Gillingham Ladies enjoyed their second game and second win at Priestfield Stadium with a 6-2 victory over Copsewood.
Both teams headed into the game off the back of a win and for the first 30 minutes it looked to be a very even match.
Gillingham played a good attacking game and they were rewarded in the 35th minute when Natalie Crinean scored her first goal of the game. Excellent speed from Sophie Brown down the wing set up Crinean for a powerful right footed shot into the back of the net.
The second goal soon followed with more pace down the wing, this time from Ellie Manning, in her debut for the first team. Manning got the ball into the box where it soon found Jade Keogh whose clinical finish made it 2-0.
The Gills’ defence was solid and they dealt with Copsewood’s captain up top very well. A shot on target from the opposite captain was cleared off the goal line by Lauren Phillips. But Copsewood were not finished on the attack and they scored from a corner, taking the sail out of Gillingham’s wind.
Gillingham came back on at half time with a fresh burst of energy that Copsewood struggled to contain. Ashlee Hincks and and Crinean were linking up particularly well in their attacking play.
It wasn’t long before Hincks found the goal from outside the box to make it 3-1.
Annelle Massey came on for Manning on the 60th minute and joined the powerful duo Hincks and Crinean in some brilliant attacks.
Massey set up Crinean for Gills fourth goal, passing it to her from the half way line. A short run to the edge of the box and another powerful strike from Crinean beat the Copsewood goalkeeper.
The trio worked very well together upfront with support from the midfield, particularly Emma Tune who battled hard to gain possession for the Gills.
Gillingham Ladies were unfortunate to concede a second goal, deflated on the break soon after scoring again, with the very quick and hard working captain of Copsewood getting between Lauren Williams and Emma Michelmore to prod past Shanly.
Goal number five was a product of some excellent teamwork from the front three. Crinean linked up with Hincks in the box who was under pressure from a Copeswood defender. Hincks very calmly passed the ball across the goal to Massey to score. Another example of the fantastic teamwork upfront.
Play moved back and forth with both teams working hard on the attack and counter. Goalkeeper Shanly, was on top form blocking attempts at her goal from a persistent Copeswood team.
Up the other end and Louise Lorton produced a wonderful pass to Massey who showed great control and determination before being fouled outside the box. Hincks then drilled in a set piece which looked destined to being prodded into the back of the net by a wave of Gills players running towards goal.
The sixth goal nearly came from the wrong team after Tune made a break for the goal, but Copeswood cleared it hitting the crossbar in the process. A heart stopping moment for both sides.
The final goal saw Michelmore set up Crinean who took a shot at goal that was blocked by the goal keeper. The ball found it’s way to Massey who returned the earlier favour to Hincks, setting her up for the final goal of the game and her brace.
Both teams worked hard on their attacking games with attempts at goal at both ends. It can only be described as an end to end game. But the excellent technical skill and team work shown by Gillingham proved too much for Copeswood.
The girls have the long journey down to Plymouth for the next game and let’s hope they can have the goal frenzy that we saw at Priestfield today.
Gillingham Ladies: Courtney Shanly, Emma Michelmore, Ellie Manning (Annelle Massey), Lauren Phillips, Lauren Williams (c), Emma Tune, Sophie Brown, Louise Lorton Jade Keogh, Ashlee Hincks, Natalie Crinean