Gillingham Ladies travel to Nottingham this Sunday to face a tough tie against two time FA Cup quarter finalist Nottingham Forest.
Gills have progressed to the third round after beating QPR ladies 2-1 after extra time in the previous round, QPR had taken the lead before Danielle Carlton levelled with a free kick to force the game to an additional 30 minutes. Substitute Emma Tune’s goal in the second half of added time secured Gills progression to round three of the cup.
We spoke to Gills Ladies manager James Marrs ahead of Sundays game and he had the following to say;
“We are looking forward to the challenge, and with the added incentive of getting through to potentially face a Super League team, it is exciting times. We know that they already think they have won the tie an that’s something that we will use to help us find that extra 10% which im sure will be needed. They are going to be well organised and a physical side, so we know that we will have to dig deep to produce any type of result.”
Gills opponents Forest are no strangers as the teams faced each other in last seasons FA Cup, Forest were the victors on that occasion taking a 3-2 win back to Nottinghamshire. A year on and both clubs are on form in their respective divisions, James spoke on the fixture that happened last season;
” We haven’t forgotten about that game as the winner of our tie last year went on to face Arsenal, so we certainly don’t want to be missing out again this year. We had chances to win the game last year, then they went up the other end to score and obviously went through to the next round. The girls remember the feeling they got last year and defiantly don’t want that to happen again. We will do all we can to pick up the right result.”
A spell of bad weather has seen fixtures postponements follow on from the Christmas break, meaning the Gills go into only their second competitive game in two months. Manager James says it isn’t the ideal he would like, but is thrilled at the performances in the first half of the season;
“Unfortunately we don’t tend to favour a break as you cant get any momentum going into the following run of games, but i’m sure its the same for all the other teams, so there’ll be no excuses from us. We will be well prepared for whatever Sunday brings. The first half of the season has been really really positive. We’re just hoping that the girls see what they are fighting for in the remainder of the season. We are still in the hunt for every competition we have been entered for this season. To say that after Christmas is a massive positive. We all know its the business end of the season and its the teams that are prepared to roll their sleeves up and fight in every game, are the ones who pick up the silverware.”
James also told of his high desire to see the club lift silverware this season, but is wary of the remaining fixtures ahead;
“I would love nothing more than for us to win a piece of silverware as the work ethic, attitude and desire to achieve from everybody involved with Gillingham Ladies is very very high. If we can manage to secure trophies then that is a massive reward for what has been a promising season so far. But as I have just said its all up to now, there is months of the season to go an we must ensure it continues.”
Gills manager James Marrs may have to shuffle the pack at the weekend, with four senior players missing through injury. So it means some members of the younger reserves squad may travel up with the team for the fixture.
Gillingham Ladies face a tough game away at Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup, and could do with your support to the next round of the competition.
Hucknall Town, Watnall Road, Hucknall, Nottingham, NG15 6EY
Kick Off 2pm