Gillingham Ladies 0
Cambridge Utd WFC 1
Report Jenny Wallbank
Photographs Alison Pretious (Gallery @ http://www.alisonpic.com)
Gillingham Ladies welcomed Cambridge Utd WFC to Chatham Town FC in the FA Women’s Premier League on Sunday, April 17. Manager Jack Wheeler made two changes to the starting line up with Ashleigh Loosemore and Shannon Redhouse returning and Lydia Wills, Madison North and captain Lauren Williams returned to the substitute’s bench. Gill Ladies dominated possession particularly in the second half but were unable to transfer the possession into goals and the game ended 1-0 to the away side.
Gillingham started the game brightly with a couple of chances in the opening minutes for Kallie Balfour, shortly followed by exquisite passing through midfield involving a number of Gillingham players, the chance then fell for Jade Keogh but her shot was deflected and was easily saved by Verity Crook.
Cambridge were playing on the counter attack and had a chance of their own through a shot taken just inside the penalty area but it was kept out through a great save by Courtney Shanly.
Emma Tune picked up the ball in midfield and made space to take a shot just outside the penalty box but her shot was just about saved by Verity Crook. Shortly followed another chance for Gillingham, the ball was whipped into the penalty box and it landed perfectly for Lauren Davis but her great header was pushed away by Verity Cook and the subsequent shot was again saved to keep the score at 0-0.
Late in the first half Gills Ladies won a couple of corners but they were unable to take advantage due to resilient defending by Cambridge. The last move of the first half was a great run by Kallie Balfour through midfield but her cross would not fall for Lauren Davis.
HALF TIME: Gillingham Ladies 0 Cambridge Utd WFC 0
The second half started with Kallie Balfour needing treatment and this led to a short break in play. The game restarted and Cambridge took a shot from long range but this did not trouble Courtney Shanly.
Cambridge had a period of attacking play mainly on the counter attack but Gillingham initially defended well to send the ball for a corner. The corner was whipped in by the away side and they were first to get to the cross and headed it into the back of the net to take the lead (0-1).
With thirty minutes left to play Manager Jack Wheeler made a double substitution with Lauren Williams and Lydia Wills coming on for Lauren Davis and April Bowers.
Cambridge continued to play on the counter attack and had a chance to double their lead when Gillingham did not clear the ball on the edge of the penalty box, however, the shot went wide.
With twenty minutes to go Gillingham made their last substitution with Madison North replacing Katie Hardaker.
For the last quarter of the match Gillingham dominated possession and had chances through Kallie Balfour, Lydia Wills and Lauren Williams but they were unable to convert the chances. The last chance of the game was through Jade Keogh but her shot went just over the cross bar and the game ended 1-0 to Cambridge.
FINAL SCORE: Gillingham Ladies 0 Cambridge Utd WFC 1
Gills Ladies next welcome Ipswich LFC to Chatham Town FC on Sunday 24 April (kick off 2pm).
Courtney Shanly, Rachel Ahern, Vanisha Patel, Ashleigh Loosemore, Lauren Davis (Lauren Williams), Emma Tune (c), Jade Keogh, April Bowers (Lydia Wills), Katie Hardaker (Madison North), Shannon Redhouse, Kallie Balfour.
Subs: Imogen Alabaster, Lauren Williams, Madison North, Lydia Wills, Georgia Reece.
Cambridge Utd WFC
Verity Crook, Emma Jenkins, Laura Bright (c), Kayleigh-Anne Burt, Lucy Du Plooy, Laura Baker, Tahnee Perfect, Monique Chritian, Laura Mills, Faith Hewitt, Paige Cogie.
Subs: Liz Pamplin, Bella Simmons
Referee: Piotr Zachwiga
Assistants: Matt Williams, Opemipo Akisanya