Goals from Charlotte Long, Lisa Fulgence, two for Sophie Brown and an own goal from Haverhill was enough for Gillingham Ladies to retain the Women’s Ryman League Cup at the expense of Haverhill Rovers Ladies at London Road – home of Chatham Town FC.
Charlotte Long and Emma Michelmore were given their chance to impress before the Brighton game. Charlotte Gurr was placed on the bench alongside Bonnie Long and Cat Cooper who were also given their chance to shine in the final.
The game started with both sides trying to get a foot hold of the game and it was Gills Ladies who put the pressure on more than Haverhill Ladies.
Gills Ladies had their first chance as the won a corner, it was crossed into the box by Lauren Williams but Lisa Fulgence couldn’t get her head onto the ball and it was cleared away by Haverhill.
Then Gills Ladies took an early lead as they won a free kick. The ball played across to Emma Michelmore and she played it to Fulgence before Haverhill conceded a corner and the ball was crossed into the path of Charlotte Long who had time to take control of the ball before placing a low show which zipped past the everyone in the box and past Hardy and into the bottom left corner of the net.
Gills Ladies continued their patient build up and they could have added a second as Lauren Philips played though Fulgence who did well to cut indie her defender but she couldn’t finish off so she setup Williams but her shot was very tame and it was easily saved by Hardy.
Gills Ladies then managed to double their lead as Fulgence was played though on goal but Hardy did well to deflect the ball away from her but the ball went straight to Sophie Brown who had a lot space and time before she hit a low and powerful shot which deflected off a defender before settling into the back of the net.
Gills Ladies could have added a third as they won a corner after some more good work from Fulgence, it was crossed into the box and Jaye Blackie got a looping header which was going to settle into the top corner but the ball was hacked away on the line and out for another corner.
Gills Ladies then added a third goal as they work hard down the left side of the pitch before Brown cut inside her defender and hitting a shot from inside the box which a Haverhill defender deflected the ball past Hardy and into the back of the net.
Brown could have added a second goal to her tally as Long went on a great run from her own box before Hardy got a save to her shot, Brown connected to the rebound with the goal at her mercy but she misjudged her shot and it went over the bar for a goal kick.
But it was Lisa Fulgence who got the fourth goal for Gills Ladies as got the ball from a great cross from and she took one touch away from her defender before hitting a delightful low ball past Hardy and into the back of the net.
Haverhill did have a chance of their own later in the half as Rachel Mannysmith did well to outpace Lauren Davis down the left and she crossed a delightful ball into the box but Laura Brown couldn’t connect with the cross and it went out for a throw in.
Half Time: Gillingham Ladies 4 Haverhill Rovers Ladies 0
The second half started with Gills Ladies making a chance as Cat Cooper came on off the the bench and replaced Lauren Davis. And the replacement helped Gills Ladies added more pressure as they looked for a fifth goal.
Danielle Carlton continued to work had in the middle of huge pitch and she got wide on the left and hit a delightful cross into the path of Fulgence but her first touch let her down before hitting a powerful shot at goal but the ball went high and over the bar for a goal kick.
Bent it was Sophie Brown who added a fifth goal as she got the ball just outside the penalty box after some good build up from the rest of the team and she hit a low shot towards Hardy who did manage the shot but she couldn’t stop the ball from going under her and nestling into the back of the net.
With the game effectively over, Gills Ladies then brought on Bonnie Long for Emma Michelmore to give her some match time on the pitch.
But Gills Ladies had a massive injury scare as Danielle Carlton took a bad knock after chasing the ball before hitting a advertising hoarding as the ball went for a Gills Ladies corner, she did pick herself up and after being checked over she came back on the pitch.
This knock for Carlton didn’t affect Gills Ladies pressing forward as they looked for a sixth goal. But chances for Lisa Fulgence, Lauren Williams and Lauren Phillips all went wide of the goal.
Carlton had a great chance to add a sixth goal after getting the ball on the edge of the penalty box and hitting a low shot towards the near post, but Hardy did well to save the ball low to her left and deflect it out for a corner.
But Haverhill then had their only chance on target as Cerri Harris got away from Blackie and tried to hit a delightful chip over Baker but she did well to claw the ball over the bar and out for a corner.
From the resulting corner, Harris had another chance to score for Haverhill but again Baker dived well to her left to saved the ball and deflect it out for a corner.
Full Time: Gillingham Ladies 5 Haverhill Rovers Ladies 0
With the Ryman League Cup in the bag for the season, Gills Ladies return to action next Sunday as they travel to Brighton and Hove Albion LFC to play their next league game as the looked to secure another win on their path to claiming the FA Women’s Premier League South title.
Gillingham Ladies Line up:
Faye Baker, Emma Michelmore, Lauren Davis, Jay Blackie (captain), Emma Wood, Danielle Carlton, Charlotte Long, Lauren Phillips, Lisa Fulgence, Sophie Brown, Lauren Williams.
Bonnie Long, Cat Cooper, Charlotte Gurr,
Haverhill Rovers Ladies Line up:
Jaz Hardy, Lisa Pratt, Helen Cryer, Vicki Barber, George Westrope, Cerri Harris, Shorter Kite, Laura Brown, Stacey Roper, Julie Brown, Rachel Mannysmith.
Stacey Spiers, Penny Everett, Rachel Lindsal.
Referee: Sam Nye
Linesman: Joe Mackay and Dan Doyle
4th official: Steve Todd