Another positive to come from the weekend’s 2-1 victory away at QPR, was that Gills’ tough tackling midfielder Charlotte Long gained more precious minutes (120 this time) to add to her road to recovery from injury.
After suffering an injury which saw her sidelined for a number of months, Charlotte’s return to the team has given James Marrs and his side a major boost, with the young Gills midfielder playing a vital role in the Gills FA Cup win.
We caught up with Charlotte following the tough battle against the North West London outfit: ” To be honest I felt we played QPR off the park in the first half despite a difficult pitch; but that was the same for both teams. But we had the grit and determination to finally win the game.”
“The pitch definitely effected us as a team as we our a footballing side but we apadted and we showed we can play on any surface.”
It was certainly a test for Charlotte and her team-mates and on a day the Gills grit and determination was called upon, they stood firm and ground out the result, thanks in large parts to the break up play and vital blocks Charlotte produced in the middle of the park.
“I’m a tackling player anyway” said Charlotte “but we had to be tough today. A lot of players made the tackles we needed to and it was a physical battle especially towards the end because both teams were a little bit tired but we did well.”
The tough tackles and commitment proved to be invaluable and Charlotte’s intervention to win the ball back and play in the Gills attack lead to the Gills goal: ” It’s always pleasing as we got a final product from it but it could have been any player but it was nice to win the ball back and it was a great finish in the end.”
Charlotte quickly emphasised the importance of the team spirit and unity; “We’re so happy because we really stuck together and pulled the game through. Everyone’s enjoying it and we’ll go on to the next match in the same fashion and go out to get a result.”
And of course, to add to the fantastic result, having Charlotte back in a Gills Ladies shirt added some extra sparkle to a magical FA Cup tie. Charlotte revealed: “It’s always a delight to be back because when you’re out injured all you want to do is play.”
“But you’ve got to bide your time and make sure you do what the physio says – which I’m not always best at – but it’s good as I’m getting my minutes up and my fitness back and it’s great.”