A perfect ten for Gillingham Ladies

Abby Smythe


Gillingham Ladies continued their winning streak in this week’s Kent derby against Herne Bay Ladies and secured their tenth win in a row. 190 attending fans were there to see two goals from Kallie Balfour and one from Ashleigh Loosemore which were more than enough to send Gillingham Ladies through to the next round of the Women’s FA Cup.

The game got off to a quick start and within the first few minutes the Gills ladies benefited from an early break and a defensive error. A ball over the top put Kallie Balfour clean through and she directed the ball into the top right corner of the net with a wonderfully taken shot. 1-0 Gillingham.

Gillingham Ladies kept possession well for the rest of the first half but they were unable to capitalise on any of the chances they created. The Herne Bay defence were working hard to hold off Gillingham’s attacking force and goalkeeper Sarah Cooper made several important saves, unfortunately at the other end, Herne Bay Ladies failed to produce any real opportunities to worry the Gills defence.

After a tough 45 minutes for both teams, the first half was brought to a close with Gillingham holding a not-so-comfortable 1-0 lead.

Half time result: Gillingham Ladies 1: Herne Bay Ladies 0

The start to the second half continued in very much the same way with Gillingham Ladies still pushing for their second goal and Herne Bay Ladies still denying their attempts. However, ten minutes in and with a great run down the right hand side of the pitch, Kallie Balfour cut the ball back to pick out Ashleigh Loosemore at the far post. She placed the ball into the bottom left corner of the goal leaving the keeper no chance. 2-0 Gillingham.

Not five minutes after the second goal, some great football and a string of passes from the Gillingham side that was started from the back saw Shannon Redhouse put the ball through to a well-positioned Kallie Balfour. Balfour showed great pace and broke straight through the middle, past the Herne Bay defence and slotted the ball into the bottom right hand corner.  3-0 Gillingham.

Shortly after the goals, and a period of unproductive attempts from both sides, the managers looked to make changes. Katie Hardaker, April Bowers and Ashleigh Loosemore were replaced by Chelsea Wallace, Fiona Constable and Jade Keogh for Gillingham, while Nicola Morris, Daniella Farmer and Gemma Sullivan were substituted for Amber Guyatt, Amanda Beeput and Rebecca Longley from the Herne Bay bench.

The remainder of the half saw a lot of chances created by Gillingham but again Herne Bay showed resilience and Sarah Cooper was determined not to allow any more past her, proving her conviction with some very good saves. The away team generated a few opportunities to get themselves on the score sheet but nothing more came from the second half, which meant we finished with another well deserved home win for the Gillingham Ladies.

Full time result: Gillingham Ladies 3: Herne Bay Ladies 0

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