Gills Ladies had a mixed afternoon in Kent Cup action on Sunday, as the Ladies progressed to the Semi Finals with a win over Meridian the Reserves side fell to defeat against London Corinthians.
Gillingham Ladies had beaten Parkwood in the previous round went into the game against Meridian following last weeks League defeat to Lewes, manager James Marrs made changes to his starting side using the opportunity to rest some of the players ahead of next Sunday’s final game before the Christmas break. Gills started the game well and in worsening weather and pitch conditions took control of the game. Despite an early injury set back forced Fliss Gibbons to make way for Jay Blackie, the reshuffle didnt effect the way Gills set about playing. Lauren Davis was exploiting the space on the wing, making use of the time on the ball to whip in decent crosses of which Gills where able to take advantage of. On form forward Charlotte Gurr was the spearhead of the Gills attack in the first half, linking well with fellow striker Lisa Fulgence and wingers Davis and Lauren Williams. The Gills goals where free flowing with Gurr, D.Cooper, Davis, Fulgence and Blackie all finding the net in the first half.
Half time saw Gills shuffle around again, using the tie to experiment with formation and positions, Nikita Whinnett came on for Jade Keogh and a fresh injection of pace up front saw the Gills keep the pressure on the oppontents from the off, in the opening five minutes of the second half knocking home a close range effort. Amy Taylor and Deanna Cooper found themselves in a more attacking role in the second half, making good use of the ball further up the pitch by chipping in on the scoring too. Gills defence remained strong to see the game out with a clean sheet.
Gillingham Ladies vs Meridian – A.Taylor, E.Wood, C.Cooper, D.Cooper(c), L.Williams, F.Gibbons (J.Blackie, 13 mins), C.Long, J.Keogh (N.Whinnett, 45 mins), L.Davis, C.Gurr, L.Fulgence.
The game was a valuable 90 minutes for Gillingham Ladies, a moral boosting emphatic win to take into the league game Lewes game next Sunday. It also means Gills defence of the Kent Cup goes on and they will be in the Semi Final, an away tie against either Maidstone United Ladies or Ebbsfleet Ladies. Speaking after the game manager James Marrs spoke of the girls reaction from defeat last Sunday to todays game; “We had a few choice words at training on Tuesday, we went through some analysis of the game last weekend and got our messages across to the players. The main thing about today was to go out there and change the attitudes and work rate, in which the girls did. So feedbacks been taken on board from last week and they’ve managed to put it into a performance this week. Hopefully we can do the same when we play Lewes at home next week, we will be ready thats all i need to say, we are looking forward to them coming to our place”
The Gills made advantage of having a Kent Cup tie using the game to bounce back from defeat last week and get players in positions they would maybe not usually play, as in the second half Gills centre half Deanna Cooper turned into goal scorer, James said; “It’s good to give players different ideas, putting them in different areas of the pitch, it makes them think ‘whats going on in here, what am i supposed to be doing?’ It gives an opportunity for the defenders to have a little bit of a go up top and join in at the glory end of the pitch. Rather than be stuck at the back the whole season.”
Gills Ladies Reserves suffered a 2-0 defeat away at London Corinthians and are out of the Kent Cup, the Reserves endured a scrappy opening to the game with both side setting into the game however it was Corinthians that broke the deadlock in the 20th minute, a 25 yard shot looped over Courtney Shanly and into the Gills goal. The Reserves fought in the first half to recover, their best chance coming from Emily Laker but her shot was straight at the Corinthians keeper, but the Reserves went into half time still trailing 1-0.
Gills Reserves pushed for a equaliser from the off after the break, Page’s through ball found Laker in space but her effort finds the wrong side of the Corinthians goal post. Gills Reserves continued to fight to pull the score level, Emily Lyons came close to scoring from a Rhea Vale pass but her shot was wide of the target. However stretching to find a leveller, Corinthians counter and took advantage in the 73rd minute rounding Gills keeper Shanly and finishing into an empty net. Gills Reserves continued to press in the closing minutes but could not conjure a comeback. Corinthians running out 2-0 victors.
Gills Ladies Reserves team versus London Corinthians; Shanly, Fagan (Mackley, 65 mins), Michelmore, B.Long, Learmonth, Vale, Lyons, Laker, Brown (Merricks, 74 mins), Galvin, Page
Speaking about the performance after the game Reserves manager Vicky Ashton-Jones said; “The girls knew how big today’s game was, our aim was to have an all Gills final! The message was clear to the girls that they needed to start the game with a high tempo and not let the opposition settle, unfortunately we didnt do that. We didnt really get going in the first half which was frustrating to watch, I told the girls I was disappointed with their first half performances and expected a lot more from them in the second. To give them credit they did come out and show a bit of desire and urgency to get forward and I think we were unlucky not to nick a goal back, I think if we had done that we would’ve got more and won the game. The girls were disappointed at the end and hopefully they’ll learn from it and move on. They know they need to go and put it right against Tottenham next week which I’m confident they will do!”