Gills Ladies Go The Extra Mile In FA Cup

Charlotte Richardson

Gillingham Ladies produced another breathtaking Cup encounter on Sunday afternoon, beating London Corinthians 4-3 in South London on Sunday afternoon.

Having battled into extra time the week before, Gills Ladies showed great endeavour and determination once more to progress in the FA Women’s Cup.

Jack Wheeler welcomed Kallie Balfour back into the starting eleven and she made an impact after just three minutes, making a galloping run down the left win before finding the top right hand corner from 25 yards out.

Katie Hardaker pushed from Gills midfield as the visitors repeatedly opened the Corinthians defence up but her effort was tipped over.

The Gills induced another great save from the keeper as Madison North had a free kick pushed wide.

Gillingham Ladies enjoyed a great share of possession, Emma Tune and April Bowers pulling strings in the middle and orchestrating Gills attacking movements.

The visitors were frustrated by an organised and resilient Corinthians side who made it difficult for the Gills to extend their lead.

And it was Gillingham Ladies who had to be alert to the counter attack when Adele Keech had a free kick in a threatening position. Her effort deflecting wide, failing to cause goalkeeper Courtney Shanley too much bother.

Balfour continued to cause Corinthians huge problems and was matched on the other wing by Shannon Redhouse. The pair making positive runs exposing the Corinthians defence on several occasions.

Gills were left stunned when a drilled strike from distance found the bottom left corner.

Gillingham Ladies looked to seize momentum in the game to regain the lead and a wave of opportunities fell to the hosts but the final clinical touch or pass was absent.

Balfour was tireless in her pursuit to get Gills the lead and she was denied by a superb reaction save and brave block in quick succession.

The Gills were unable to conclude the tie in 90 minutes so an entertaining 30 minutes of extra time ensued.

The visitors appeared to have gained the upper hand when Balfour was bundled down in the box, gifting her team a penalty which North converted with great composure.

Paige Baker-Carroll then showed great quality to finish an attacking move but the hosts pulled off a dramatic comeback, securing two goals including a penalty to draw level.

The Gills were not to be beaten and Baker-Carroll cropped up again to complete a dramatic 4-3 win with over 100 minutes of football played.

The win sees Gillingham Ladies extend their run in the FA Women’s Cup to four games and will travel to Forest Green Rovers in the next round to be played on Sunday 10th January. 

Gillingham: Courtney Shanly, Lauren Williams, Rachel Ahern, Ashleigh Loosemore, Madison North, Emma Tune, Katie Hardaker, April Bowers, Kallie Balfour, Paige Baker-Carroll, April Bowers. Subs: Jade Keogh, Vanisha Patel, Lydia Wills.

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