Report by John Seager
Match Photos Courtesy of Bob Searle (allsportskent)
Despite a missed penalty from Georgia Pilbeam, goals from Leanne Bell and Kirsty Tenkorang were enough to condemn Gillingham Ladies Reserves to defeat as they played Crystal Palace Ladies Reserves at Beechings Cross on Sunday Afternoon as they played their latest home game of the FA Women’s Southern Reserves League.
Gillingham Ladies Reserves manager Jason Wright was very happy to grab an excellent 2-0 away win at Bedford Ladies last week with Kayleigh Galvin and Pilbeam getting on the score sheet, and the team were looking to continue to maintain this good form.
The game started With Gills on the front foot and a cross came the way of Galvin but her header at goal was well saved by Sophie Bridson and the ball was cleared away.
Palace then won a corner, the ball was crossed into the path of Leanne Bell and she did get a chance on goal but Imogen Alabaster managed to get hold of her weak chance to get ball back.
Pilbeam then had two great chances, first one through on goal but was excellently saved by Bridson. Then Gills Ladies won a penalty as Galvin was fouled in the box. Pilbeam stroked the penalty but it went straight at Bridson who easily saved the shot.
Gills then piled more pressure on the Palace defence and a corner came the way of Hollie Musmeci, she did well to get her head on the ball but she couldn’t guide it towards goal and it went out for a goal kick.
Palace then won a corner as Nikki Waterman headed a looping cross out, it was crossed the ball into the box, and Deleanam Olympio got a header towards goal but the cross was too powerful for her to control her header and it went wide.
Gills then won a corner as Stephanie Mann deflected a shot wide, Ashleigh Loosemore crossed the ball in and the wall passed into the path of Galvin who ran through on goal but Bridson rushed out to grab the ball to deny a chance for Gillingham.
Gillis then won a fee kick on the edge of the penalty box as Emily Lyons was fouled, Galvin took the kick but again Bridson easily gather the ball up as Palace cleared the ball away.
Palace had great chance to score before the break as the Gills defence failed to clear a throw in and this let Sheadean Dyer in to have a shot but she got too much behind it and it sailed over the cross bar for a goal kick.
Half Time: Gillingham Ladies Reserves 0 Crystal Palace Ladies Reserves 0
The second half started with Crystal Palace Ladies pushing forward and they took the lead on 46 minutes. Palace won a corner after some good work by Karen Brikye-Dargum on the left, Kirsty Tenkorang drilled the cross in and the ball was not dealt with by Daulby and Tenkorang had another chance on goal as she tried to lob the ball over Alabaster, she couldn’t keep the ball out of the net. The goal was initially disallowed by the linesman for offside by Tenkorang but the referee overruled and allowed the goal to stand.
Gills then had a great chance to get on level terms as they won a free kick on the left side of the penalty box, Ashleigh Loosemore took the free kick and shot towards goal it did bet Bridson but sadly it cannoned off the bar before being cleared away by the Palace defence.
Palace Ladies doubled their lead on 51 minutes as Leanne Bell got the ball from the middle of the pitch, and she held off her defender well before leashing a powerful shot from twenty yards out which gave Alabaster no chance of saving and zipped into the top corner of the net.
Bell should have then added a third Palace goal as she broke away with the ball and took her time with a shot but she got too much behind her shot despite the best pressure from Alabaster and the ball sailed over the bar.
Things could have got a lot worse for Gills Ladies as Musmeci was lucky not to be sent off as she denied Kirsty Tenkorang a clear goal bound opportunity as she fouled her whilst she was one on one with Alabaster, but the referee gave her the benefit of the doubt and only gave her a yellow card for the foul.
Gills Ladies did have a chance to get back into the game as a cross from Loosemore cane the way of Daulby as she got head to the cross at the back post, but her defender did enough to put her off as her header went wide of the goal.
Palace had another great chance to finish the game off as Dyer did brilliant down the right wing before delivering a great cross into the penalty box and both Tenkorang and Brikye-Dargum could have stuck a foot at the end of the cross to guide the ball into the net but the ball had too much pace which evaded from both players and it went out for a goal kick.
Final score: Gillingham Ladies Reserves 0 Crystal Palace Ladies Reserves 2
Gillingham Ladies Reserves:
Imogen Alabaster, Laurel Collins, Nikki Waterman, Hollie Musmeci, Maddison North, Emily Lyons (Capt), Annie Morrison, Chloe Cavenagh, Ashleigh Loosemore, Kayleigh Gallop, Georgia Pilbeam
Subs: Sophie Ledger, Keira Daulby, Nicole Witham, Georgia Reece.
Crystal Palace Ladies Reserves:
Sophie Bridson, Jasmine Belcher, Isabel Kulinski, Stephanie Mann, Leanne Bell, Sheadean Dyer, Deleanam Olympio, Linda Mehemem, Karen Brikye-Dargum, Kirsty Tenkorang, Rebecca Wiltshire.
Subs: Kelly Watters-Morris, Aiyanna Gaze
Officials: Dan Proctor