Gillingham Ladies goalkeeper Courtney Shanly received praise from teammates and fans alike for her performance against Lewes Ladies on Sunday afternoon.
A great weekend for goalkeepers and clean sheets, Shanly’s dominance between the sticks helped Gillingham Ladies take three important points back to Kent and it’s nothing the team didn’t deserve according to the young goalie.
“We’ve been improving with every game this season and especially after the Portsmouth game, although we lost, it was arguably the best team performance we’ve put in so far. I think that positive work rate was carried forward, gave us a bit of momentum for the game; after being 1-0 up at half time it was clear that no-one wanted to go home with less than three points.”
Shanly revealed it was a battle from the outset at The Dripping Pan; “I think we started out strong and made a few crucial tackles in early to set the tone early on.”
“As the game progressed, they got a lot more physical and I think we did well to not react to some nasty challenges. I think we kept possession really well and created a few good chances, but crucially I think we defended as a team the best we have so far all season.”
Courtney added, “Everyone was buzzing with the result and it was nice to see everyone smiling after the game and be proud of our performances, which we haven’t been able to do much this season after a few disappointing results. With some of the other results in the league, it proved to be a win that we needed and I think everyone was just happy to be able to deliver a result on the day.”
Besides the three points it was a great occasion for Shanly personally picking up her first clean sheet in the FA WPL.
“It was a great feeling, Simon told us before the game how many goals we’ve conceded so far in the season which really put things into perspective but as a goalkeeper it’s always good to be able to keep a clean sheet! I definitely feel it was a team effort, everyone literally put everything they had into it and were prepared to get anything in the way of the goal.”
“I’m happy with my performance, I think gradually my kicking has been improving a bit each week which I think helped. After Tuney gave me some advice during training in the week, I really tried to work on being more vocal during the game which I hope helped the girls a bit. Also I think my handling was some of the best it has been so far, especially in the air, so overall I was really pleased.”
After facing the league’s top five teams home and away, Shanly looks forward to taking on teams in and around the Gills over the next few months.
“I think we have had a tough run of games so far and have played majority teams at the top of the table. The next few weeks will be make or break, with the likes of QPR and West Ham to play who are more around our position in the league, both teams will want to get a result.”
“It’s important for us to start getting a few points on the board,at the end of the day we don’t want to be in the bottom two at the end of the season. Hopefully after the win, we can take the momentum and confidence forward and look to get a few results.”