Ratcliffe Reflects On Gills Historic Win

Simon Ratcliffe was pleased his side picked up points against Keynsham but identified several areas for development

Simon Ratcliffe was pleased his side picked up points against Keynsham but identified several areas for development

Gillingham Ladies manager Simon Ratcliffe was pleased his side got their first FA WPL points on the board in front of a record breaking crowd but was clear there was plenty of work to be done before Gills play at the Priestfield again on Sunday 21st September.

Asked was he pleased with his team’s first performance at Priestfield, Ratcliffe gave an honest assessment: “Yes and no – we created lots of chances but we also missed a few. The game should have been over and done with long before it was and we didn’t need to concede the late goal.”

With a bevy of opportunities in the first half, did Ratcliffe feel the game should have been done and dusted by the interval?

“Maybe not half time but afterwards it certainly should have been. We had lots of one on one chances with the keeper where we made some poor choices and decisions on whether we should pass or shoot, and again, similar to when we played against Ebbsfleet – even though we had a higher scoring win – we didn’t hit the target often enough.”

Ratcliffe admitted his side could improve defensively following a late consolation for Keynsham: “I think throughout the game, defensively, we were a little bit slack, not as on it as we might have been. Certainly in the first half, there was an opportunity where they hit the crossbar but we’ll work on it and we will get better.”

Ratcliffe will be sure to work with all the squad as they look to utilise a long period before their next league game. The Gills Ladies manager revealed: “We’ve got two weeks now with the Cardiff game having been cancelled due to their international call ups. We’ve got a little bit of time to work and we’ll be working on our shooting.”

Ratcliffe was sure not to detract from a positive victory however, adding: “It was very good to win. As I say we missed lots of chances but it’s very pleasing for the crowd who turned out for us.”

Gills victory was ultimately sealed by the Skipper Lauren Williams. Ratcliffe was pleased for his captain but believed she could have been on the score sheet even earlier: “It was very good although I thought she could have got one a little bit earlier if she’d have taken a risk and swung her left foot when the ball was bouncing around the 18 yard box – so she might have had two!”

Summarising the afternoon, Ratcliffe was pleased his team managed to pick up points: “It’s always nice to win – I don’t like losing but we’ve got to accept that we are in transition and there may be games we do lose but we’ll try to play entertaining football and hopefully the crowd enjoyed it today.”

And will Gills Ladies be able to continue to attract the same bumper crowd? Ratcliffe certainly hopes so.

“It would be very nice and they’re more welcome. If there’s 351 again, it shows they enjoyed it and have bothered to come back.”

Gillingham Ladies next fixture is against league newcomers Copsewood on Sunday 21st September, KO 2PM at Priestfield Stadium

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