Gillingham Ladies 1 Brighton & HA Ladies 5
Despite taking the lead though Louise Lorton, three goals including two from Charlotte Owen and another from Sophie Perry, Amy Taylor and Jay Blackie condemned Gillingham Ladies to defeat at Priestfield Stadium as they came up against a very strong Brighton & HA Ladies side in their latest home game of the FA Women’s Premier South season.
Going into the game, Gillingham Ladies manager Simon Ratcliffe had to deal with a serious injury to striker Jade Keogh who will be missing for a majority of the Gillingham Ladies season.
Ratcliffe brought in Natalie Crinean to partner Ashlee Hincks upfront for Gillingham as they took on a Brighton and Hove Albion Ladies side managed by the previous Gillingham Ladies manager James Marrs and including a whole host of former team-mates.
The game started with both sides trying to get a foot hold of the game. But it was Gillingham who took the early lead on five minutes as a back pass from Brighton defender Amy Taylor was not cleared properly by Faye Baker and Louise Lorton got the ball from Baker just outside the six yard line and placed the ball into the goal.
Brighton had a great chance to get back into the game as they won a free kick deep on the right side of the pitch, the ball was played into the path of Lucy Somes who got at the end of the cross, her shot did beat Shanly but the ball narrowly just went wide of the goal and out for a goal kick.
Then Brighton Ladies had another great chance as Daniella Carlton got the ball in the middle of the pitch and she hit a powerful towards Shanly and as she only just managed to save the shot, but she tipped the ball wide for a corner to Brighton Ladies.
Shanly was beginning to be really tested and she picked out a great cross from Charlotte Owen as Brighton tried to crank up the pressure as they looked to get back into the game.
But the pressure began to show on twenty minutes as a cross down the left from Fliss Gibbons wasn’t dealt with by the Gills Ladies defence and Sophie Perry was there to pick up the ball at the far right post to tip the ball past Shanly and into the back of the net.
Fliss Gibbons had a great chance to give Brighton Ladies the lead as she got the ball on the edge of the penalty box and she hit a delightful chip as she saw Shanly off her line, her shot did beat Shanly but it did not have the dip on the shot and it went over the cross bar.
Gibbons again broke away down the left and she set up Owen again to score but this time Lauren Williams was there to clear the ball away at the last minute to deny Brighton Ladies the chance of taking the lead.
Gillingham did manage to get on a counter attack as they broke down the left, Bonnie Long passed the ball into the path of Louise Lorton and she could have setup Ashlee Hincks but she hit a powerful shot from outside the penalty box, it had Baker beaten but she got too much behind her shot and it went over the bar for a goal kick to Brighton.
Gills Ladies continued to press forward and Lorton nearly got in again as she pressured Baker again but this time Baker just managed to get the ball away from her and it was cleared away.
But with half time looming, Brighton took the lead on 41 minutes as they worked well down the right side of the pitch, Fliss Gibbons managed to break away from her defender and past the ball to Charlotte Owen who got the ball and hit a low shot which had Shanly beaten all ends up and the ball zipped into the back of the net.
Gills Ladies spent the last minutes of the first half trying to get back on level terms but it was Brighton who could have added a third as Fliss Gibbons rand though the defence and hit the ball towards goal from outside the penalty box but Shanly easily saved the ball.
Half Time: Gillingham Ladies 1 Brighton and Hove Albion Ladies 2
The second half began with Gills Ladies trying to get back into the game as they looked for elusive second goal.
But it was Brighton who could have added a third goal as some more poor defending let in Lucy Somes go on a darting run before setting up Fliss Gibbons and she hit a powerful shot towards goal and it clipped the post but the referee stopped the game as the linesman adjudged Gibbons to be offside.
Gibbons then had another great chance to score as she got away from her defender before hitting a powerful from just outside the penalty box, the shot had beaten Shanly but it cannoned again off the post before being cleared away.
But it was Brighton who then added a third goal on 54 minutes as another run from Somes troubled the Gillingham defence and she setup Daniella Carlton who hit a beautiful shot from outside penalty box. Shanly did well to save the shot, but the rebound fell the way of Gibbons who hit a delightful pass to Owen and she spectacularly slotted ball past Shanly and into the back of the net.
Gills Ladies tried to fight on with a good team spirit but they were done again on 61 minutes as a deep cross into the box from left came the way of Jay Blackie who was unmarked and she simply got her head onto the ball which cruelly went past Shanly and into the back of the net.
Brighton Ladies then could have added a fifth as a free kick was crossed deep into the box and Amy Taylor just got ahead of defender to get on the end of the cross but sadly for her the ball went wide of the goal and out for a goal kick.
Gills Ladies were forced to defend another Brighton corner, the ball was crossed in and it took a last gasp defensive header from Lauren Phillips to clear the ball away from Somes to give the Gills defence some more breathing space.
Owen nearly completed her hat trick as she got the ball from a great run from Charlotte Gurr and she unleashed a powerful shot from just inside the penalty box but sadly again it cannoned off the bar and the ball was grabbed by Shanly at the first attempt.
Gills Ladies tried to get forward looking for a consolation second goal but despite the hard efforts of the girls including Ashlee Hincks and Louise Lorton they couldn’t break done the Brighton defence.
Brighton them completed their dominance of this game on 87 minutes as Fliss Gibbons got the ball on the edge of the box before hitting a beautiful lob which cannoned off the bar before ending up at the feet of Amy Taylor who was there at the right place at the right time to tap the ball past Shanly and into the empty net.
Full Time: Gillingham Ladies 1 Brighton and Hove Albion Ladies 5
Gillingham Ladies will now turn their attention to bouncing back in double quick time as they are back in FA Women’s Premier League South action against Queens Park Rangers Ladies FC back at Priestfield Stadium this coming Sunday with a 2.00pm kick off.
Gillingham Ladies line up: Courtney Shanly, Lauren Philips, Lauren Williams (Capt), Emma Tune, Emma Michelmore, Rachel Ahern, Louise Lorton (Emily Lyons), Bonnie Long (Daniella Farmer), Natalie Crinean, Ashlee Hincks, Ellie Manning (Ashley Loosemoore).
Subs not used: Imogen Alabaster, Sophie Brown,
Goals: Lorton (5),
Brighton & HA Ladies line up: Faye Baker, Charlotte Boswell (Charlotte Gurr), Sophie Perry, Jay Blackie (Capt.), Amy Taylor, Deanna Cooper, Lucy Somes (Catherine Cooper), Isabelle Burt, Charlotte Owen, Amy Green (Lisa Fulgence), Fliss Gibbons.
Subs not used: Kirsty Barton,
Goals: Perry (20), Owen (41, 54), Blackie (61), Taylor (87),
Referee: Piotr Zachniena
Assistant Referees: Danny Roberts and Ben Bowles