It was a good week for Gillingham Ladies defender Ellie Manning. Collecting her first bit of silverware with the club and grabbing Gills’ winner against West Ham United on Sunday afternoon, we spoke with the Gills left back following the victory.
“I think the win on Wednesday was just what we needed to get our spirits raised for the few remaining games of the season which are crucial to us.” said Manning. “It has been a great week not only for the Kent cup but to beat West Ham who we hadn’t long lost 5-1 to.”
“I imagine they were expecting to walk all over us after that, but we showed them otherwise and gave them a good game. I’m feeling really good about us right now and really proud of everyone after Sunday’s performance, we just have to keep this up.”
It was a real battle against West Ham but it was Manning who inflicted the hammer blow, one she felt the team deserved for their performance over the 90 minutes.
“It was a good game between the two teams. However, I feel we deserved to win the game at the end of it all and it would of been really upsetting had we not. I couldn’t be happier to not only win, but to get the win for us.”
“It wasn’t just down to me being at the right place at the right time, it was down to the girls’ hard work to even get us into that position beforehand. It was a special moment for me, I haven’t scored in a while and to score in such an important game for us with such meaning behind it was fantastic.”
The win’s importance became even more apparent after the full time whistle with teams in and around Gillingham Ladies in the FA WPL losing their respective matches. Manning revealed the team are solely focused on their own performances and winning the games left this campaign. The win however represents marked improvement for a brand new side put together last August.
“The mood after the game was so good to see. Everyone had such big smiles! Julian took some great pictures which you can just look at to know how happy we were to win! I’ve never been so excited to hear the final whistle go knowing we deserved to win such an important game.”
“We were all congratulating each other in the changing room and telling each other that we were proud of our team and that we need to continue this fighting spirit on for the next three weeks which we are more than capable of.”
The Gills improvement has been apparent to fans since the turn of the year. With Gills falling victim to a last gasp goal against QPR and unable to break down a resilient Plymouth Argyle side, Manning admitted a slice of luck had been absent in recent weeks.
“We really were unlucky not to win those games with QPR getting a late winner and Plymouth holding us to a draw. I think we do feel like we are getting much better. Especially after Sunday, I think a win like that has given us much more belief in ourselves which has been our biggest downfall. It’s a great stepping stone for us because we went 1-0 and come back from it, which should show all the girls how possible it is for us to win games.”
Gillingham Ladies will be enjoying a special afternoon this Friday as they parade the Kent Womens’ Cup to Gills fans at the men’s home game against Fleetwood. It’s an occasion the team are really looking forward to and Manning explained how beneficial support from the club’s fans has been during a challenging season of transition.
“We are hoping to receive a great reaction from the fans! The Gills fans are a great bunch and many people who follow the men have shown a great interest in us and we would really like that to be shown on Friday.”
“The club is doing so well as a whole and we just want everyone to know we are playing a big part in that too! We looking forward to showing the cup off on Friday – everybody loves some silverware!”
Manning added, “We would also just like to thank everyone for the continued support throughout the season, it’s been nice to see big numbers at our last two games and we really need that support to carry on for the remainder of the season. Thank you!”
If you’re at Gillingham FC versus Fleetwood on Good Friday, why not grab a picture with the Cup and tweet it to us @GillsLadiesFC?