valuable points in their League Cup campaign back to Kent.
“It was important for the girls to bounce back from a disappointing draw last week against West Ham. A positive result against Chesham was crucial to get us back to winning ways. There were a few changes to the starting line up giving some of the girls an opportunity to show the gaffer why they should be in the team. A key point from the manager was for the girls to go out and enjoy the game.”
“The team showed great desire in the first half, dominating possession and we probably should have gone into half time with a few goals. Chesham were making it hard for us and were a danger when hitting us on the break.”
“The girls remained focused after half time and it was clear that we would get the break we wanted if we kept the pressure on.
We got three goals which I think we deserved, all of which were great team goals which is what we’re all about. The girls that came in did a great job and have definitely given the gaffer a headache for the next game.”
“We now go to Eastbourne Thursday evening in the Ryman’s Cup which is another opportunity for players to stake a claim in the first team eleven. Hopefully the hurricane winds will be long gone for the game to be on and Gills to progress to the next round -COYG!”